Dominican singers Miriam Cruz and Alex Bueno at Stamford Palace
Singers Alex Bueno and Miriam Cruz, from the Dominican Republic, will be sharing stage for a night of rumba and merengue at the Stamford Palace Theatre Friday, April 19.
Cruz is best known for her tenure as the lead vocalist of Las Chicas del Can during the 1980s and early ’90s, while Bueno is widely regarded as one of the best voices among Dominican artists, as he bounces from Bolero (Ballad) to Bachata music seamlessly without missing a beat, the venue says on its website’s events page.
Cruz is a merengue singer and actress from the Dominican Republic who made her smash hit solo album debut with “Nueva Vida” in 1993. Born Miriam Aracelis Cruz Ramírez on August 17, 1968, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, she was a member of Las Chicas del Can from 1982 to 1992. Founded by legendary Dominican singer/songwriter, trumpeter, and producer Wilfrido Vargas, Las Chicas del Can were a teenage merengue girl group that originally featured Belkis Concepción as lead vocalist.
Once Concepción left for a solo career, Cruz took over lead vocals for the group’s second album, Chicán (1985). Throughout the remainder of the decade, Las Chicas del Can released an album per year and racked up numerous international hit singles. The final Chicas del Can album to feature Cruz was Nada Común (1991). In 1993 she made her solo album debut with “Nueva Vida.” Billed to Miriam y las Chicas, the album was an enormous success, spawning the smash hit singles “Tómalo Tú,” “La Loba” and “Te Propongo,” the latter written for her by Juan Luis Guerra, then at the height of his superstardom.
In 1994 she had another big hit with “Agua de Sal.” During the mid- to late ’90s, she took a break from music and established herself as an accomplished actress. Several years passed before Cruz returned with her next album, “Punto y Aparte” (2001). Released on Sony Music, it was a commercial disappointment relative to her past successes. Her third album, “Aquí Estoy” (2006), was likewise a minor success at best. In the years that followed, Cruz returned to acting. Beginning in 2011, she mounted a comeback as a singer, releasing the singles “Es Cosa de Él,” “Es Necesario,” and “La Carnada.”
Bueno was born in San José De Las Matas in Dominican Republic. When he was a boy he started playing the guitar and sang in public meetings, in school and the church choir. In 1978 Wilfrido Vargas organized the Festival De La Voz, where all the youth of the country could participate. Bueno performed and won the contest, gaining the atention of Gerardo Veras who invited Alex to join his orquestra the “Santo Domingo’s All Star.” His performance stood out as to get the attention of Fernando Villalona and he was invited to join his band.
In 1982 Alex Bueno and his friends Andrés De Jesús, Julie Pie, Jhonny Tulanga, Bilomar “La Conga”, Manuel “La Guirra”, and others, started their own group called Alex Bueno Y La Orquesta Liberación. Two years later he went off on his own to peruse his solo act. In 1991 he joined J&N Records and made the album“Ternuras,” which in 1992 broke all record sales of that time. He combined his singing with a little comedy in his lyrics.
In 1998 he made the bachata album “Bachata A Su Tiempo” when bachata was not widely popular. This album was the largest bachata album in USA. His second bachata album “Corazón Duro” out sold the previous album and he won the Premios Lo Nuestro 2000 for Best Traditional Album. After the two bachata albums, he recorded a romantic music album and a merengue album then another bachata album. He did another bachata album “Pídeme.”
Due to finding fame at an early age he says, he ended up mixed in drugs and heavy alcohol abuse that eventually brought his career to a stop, according to the venue’s website. In a recent interview with “El Show Del Mediodia,” he spoke on the people that surrounded him wanting him to keep using drugs, so that they were able to take advantage of him easier. He also says he lost a great deal of money due to this and his drug use at this point.
Bueno returned to music after going to drug rehabilitation, and is currently going strong with his music building his career back to try to reach higher levels than he did before. He says that due to God giving him strengtht, he has been able to maintain clean, and the reception from the public and fans has been a welcoming one.
The Palace Theatre, 61 Atlantic St., Stamford. Friday, April 19, 8 p.m. $95-$35. 203-325-4466.