Biography & Performances

United Palace

2013-Present —Irka began producing and recording her next album of accordion music, with a more global concept, in collaboration with Danny Blume and Yasser Tejeda. On August 8 2015 Irka Mateo launched the single Vamo a Goza, from her new album set for release in 2016. 

2012— Irka won a grant from the Grammy Foundation to digitize her archive of Dominican folkmusic. On completion she donated it to her country where it is now located in the General Archive of the Dominican Republic and another copy was donated to the Ethnomusicology Archive at Wesleyan University, Connecticut, USA.

2009— She launched her solo album Anacaona a tribute to her country’s indigenous and Africanroots and to the Brazilian music where she began. Anacaona included the song "Man of Earth,” showcasing for the first time her new musical stage of invoking accordion music. performingwidely in NY , including at the United Nations, the Smithsonian Institution National Museumof the American Indian, the Louis Armstrong Museum, Joe's Pub, and other venues. 

2007—Danny Blume, the Grammy-winning American producer, discovered Irka and broughther to New York. 

1997-2007— Irka dedicated herself to touring the Dominican countryside, documenting andlearning different genres of Dominican folk music. In the course of this she formed the group“Irka con Bohuti,” which interpreted Dominican folklore and found expression in her own musical compositions. The group was well received and it was through this that Irka first introduced the accordion into Dominican alternative music. “Irka con Bohuti” participated in international music festivals such as The Festival of Fire in Santiago de Cuba, The Spring Festival in Mexico City, Mexico, the Caribbean Festival in St. Kitts, and others. 

1985-1996— Irka Mateo was lyricist and singer in the group Irka & Tadeu Band with Brazilian guitarist, composer and arranger Tadeu Demarco. Together they created an innovative repertoire of Jazz /Caribbean / Brazilian music and were key in the alternative music of the Dominican Republic, influencing an entire generation of musicians. During their residence in Montreal, Canada they recorded the CD, Three Americas, under the Silence Records label. The Irka & Tadeu Band participated three times in the Montreal International Jazz Festival, as well as the Ottawa International Jazz Festival in Baie Comeau, International Jazz, the Blues Festival in Hull, Canada, the Heineken Jazz Festival in the Dominican Republic, among others.


Performances:

USA – 2016- 2012

Ford Theater  LA

United Palace, NYC

Joe's Pub, NYC 

United Nations Headquarters, NYC

Subrosa, NYC

Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of the American Indian, NYC

Louis Armstrong Museum, NYC

Colombia 2015

Mercado Cultural del Caribe, Cartagena

Mexico – 2005-2006

Festival de la Primavera, Mexico City
Teatro Benito Juárez, Mexico City
Festival del Caribe, Veracruz

Cuba/St. Kitts – 2005-2006

Festival of Fire, Santiago de Cuba
Carifesta VII, St Kitts

Canada – 1991-1996

Montreal Jazz Festival ( 3 Editions)Ottawa International Jazz FestivalFestival Cultures Canada, OttawaHull Jazz & Blues FestivalMulti-Montreal World Music FestivalRimouski Jazz FestivalBaie Comeau Jazz FestivalL'air Du TempsClub BalatouTour Montreal Maisons de Culture

Haiti– 1996
Opened for The Fugees, Port-au-Prince, HaitiCafe Des Arts

Dominican Republic – 1995
Day of Europe Celebration , European Union Casa de Bastidas 1995Opening Bienal de Artes Visuales. Museo de Arte Moderno.1992Opening for Sergio Mendes & Brazil 88

Brazil –1994
Teatro San Pedro
Centro das Artes Mario de Andrade
Teatro 7 de April, Brazil