A place to share and discuss all things related to salsa music.
Such a privilege to have a great salsa band like Tromboranga coming to Australia! Love their version of one of my favourite classics: Agua Que Va a Caer
One of my favourite up and coming salsa artists at the moment is La Maxima 79. Every week at Highball Express I play at least one of their tracks. Make sure you check them out:
This is a really good article i found the other day: Worth a read if you're curious about the origins of salsa.
Credits given where credit is due:) http://www.salsagente.com/
Salsa Music and Dance Around the World
During the 1940s and 50s, Cuban musicians had a huge influence on the New York music scene.But once Fidel came to power, diplomatic relations fell apart between Cuba and the US. Cuban musicians could no longer travel to the United States and Cuban recordings received no air play time. So the Puerto Rican and NuYorican (New Yorkers of Puerto Rican descent) musicians took on The Big Apple single handed.
These days New York salsa has a distinctly Puerto Rican sound ‚ smooth, polished, classic salsa. It tends to follow the jazz structure, incorporating lengthy instrumental breaks to showcase the ability of particular musicians.
Leading musicians playing NewYorican Salsa:
The Spanish Harlem Orchestra
The high concentration of Puerto Ricans and NuYoricans in New York, means that the New York salsa dance style is strongly Puerto Rican influenced, with an emphasis on fast flash footwork.
But, there‚is also a strong Latin Hustle influence in New York salsa dancing. It looks like this is a byproduct of the disco craze, which was HUGE in The Big Apple in the late 70‚s and early 80‚s. Take another look at Saturday Night Fever when you get the chance.Tony Manero (John Travolta) is King of the Latin Hustle in the local Brooklyn discos.
When salsa started to move into the Manhatten based clubs in the late 80‚s, many ex-Hustle dancers brought their disco moves into their salsa.
The current New York salsa style is called Mambo or Salsa On 2. It‚s a blend of Puerto Rican salsa and Latin Hustle with the break on the second beat of the clave. New Yorkers are quite fanatical about Salsa On 2 – there‚s stacks of internet sites which debate the finer points of ‚Salsa On 1″ and ‚Salsa On 2″.Explore them if you dare.
LA doesn’t have a distinctive salsa music style. Local bands adopt the Puerto Rican classics. Cuban salsa music isn’t popular, as it doesn’t work with the LA dance style.
LA style salsa moves are designed to dazzle the spectator – exciting, sexy and flamboyant with lots of dips, spins and drops.
The dominant influences are from Puerto Rican salsa, Latin Ballroom and probably Lindy Hop (an American dance that evolved in Harlem, New York City, in the 1920s and 1930s and originally evolved with the jazz music of that time.)
The LA style “shines” have their roots in Latin Ballroom. Couples break away from each other in the middle of a dance to start “shining”. Women will extend their arms to strike a pose, then play with stylised hip and hair movements.
Men’s shines tend to focus on tricky footwork based on Puerto Rican style salsa.
LA style salsa dancers often develop highly choreographed cartwheel and flip routines into their movements.
The contemporary salsa sound coming out of Cuba is called‚ timba. It’s a fast tempo salsa with a strong afro-cuban influence. Songs will often follow a traditional rumba structure – start slow, break into a core salsa rhythm, then settle into a beautiful call and response vocal pattern. The backing vocalists keep the standard response running while the lead vocalist improvises. Ahi Na Ma!
The other feature of cuban timba is that it often blends other rhythms into the breaks. Reggae, rap and hip hop have a huge following in Cuba, and the timba musicians love to play with those rhythms, and intertwine them into their salsa.
Cuban dancers have a lot of fun at these times – they pull back from a close embrace and launch into rhythmic middle body shudders and amazing buttock trembles ‚ all movements derived from afro-cuban rumba.
Leading musicians playing Cuban Timba:
Los Van Van
Pupy Y Los Que Son Son
NG La Banda
See more about Timba in “History of Salsa and Timba”
Cubans call their salsa dance style ‘casino’.
In the decadent days of Old Havana, all the action in town was going down at the Casinos. The gambling haunts had the money to bring in the big name bands, so that’s where people would go to dance.
Come the revolution, the casinos were closed, and the people started to dance ‘casino’ style in the local community halls. The name stuck, so don’t be confused when a Cuban invites you to go out dancing ‘casino’ you’re off to the salsa club!!
Cuban style salsa differs from the north american salsa styles in that it is ‘circular’ rather than linear. The man constantly moves around the woman in a circular dynamic, checking her out and showing her off. Exhibala!
Salsa Rueda de Casino (Salsa Rueda) Dance
Rueda de Casino is the correct name in Spanish. “Casino Rueda” or “Salsa Rueda” are English versions of the correct name, due to the fact that the grammatical structure of English is a bit backwards from Spanish!
Rueda is a synchronised cuban group dance with constantly exchanging dance partners.
It started out in the 1950’s at the Casino Deportivo in Havana. The people invented a new casino dance, using popular dance steps of the time, danced as a group in a circle or wheel.
In Cuba, the people used to get together in large halls, called ‘Casinos’ hence the name. Some say it started in Santiago de Cuba, others say it started in the famed Casino Deportivo in Havana, or the Casino de la Playa, I don’‚t know for sure, I wasn’t there! When the casinos were closed, people still referred to the dance style by using the name of the places where people used to gather to do it: “casino” and the name stuck. Nowadays people refer to the music as “salsa” and the dance as “casino”.
Casino itself has its roots in the ‘Danz’n, as well as its derivative, the Son Afro-Cuban dances such as Guaguane the Mambo, a rhythm invented by Cachao in the world-famous Tropicana Club in Havana, in 1943, and popularized by Perez Prado in Mexico, and “Cha-cha-cha” invented by Enrique Jorre.
Rueda (as it is commonly called in Cuba) is a form of Casino danced in a round with 2 or more couples exchanging partners when one person calls out the turn names (“Rueda” is Spanish for ‘Wheel’ and ‘Casino’ is known outside of Cuba as ‘Salsa’).
In the old casinos, the rueda circle would only be limited by available space – sometimes as many as 100 couples would dance in the rueda circle !!
Modern rueda uses the same kinds of turns and steps you would normally use in ordinary salsa dancing. Each move has a name, which is called by the leader of the Rueda. Leaders execute the move and pass the follower around to the next leader in the circle. Calls come in quick succession, creating an exciting dynamic between the dancers.
The steps that are considered the ‘core’ steps are danced in a similar fashion around the world and are the basic ones. Some of them are: Al Medio, Abajo, Dile que No, Adios, Adios con Hermana, (called “La Prima” in Cuba and Europe) Echufe (or in Miami: Enchufla), etc. The names may vary somewhat, but those are pretty basic steps, and which are danced in Cuba, as well as in Santiago, Chile; Denver, Colorado and even Positano, Italy!
What happens next is a result of dance in general being a fluid and ever-changing entity, not stagnant. Moves are invented locally that reflect cultural reality. In Chile you might find a step named ‘Entel Chile’, with a move that mocks someone talking on the phone, since Entel is the largest phone company in Chile. In Miami we have a step called ‘Balsero’, which imitates the movements of the waves (‘Balsero’ is someone who comes to the YUMA (USA) by ‘balsa’ or ‘raft’). You won’t find that move in Chile because nobody gets to Chile by raft!
While some of the moves are graceful and intricate, others are just plain funny, such as ‘fly’ where the guys slap their palms together over the girls’ heads in a pretend fly-catcher move (as in “fly ball”, not the kind that buzzes around your food!). After all, what is dancing all about if not to have fun with it?!
The hot salsa sound to come out of Colombia is Salsa Dura – Hard Salsa.
Colombian salsa is beautiful salsa for dancing and very popular among Wellington salsa dancers. It’s got a fast rhythm and a wicked big brass sound, reminiscent of the glory days of cuban mambo.
Leading musicians playing Colombian Salsa:
Fruko Y Sus Tesos
Joe Arroyo Y La Verdad
If you’ve ever seen Colombians dance salsa, it’s amazing – incredibly fast footwork and tight spins. Colombians dance salsa really really close,the bodies of the two dancers glued together – almost completely touching each other, from head to toe.
So why do they dance so close?
1. Coz the dance floors are so crowded, there’s no space for large spins.
2. The music’s so fast that the footwork’s gotta be fast and small.
3. Coz that’s how Colombian’s like their salsa
On this topic of salsa music, there are a few very important icons that have to be acknowledged for their undeniable influence in latin music. One of the first ones I'd like to talk about is Mr. Tito Puente.
Tito Puente was a musical pioneer, mixing musical styles with Latin sounds and experimenting in fusing Latin music with jazz.
Born on April 20, 1923, in New York City, Tito Puente, donned the "King of Latin Jazz," was a pioneering force in Latin music, known for fusing styles and putting a big-band spin on traditional Latin music. In 1948, Puente formed a band that would become known as the Tito Puente Orchestra. A decade later, he released his best-selling album, Dance Mania (1958). His most notable songs include "Babarabatiri," "Ran Kan Kan" and "Oye Como Va." By the end of his decades-long career, Puente was deemed a musical legend in Latin music and jazz circles. He died in New York City in 2000, at age 77.
Famed jazz composer and bandleader Tito Puente was born Ernesto Antonio Puente Jr. in New York City on April 20, 1923. The son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Puente grew up in New York City's Spanish Harlem and became a professional musician at age 13. He learned to play a number of instruments as a child, beginning with the piano and then moving to percussion, saxophone, vibraphone and timbales (paired high-pitched drums).
After an apprenticeship in the historic Machito Orchestra, Puente was drafted into the U.S. Navy and served during World War II.
Returning to New York in 1945, Puente used money from the G.I. Bill to study at New York City's famed Juilliard School. In 1948, he formed a band that would later become known as the Tito Puente Orchestra. By the 1950s, the band was attracting large crowds and Puente, subsequently, became known as a Latin music sensation.
In 1958, Puente released his best-selling album, Dance Mania, and more hit records soon followed, with notable songs including "Babarabatiri," "Ran Kan Kan" and "Oye Como Va." Fans enjoyed the way Puente put a big band spin on traditional Latin dances, mixing Latin sounds with jazz and other genres. Puente later added other Latin and Afro-Cuban rhythms to his repertoire, including cha-cha, merengue, bossa nova and salsa, and his continuous experimentation and creativity earned him a reputation as a musical pioneer.
Throughout his career, which spanned more than five decades, Puente performed with a number of leading jazz performers, including George Shearing and Woody Herman, as well as with many stars of Latin music. In later years, he performed with many symphony orchestras.
Puente received numerous awards for his work, including five Grammy Awards, the first of which he won in 1979 for the album Homenaje a Beny, a tribute to Benny Moré. (His 1976 album The Legend had been nominated for a Grammy in 1977, and he would receive seven more nominations by the mid-1990s.) Puente went on to garner two more Grammys in the 1980s, for the more traditional Latin jazz albums On Broadway and Mambo Diablo, and picked up a fourth in 1990 for Goza Mi Timbal.
In 1999, Puente was awarded an honorary degree at Columbia University. The following year, he received a Latin Grammy Award (best traditional tropical Latin performance)—his fifth Grammy—for Mambo Birdland.
In addition to music, Puente remained dedicated to causes affecting the Latin community throughout his lifetime. In 1979, he created a scholarship fund for Latin percussionists at the Juilliard School. "The scholarship was a dream of mine for a long time," Puente later said, explaining, "In the Latin community, we have a lot of gifted youngsters who don't get an opportunity to develop their talent because of a lack of money. Long after, I'm gone, the fund will be helping kids."
More than a decade later, Oscar Hijuelos created a character based on Puente for his 1989 novel The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love (Puente appeared as himself in the 1992 film adaptation of the book). Around this same time, the jazz musician guest-starred on several television shows, including The Simpsons.
By the end of his decades-long career, Tito Puente, sometimes called the "King of Latin Jazz" or simply "El Rey" ("The King"), had made an indelible mark on the popular culture. In addition to making more than 100 albums and creating more than 200 compositions, Puente had become a highly revered musician, regarded as a musical legend in Latin music and jazz circles.
Tito Puente died on May 31, 2000, at the age of 77, in a New York City hospital where he was awaiting heart surgery. Adored by fans across the globe, several supporters waited in line for days to say goodbye to the popular bandleader. He was survived by wife Margaret Acencio, his partner for 30 years; their two children, Tito Jr., a musician, and Audrey, a newscaster; and a son named Richard, also a musician, from his earlier relationship to Ida Carlini.
* This article can be found on biography.com
Salsa Music is one of the favorite music categories and just few people know the dance in this rhythm because it's too much difficult to understand the rhythm. It's my wish to learn salsa music so I want buy assignments online about salsa music if anyone has assignments or other material then please provide me.
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