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La India Canela is the stage name of Lidia Maria Hernandez Lopez, a gifted accordion player who specializes in tipico-styled meringue. Lopez was born in Limon, Villa Gonzalez, a rural tobacco-farming region in the Santiago Province of the Dominican Republic. Her brother played accordion, and she gravitated to the instrument as a child, quickly showing an affinity for the instrument. Her father apprenticed the young musician to saxophonist Miro Francisco, who also played the accordion, and her formal training began. Juan de Dius, a saxophonist in Fefita La Grande's band, heard Lopez, then 14 years old, and convinced her to form a band. Moving the group to Santiago, Lopez started out on her professional career as a musician, working with several groups during the 1980s, playing tipico with a speed and dexterity that amazed all who saw and heard her. In 2008 Smithsonian Folkways released an album featuring Lopez (as La India Canela), Merengue Tipico from the Dominican Republic.