By JON PARELES
A high-voiced heartthrob and songwriter leads his band to Top 10 albums and arenas, goes solo and headlines his own stadium shows. Then he rejoins his former bandmates for a final set of performances together. It’s the story of Michael Jackson and the Jacksons. It’s also the story of Romeo Santos and Aventura, a band formed in the Bronx in the 1990s that brought bachata, music from the Dominican Republic, to listeners worldwide.
The group disbanded amicably in 2011; Mr. Santos regrouped Aventura during one of his consecutive sold-out concerts at Yankee Stadium in 2014. Romeo Santos and Henry Santos, Aventura’s singers, are cousins; Lenny Santos and Max Santos, the guitarist and bassist, are brothers but not related to the singers. Instead of touring worldwide, Aventura is playing 20 farewell shows this month at the 3,300-seat United Palace Theater in Washington Heights, the Dominican-American neighborhood that was an early Aventura stronghold. The run started on Thursday night and continues through Feb. 29.
Aventura’s music drew on a longtime tradition. Bachata is a rural Dominican style centered on staccato guitar syncopations and tales of woe. Using boy-band charm as well as crossover touches in the music, Aventura and Mr. Santos, on his solo albums in 2012 and 2014, became the best-selling acts in 21st-century Latin pop.