The merengue, like salsa, is now recognised as a transnational phenomenon, spanning an increasing number of countries in an ever-shrinking globe. Merengue outsells salsa by more than four to one in Latin America.
Merengue is to the Dominican Republic what blues, jazz, and hip-hop are to the United States—a musical style and dance that seems to represent the spirit of an entire country. Distinct from mambo, salsa, bachata, cha-cha, rumba, and other Afro-Carribean Latin dance styles, merengue is both the music and dance of the Dominican Republic.
A massive migration of Dominicans to New York City started in the 1960s. These Latin American immigrants brought their native music to American shores, injecting the world’s biggest market for music with merengue. With nearly two million Dominicans now living in the United States, Merengue has influenced—and been influenced by—other American music genres, such as rock n’ roll.
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