Accomplished recording and performing artist. Irka has participated in numerous festivals and venues in the Americas. Her last CD Anacaona was aired in thirty countries worldwide reaching the top ten in charts in Canada and Spain.She won the 2005 prize in the category Folk-rock at the prestigious Casa de Teatro Music Competition in the Dominican Republic. She also received the 2009 Kiskeya Taino Music Award in New York City.
Irka Mateo is a singer songwriter and performer from the Dominican Republic. She writes “Mestizo Music,” accordion and guitar-lead songs inspired by the indigenous/ Afro/ European folk traditions of her native country, as well as the wider Caribbean and Latin America.
Irka travelled for ten years in the rural areas of the Dominican Republic documenting more than thirteen genres of folk musical traditions–unknown to the wider Dominican culture and beyond. As a result, her extensive field research was supported by the Grammy Foundation allowing her research to be donated to the Dominican National Archives as well as to the Ethnomusicology Archives at Wesleyan University in the United States.
She has given lectures/concerts and workshops about Dominican folk music and Dominican popular religious traditions in museums, institutions and schools throughout the United States and the Dominican Republic.