Salsa


Salsa


Salsa is one of the most dynamic and important musical phenomena of the 1900’s. In many Hispanic communities, it remains today the most popular style of dance music. Salsa represents a mix of Latin musical genres, but its primary component is Cuban dance music. The roots of salsa originated in Eastern Cuba (Santiago de Cuba, Guantanamo) from the Cuban Son (about 1920) and Afro-Cuban dance (like Afro-Cuban rumba). There, Spanish and Afro-Cuban musical elements were combined, both in terms of rhythm and the instruments used. By mid-century, this music came to Havana where foreign influences were absorbed, particularly American jazz and popular music heard on the radio.

By the end of the l950s, many Cuban and Puerto Rican people including musicians had settled in the U.S., especially in New York. This created the environment where salsa music completed its development. “El Barrio” (Spanish Harlem) was the main place where this occurred. Many bands were formed; immigrants continued to make Afro-Caribbean music, but they adapted the sound to their new world. They were influenced especially by American jazz. Gradually in the 50s and 60s, salsa as we know it today was emerging. The most famous musicians of that time were Tito Puente, called the King of Mambo, and Celia Cruz, known as the Queen of Salsa.

The type of salsa music that Fania promoted came to be referred to as “hard salsa.” Then in the 80s, another style of salsa which was softer and more romantic was born, with artists like Gilberto Santa Rosa. Around this time, Latin musicians began to have an impact on mainstream U.S. music. Latin music was becoming trendy here and beginning Join Now