The Wait is Almost Over!

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Irka Mateo is a singer songwriter and performer form the Dominican Republic. She writes “Mestizo Music,” accordion and guitar-lead songs inspired by the indigenous/ Afro/ European folk traditions of her native country, as well as the wider Caribbean and Latin America. 

Irka travelled for ten years in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic documenting more than thirteen genres of folk musical traditions--unknown to the wider Dominican culture and beyond. As a result, her extensive field research was recognized by the Grammy Foundation which awarded a “Preservation Implementation” grant, allowing her research to be donated to the Dominican National Archives as well as to the Ethnomusicology Archives at Wesleyan University in the United States.

  Irka introduced the Dominican accordion into the Dominican/Latin alternative scene. She has brought to light the ‘Comarca,’ a wholly unknown genre outside of the countryside and was the first woman to play traditional percussion in urban settings. 

She recently launched “Palenquera” a champeta to honor the Afro-descendent woman of San Basilio de Palenque. The song was produced in Colombia by Grammy winner Christian Castagno and features Andres Gutierrez (Systema Solar) on drums and percussion. Irka is currently recording the album “Vamo a Gozá” with Grammy winner Danny Blume. The album will be released later this year.


Acoustic Folkloric Session