Caribbean Soca Jamback Party Band "DUSHI BAND" originated on the island of Aruba in the Dutch Caribbean in the early 1990s and was founded by the well-known Aruban keyboardist, programmer, composer, arranger and producer: Hildward Croes. One of the first electronic dance bands of the caribbean, and one of the longest lasting Aruban bands, Dushi Band has been a hit-creating-machine since it's early days. Aruba's undisputable Roadmarch and Roadjam record-holders.
Dushi Band Founder: Hildward Croes
Born on the island of Aruba in the caribbean, Hildward comes from a family of deep musical roots. His mother is a singer and his father is a singer, musician, and choir director of their hometown church of Santa Cruz. From an early age Mr. and Mrs. Croes encouraged their four sons to participate in the church choir on Sundays and this has been an important musical influence on the entire family. Hildward began performing with various youth bands at an early age. A music-lover since birth, he started playing the piano at home at the age of 8 guided by his father and after a few years playing by ear he began taking piano lessons with various teachers on the island.
In 1977 while forming part of the band that accompanied the church choir his father was conducting, he was approached to form the band Cryptus Confession that became one of the most popular bands of Aruba in the late 70s, recording the huge hit of 1980: Love Dream, part of a successful album of his original compositions recorded at Criteria Studios in Miami (known in those days for having recorded The Eagles' Hotel California album, and most of the Bee Gees' mega-productions) in the summer of 1979. Cryptus (as the band was popularly called) toured South America and other Caribbean islands extensively.
In 1981 Hildward received a scholarship by the Aruban government to study music at the renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, USA. While studying in Boston he participated in numerous recordings and concerts. He finished his bachelors degree in professional music in 1984 and continued his graduate studies at Bowling Green State University in Ohio where he obtained his Master's of Music degree.
Hildward returned to Aruba and became one of the most popular arrangers and producers on the island. He wrote and produced many hit songs for artists and groups in Aruba, Curacao and other caribbean islands. After he was signed to produce an album of Caribbean music for the record company Sonografica in Caracas, Venezuela in 1988, he was contracted by the king of merengue of the 80s: Wilfrido Vargas, to be a part of his orchestra and produce recordings for his record company. In 1989-1990 he toured Europe, North, Central and South America with the Wilfrido Vargas orchestra playing keyboards and programming for the live shows. During this time he also arranged and produced for many successful Latin American artists such as Las Chicas Del Can, Altamira Banda Show, Eddy Herrera, Roy Tavare, Micky Taveras, and of course Wilfrido Vargas. In February of 1990, he earned a Grammy Award nomination in the Latin - Tropical category for his co-production of the album Animacion by Wilfrido Vargas. The same year he won first prize in the world competition of arrangers of the international hit song of the time: Lambada, which he arranged and produced for Las Chicas del Can.
Towards the end of 1990, Hildward was approached by Juan Luis Guerra to form part of his orchestra. During the following years he toured the world performing sold-out concerts playing keyboards, programming and directing the computer sequences for Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40.
He won numerous awards on many ocasions in Aruba, such as arranger of the year, musician of the year, and at the end of 1990 he was awarded musician of the decade and received the distinguished honor of being named man of the year by the local press. He is recognized as one of the leaders in Aruba's musical revolution. Especially during the carnival season, Hildward has been producing hits after hits, year-in year-out.
While working with Juan Luis Guerra & 4.40 in the mid-1990s, he met and established a strong friendship with Chichi Peralta who at the time was one of the main percussionists of the group. In 1997 Hildward was contracted by his long time friend Chichi Peralta to participate in his then newly formed project: Son Familia. With Chichi Peralta + Son Familia, Hildward has been touring the world playing sold-out concert halls and stadiums. In 1999 he participated extensively as an advisor, arranger, keyboardist, and music calligrapher in the production of the CD: De Vuelta Al Barrio, which earned them a Latin Grammy Award for best merengue album in 2001. The live CD / DVD release En Vivo (Live) by Chichi Peralta was a huge success in France and other parts of Europe. Hildward produces for Chichi Peralta's Sterling Audio Productora Musical / Cutucupla Films and has worked on productions for different artists in the Dominican Republic and other parts of the caribbean. He participated as arranger, programmer, and keyboardist on Chichi Peralta's 2005 release: Mas Que Suficiente, which once again earned them a Latin Grammy nomination for Best Contemporary Tropical Album.
DUSHI BAND OF ARUBA
In the early 1990s, while on a break from touring the globe with Juan Luis Guerra, Hildward decided to form the Dushi Band (meaning 'sweetest band') and since then has been one of the most popular bands on the island of Aruba and in the Caribbean mainly during carnival festivities. With the Dushi Band Hildward won numerous prizes in music contests and festivals. Hit songs like Breaking Away, Hisa Man Na Laira (Jamming 40 Years Carnival), All The Way, No Miss E, Mexi Can Swing, Jam Frenzy, and MUSIC are just a few of the many successful songs of the Dushi Band in their over 2 decades of existence. Dushi Band was crowned with the Band of the Year prize at the Rotterdam Summer Carnival in 2003 as well as in Aruba's 50th Carnival Celebration in 2004. Hildward has also contributed to hit songs for many other bands and artists on the island. After Juan Luis Guerra briefly retired from stage in 1995, Hildward returned to Aruba where he was once again one of the hardest working producers on the island, as well as a regular performer with the Dushi Band in private parties, night-clubs, hotels and casinos. Dushi Band has been travelling extensively in the Caribbean as well as South America, and Europe performing in dance halls, festivals and concerts.
Dushi Band won the Roadmarch Music Contest of Aruba's 53rd carnival celebration in 2007 with the monumental song MUSIC (Music is we language!). The song, which was interpreted by Teddy Philips, became an even bigger success taking the band to a whole new level, winning the people's choice award "Roadjam". Early 2008 Dushi Band introduced a new fusion of Soca, Trance and House music and released the album "Life's A Beach" containing hits such as HAPPY and PARTY ON. In 2009 they released their CD "Born Ready" with the hits T'IS TIME (KI ORA) and WE READY. In 2010 by popular demand the band released their Soca-Trance-House-Sessions on "Soca In D House". 2011's release "4 U" is a huge success in the islands with hit songs like JAM FRENZY and KLAP E. The band is a total spectacle on the road during Aruba's grand carnival celebration performing on their futuristic "stage on wheels". Due to the huge success of their Soca-Trance-House-Mix, and songs such as Mexi Can Swing, MUSIC, Jam Frenzy, Paty On, T'is Time, Happy and others, Dushi Band is now touring full-time and is continually adding a growing number of fans throughout the Caribbean, South America and Europe.
Hildward Croes runs his production company and recording facility (Vanilla Kingdom). In his free time he can be found relaxing and enjoying the Caribbean sun and the white sandy beaches of his native Aruba.