Wilfrido Vargas (b. Wilfrido Radamés Vargas Martínez, April 24, 1949, Altamira, Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic), was a bandleader, trumpeter, vocalist, arranger, composer and producer who was instrumental in making the merengue style a worldwide phenomena. He began his musical studies early, attending the Municipal Academy of Music beginning at age 10. Before he was 12, he was the trumpet soloist and director of a small local band. It was in his twenties, however, that he begun to have commercial and critical successes. His band, Los Beduinos, produced their first album, Wilfrido Vargas y sus Beduinos, on the Karen label in 1974. It was the first of 17 albums that Vargas would record with Karen, all the while acting as mentor to a new generation of merengue musicians. Half of that first album was written by pianist and composer Sonny Ovalle, who helped develop Los Beduinos' sound and who would later make a major contribution to Vargas' hit albums in the '80s.