The Dominican Republic is a musical cradle and several family clans have excelled for dozens of years. United by love and talent, they have worked together on successful artistic projects.
Among the most recent are brothers Manny Cruz and Daniel Santacruz. Life has led them to compete in the same category at the Latin Grammy Awards, but their real competition is to prove who loves each other more. Daniel’s daughter Penélope, who has already recorded some songs with her father, joins this clan.
In pop, Ariel Núñez has followed in the footsteps of his father, Pavel Núñez, and in fusion, Leon Yamil is the musical heir of Leo Suberví.
In typical music, love springs forth in every word of the sons of accordionist Rafelito Román. Raúl and Nixon are also dedicated to merengue típico and recognize in their progenitor, who in addition to introducing them to the art has educated them in values.
Also in merengue, the late Johnny Ventura introduced his children to his group. Juan José was in the business and Jandy at the head of the orchestra, who now, after the death of the “Caballo Mayor”, is carrying on his legacy.
Another case is that of the Valoy family. When Cuco Valoy decided to venture into merengue, he put his son, pianist Ramón Orlando, in charge as musical director, who also stood out with successful musical arrangements and popular merengues and ballads.
If we are talking about brothers, the best example of union and permanence has been exhibited by Los Hermanos Rosario. Rafa, Luis and Tony, in the current orchestra, have become the company that sustains the whole family.
And although years ago Toño formed a separate store in his group, Los Rosario emerged in music backed by his parents and other siblings (like the late Pepe) who also became involved in the music business.
Another clan is the Villalona family. When Fernando Villalona emerged with his orchestra, his brothers Angelito and Aramis were supported by El Mayimbe to showcase their talents.
The Kenton brothers, Uis, Tito and Johnny, also established themselves in merengue, starting in 1976.
Although he does not sing, Bolivar Villalona, another of Fernando’s brothers, still serves as his manager.
Likewise, Sergio Vargas when he formed his group. El Negrito de Villa opened the doors in his orchestra to his brothers Kaki and Johnny. The latter is still part of the group.
At the end of the 70’s, Milly Quezada started in music with her brothers Martín, Joselyn and Rafael (deceased). The four of them formed Milly, Joselyn y los Vecinos.
In the group Joselyn married trombonist Fausto Arias (deceased) and Milly married the group’s manager Rafael Vásquez (also deceased). La Reina’s son has followed in her footsteps.
In classical music there are several examples. The most legendary one comes from the times of Papa Molina and Josefina Miniño, who raised the now prestigious musician José Antonio Molina, director of the National Symphony Orchestra.
There are also the Peña-Comas sisters, who have a lifetime dedicated to classical music.
The twins Nathalie, Evelyn and Nicole Peña-Comas have been involved in music since they were little and have established themselves on major stages in Europe.
History. There are historical musical families. The book “Musicians, composers and Dominican songs in the 19th and 20th centuries”, by Felix -Felucho- Jimenez, mentions the late Julio Alberto Hernandez Camejo, who had as one of his teachers his uncle Pedro Camejo. And he is the grandfather of singer Maridalia Hernández.
More surnames. Other musical surnames are the Vásquez (Avelino, Chachi and Tavito). José Ovidio García also had several musical children: José Ovidio, Carlos Manuel and his daughter Dolores, and another relative: Margarita Luna García. Many will remember the Trío Reynoso, composed of Domingo and Pedro, sons of accordionist José Dolores “Lolo” Reynoso.