“The original voices of Grupo 4-40, including Mariela Mercado, were surprised when they reunited for a show” | Daily list

In 2024, the 4-40 group led by Juan Luis Guerra will celebrate 40 years since its birth. Last Monday night (November 27, 2023), five of the best voices of these four decades recorded a historic night when they joined Frank Ciara at the opening of the “Christmas Among Friends” concerts. Its lead vocals are a luxury rarely offered on stage.

Maritalia Hernandez, Mariela Mercado and Adalquisa Pantaleon (former members) and Roger Zayas and Quico Rizek (current backup singers) teamed up to reminisce about some of the 440’s first hits, this time with Ceara and led by maestro Pengbian Sang’s band.

Stage 360, at the Galleria 360 shopping plaza, was the venue for a magical moment, the public enjoying themselves without reservations, perhaps almost four decades after those beautiful melodies and perfect 4-40 tuning burst out. It will forever mark the lives of an entire generation and the journey Dominican music took, especially the merengue.

“Like a bee to a honeycomb”

Ciara had already revealed half of her set to the public when it was Adalquisa and Quico’s turn, and they sang “Like a Bee to a Honeycomb.”

The excitement of the audience was immediate, leaving their seats to one side and stopping to dance and dance to the beautiful song.

Then Roger and Mariela sing “She Says.” “She says in a dream. I appear before everything. Before closing my eyes. Oh! Give thanks for life, how lucky you are,” reads the first chorus of one of the group’s first hits.

When he gave up, the party fell out with Marithalia “Our Love” and “Santiago by Car”.

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Then came the highlight of the night Onstage team of Maritalia, Atalgiza, Quico, Roger and Mariela, with Frank, He gave the audience the unforgettable hits “Mientras más lo pens tú” and “Si tú te vas”.

Those beautiful voices, coupled with an incomparable quality of interpretation, a musical phenomenon rarely seen, made everyone wish for a new reunion, and let’s hope it comes to fruition in 2024 when the group turns 40. 4-40.

Mariela Mercado, Roger Sayas, Maritalia Hernandez, Frank Chiara, Adalquisa Pantaleon and Quico Risek join in reminiscing about the 440s’ first hits during the “Christmas Among Friends” concert.Jorge Martinez/Listen Diario

Its history

The first members of the 440 were Juan Luis Guerra, Maritalia Hernandez, Roger Sayas and Mariela Mercado.

His first productions were “Sopland” (1984), “Mudanza y acarreo” (1985) and “Tú” (1987). It was followed by the “I hope it rains coffee” since 1989, and the “Pachada Rosa” logo since 1990.

In this first start, everyone was equally solo (Mariela, Maritalia and Juan Luis). On the first recordings, everyone recorded the same number of songs on the album, although they recorded as a duo and as a quartet.

This is Maritalia Hernandez in 2020 LISTÍN tells DIARIO that it all started as a result of an assignment given to Juan Luis at Berklee College of Music, where he studied.

“When we started singing, we didn’t set out to do a professional project. It evolved gradually from these four friends to play a four-voice work given to Juan Luis by a professor while studying at Berklee, who asked him to find two more voices when he returned (from America) in the summer.”

According to Maritalia, the four met at Juan Luis’ mother’s house in the University Zone, and it was Juan Luis’ older brother José Gilberto (now a surgeon) who suggested the name 4.40.

Maritalia said he resisted the name because the 440 was a perfect voice tuning pattern and they didn’t reach that level, and he ultimately had no choice but to accept it.

Maritalia Hernández’s house, where there was a grand piano, was the meeting point for the fusion of voices and songs.

There was a public presentation from 4-40 in the gardens of the Eduardo Brito National Theater.

It was a concert with Guilo Carias who led the group “Quatro Mas Uno”, which is why the concert was called “Quatro Mas Uno, M440”.

Then, a few days later, his first major television appearance was at the missing “El Dorado” awards show.

Her first performance outside the country was in Newark, USA with Millie, Jocelyn and Los Vecinos.

The group went through a metamorphosis of sorts. Maritalia left in 1987, then Mariela also left the group and Marcos Hernandez, Adalquisa and Quico Risek joined the choir. Currently only Roger and Quico continue with Juan Luis.

Gillian Patton

"Tv aficionado. Lifelong communicator. Travel ninja. Hardcore web buff. Typical music geek."

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