Dominican musician Jose Luis Guerra trained in classical and jazz guitar at the Berklee College of Music in Massachusetts. In the 1980s returned to the Dominican Republic to form the group 440, which was instrumental in developing the popular "bachata merengue" style. After much success in Lating America, he won his first Latin Grammy in 1991. Guerra's music continued to evolve, incorporating African soukou and other influences.
Guerra's socially conscious album Areito, with the single "Rain Like Coffee" caused controversy in the Dominican Republic for speaking out against inequities that Guerra had never personally experienced.
Guerra is noted for attention to detail. 440 got its name a standard frequency, after his brother observed the group's attention to staying in perfect tune. Guerra's work has also received a Latin Grammy award for album engineering.