Monday, April 14, 2008


When you think of Salsa, what are the first things that come to mind? Food, music, Latino culture? Well, many people that are not familiar with the term, think of the food item that is served on the side of tortilla chips. In this case, we will be talking about the Music, lifestyle, and culture of Salsa.

Salsa goes back many, many years, with its origins beginning in Cuba and sprawling throughout Latin America to North America, more specifically Spanish Harlem. Spanish Harlem is the place where the Puerto Ricans and Cubans resided. The word 'Salsa' began in the 1960's and was a specific style, but there are many styles of Salsa. A couple of styles are, 'Tropical' Salsa and 'Romantic' Salsa. Tropical Salsa is fast paced while the latter is slower. It was in the 70's when a Puerto Rican New Yorker gave the word 'Salsa' a new meaning. He developed a magazine called 'Latin NY' where he used the word 'Salsa' several times in his magazine. Everyone knew he was talking about the tasteful and energetic music that is Salsa.
There was also a Venezuelan DJ, Danilo Escalona who had a radio show in the late 60's which was called, "the hour of flavour, sauce, and soul. The word 'Salsa' had arrived as a convenient cover for a whole raft of contemporary Afro-Cuban and similar music, Particularly in the Americanised style." ( Some of the legends of Salsa are Celia Cruz, who is known as the "Queen of Salsa,"Tito Puente, Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Joe Arroyo, and Oscar De Leon to name a few.

So what attracts people to this style of music? Not only is it Latinos that listen to Salsa but there are so many people of many other cultures that listen and dance to it. There are also people that take classes to learn how to dance this type of music. I recall my own experiences in taking Salsa classes and out of the whole class there was only about five of us that were Latino... and the rest were Asian-American and Caucasian backgrounds. It seemed as though this wave of Salsa was coming through and still is. When I hear Salsa it makes me just want to get up and dance to it. It brings me joy and a sense of fulfillment. It also provides a great cardio work out.

I grew up listening to Spanish music. It is one of those things that is implemented into one's life in your infancy and stays in your roots.

Check out these links for more on Salsa:



You tube video of Marc Anthony in the Movie "El Cantante," where he portrays another Salsa Legend Hector Lavoe:

1 comment:

Cecilia said...

I've heard salsa music ofcourse but I didn't know that there was an Americanized style. What is the difference between this one and the traditional salsa music?