An old LP cover dug out of the Concertzender archives. Rafael Solano.
Rafael Solano was born in Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic in 1931. A very talented musical child. He was only 11 years old when he was presented as "the discovery of 1941" in local theatres. Solano studied music theory, violin and cello and played the harmonium in his local church, where he became the head of the choir at the age of 13. But the piano became his passion and after a few years of private lessons by different teachers he started at the conservatoire in the capital Santo Domingo. He quickly switched from classical to popular music and was the manager of ‘La Gran Orquesta de Angelita de La Voz Dominicana’ for a while. After that he went on a tour with different formations like the one of Antonio Morel and Luis Larrain. After wanderings and residency abroad (Venezuela, Jamaica etc.) Solano returned to the Dominican Republic and became manager of the highly loved Embassy Orchestra Club, the regular ensemble of the Hotel Ambassador. In 1959 he got his first TV show ‘La Hora del Mondo’ in which he launched the careers of many new artists like Luchy Vicioso, Nini Cáffaro, Fernando Casado and Anibal de Peña. In the early sixties he surfed along on the wave of Latin artists that flooded the US and performed in New York. There he also studied modern composing under Hall Overtone. Back in his own country he was one of the motivators behind the first LP ever that was recorded in the Dominican Republic, was artistic manager of Radio Dominican Television and received lots of respect from the government. He went on world tours many times, gave master classes in lots of countries and even was ambassador of UNESCO in Paris for four years. Solano’s music is still popular; his songs are considered classics today and are even recorded by singers like Vicky Carr and Placido Domingo.