Various Artists - Palo Monte - But I Love Nueva York

New York has a magic that, for as much as we hate it, all of us that have lived a part of our lives in that metropolis, specifically my beloved Dominican Heights, knows and loves. In spite of all of the ugliness and chaos, there is a tremendous energy and life that you can't help but be in love with.

Nueva York tiene una magia que por más que lo odiemos, toda persona que ha tenido parte de su vida en esa urbe, especificamente mi querido Dominican Heights, lo conoce y lo quiere. A pesar de todo lo feo y el cáos, hay una energía tremenda y vida que uno no puede dejar de enamorarse de ella.


But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York

Cucaracha' y ratone' la basura como hiede lo' tapone' muy dificil hay violencia perooooooo

But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York

Lo' proyecto' La' bodega' Calentone' van subiendo van bajando mucha' gata' cuanto gozo hay problema perooooooo

But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York

hay de todo brujeria buena y mala lo' abogado' son ladrone' policia son corrupto' perooooooo

But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York

todo bueno to' lo' cuero' jodedore' para el gusto mucha' raza' muy bonito para el triunfo perooooooo

But I love Nueva York But I love Nueva York


But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York

Roaches and rats garbage that stinks traffic jams hard to take there is violence but….

But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York

The projects The corner stores The heat waves Rise And fall Lots of chicks Lots of fun There are problems But…

But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York

There is plenty of everything There is witchcraft That's good and bad Lots of lawyers That are thieves And the cops Are corrupt But…

But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York

All that's good All the hookers And the hustlers All for fun Many races It's very pretty For the victory But…

But I Love Nueva York But I Love Nueva York

Pa'lo Monte is a cultural group that teaches and performs the traditional rhythms and melodies of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Through the teaching of music, dance and specific political and spiritual traditions, we are keeping alive a whole legacy that has been passed down to us from generation to generation. Our mission is to preserve and popularize the African and Indigenous cultural traditions of the Dominican and Haitian people and strengthen the level of respect for the values and traditions of our ancestors.


Pa'lo Monte celebrates its 12th anniversary teaching and playing Afro-Dominican cultural music, reminding the Dominican community of the legacies of resistance, joy and survival handed down to them, and inspiring others to recover their own cultural heritage. As a young man, Pa'lo Monte's founder, Osvaldo D. Sánchez spent much of his time with his brothers, visiting the elders in the countryside, learning the percussive techniques of the African-based music of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as the stories of their arrival on the island. These experiences and the importance of preserving these traditions stayed with him for many years, and in 1998, he formed Pa'lo Monte.


The group's name speaks to its origins and its purpose. Osvaldo chose the name Pa'lo Monte as a dedication to the elders he learned from, referring to their way of speaking (instead of saying 'voy para los montes' – 'I'm going to the mountains', they would say 'voy pa'lo monte'). This particular way of speaking is part of the legacy of the Africans who were brought to the island by the Spanish and has been integrated into speech patterns to create a distinct Dominican Spanish language. At the same time, the name refers to the Africans and Indigenous people who lived in the mountains, creating communities of resistance, ensuring the survival of their traditions. The name 'Pa'lo Monte' is also a nod to the spiritual-religious traditions of the Dominican and Haitian people who practice Vodoun and Dominican Santería and believe that the mountains are a site of magic and mystery, a place where ritual and healing occur.


Twelve years later, Pa'lo Monte has developed as one of the premiere Afro-Dominican and Haitian traditional groups in New York City, showcasing a model for collaboration between artist and social justice communities, highlighting the importance of these cultural workers in the liberation of their people. Over the last ten years, Pa'lo Monte has responded to the communities' cries for support in organizing around issues of importance, such as justice for immigrants, an end to violence against women, the movement for peace, and the call for unity between Dominicans and Haitians. The political-mystical messages of Pa'lo Monte's songs have often proven to be a force that moves people to action, both literally and figuratively, providing spiritual uplift for troubled times and motivation to join the struggle for a better world.


Over the past ten years, Pa'lo Monte has transformed from a musical ensemble into an Institution for the teaching and preservation of African and Indigenous cultural traditions from the Dominican Republic and Haiti. It has provided lectures and skill-building workshops in diverse venues from elementary schools to the United Nations. Pa'lo Monte's signature event is the Afro-Caribbean Festival in Honor of Liborio Mateo, which celebrates the life and teachings of one of the cimarrones, or leaders of African and Indigenous resistance in the Dominican Republic. (Liborio Mateo was a spiritual and political leader, who in the early 1900s, defied the Dominican and American governments, as well as the Catholic Church, in developing a community based upon principles of cooperative living and the recognition of traditional values and practices.) The event, which has been celebrated annually since 2003, has been tremendously successful in bringing together the Dominican musical community of New York City. In addition, it has provided an innovative means of educating the communities about Liborio and the legacy of struggle that they have inherited, as well as reframing modern struggles within this context.


The survival of the Dominican and Haitian communities into the 21st century and beyond is dependent on the continued expansion of their traditions as well as their integration into the cultural repertoire of the Americas. Osvaldo Sánchez expects that Pa'lo Monte will lead this movement with its music and energy, so that these communities will not only survive, but thrive. Read more: