Alih Jey, the genre-defying Dominican bilingual singer-songwriter, who premiered her new single “Mi Debilidad” on @KCRW ’s #PanCaliente curated by Jose Galvan, followed by a glowing review on NPR’s ‘Alt. Latino,’ plus a performance at SXSW Music Festival 2019, and a recent performance at @ChidoCheverCool series at The Hi Hat in Highland Park, continues making her mark.
Now Alih Jey will be performing solo acoustic shows this May, opening for Raul Malo, the incomparable front man of the band The Mavericks. Malo’s free-wheeling, swaggering style seamlessly blends neotraditional country, rock ‘n’ roll, Latin rhythmic fervor, and prominently features his lush, soaring baritone.
May 10, 2019 San Juan Capistrano- The Coach House
May 11, 2019 Bakersfield- Buck Owens’s Crystal Palace
May 14, 2019 Folsom, CA – Harris Center
May 15, 2019 Saratoga, CA – Carriage House Theatre
May 17, 2019 Crystal Bay, NV- Crystal Bay Club Casino
May 18, 2019 San Francisco, CA –Great American Music Hall
Alih’s Mi Debilidad, available on all platforms, features elements of the Dominican criolla and bolero, and is part of her upcoming album Soy De Peña, in collaboration with the band Cuñao. The album is a tribute to her father Aníbal De Peña, who to this day remains an icon in Dominican musical history. Alih Jey presents a distinctive approach to alternative folk music, within an ever growing roster of Dominican female artists. Dominican women have been taking center stage in music, and Alih is bringing her Bolero-indie flavor and fresh sound into the mix. A bona fide rockera and previously Grammy-nominated for Best Rock Solo Vocal album, Alih kicks it up a notch by revamping culturally significant songs from the Dominican Republic in this tribute.
Mi Debilidad was written by Alih’s father Aníbal De Peña, and it was his greatest success in the 1960’s. Featuring an updated rhythm section and eclectic instrumentation provided by Latin folk band Cuñao, Alih’s version provides a modern, alternative take on this timeless classic while remaining true to the original version.
Soy De Peña chronicles the musical heritage of Alih Jey’s family with tributes to her father’s much beloved repertoire as well as her grandfather’s lesser-known musical poems. In certain regions of Latin America, a “peña” is a celebratory gathering of artists presenting their work and can also mean mountain. This double meaning reveals how Alih’s newest project honors and adds to a rich, long-standing musical legacy.
“While remaking Mi Debilidad, I changed the time signature from 4/4 to 6/8, because it just felt right to me! And it turns out that the new version sounds a lot like an older genre from the 1860s in the Dominican Republic called the Dominican ‘criolla’. I realized the lyrics and melody of my father’s original bolero song combined with my triple time variation and Cuñao’s stripped down arrangements, gave it that criolla feel. It was pretty exciting! The criolla’s precursor is actually the ‘barcarola’ of Venice, Italy (a rhythm reminiscent of the gondolier’s stroke, almost invariably in 6/8 meter at a moderate tempo), that got to the DR in the 1850s! Hence, the triple meter characteristic.” says the young recording artist.