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There are many opinions about where salsa originated as well as who coined the term "Salsa".  Here are a few opinions I gathered from different studies.
Please add your views and opinions below.





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Name: Strictly Salsa
03 Jan 1999


Salsa is not easily defined. Though many get caught up in the age old debate as to who "invented" 
salsa (Cubans or Puerto Ricans), the truth of the matter is that salsa has and will always continue 
to have a great number of influences that have each played a large part in its evolution.


Cuba established its identity by combining the influences of its entire population -- white, black, 
and mulatto. Music played an important role in the formation of such an identity. The genre that 
was to succeed in creatively fusing equal amounts of white- and black- derived musical features 
was the son, which subsequently came to dominate the culture not only in Cuba, but most of the 
Spanish-speaking Caribbean as well.

The son originated in eastern Cuba during the first decades of the century. From the start it 
represented a   mixture of Spanish-derived and Afro-Cuban elements. The basic two-part formal of the son has remained the same from the 1920s to the present, and the vast majority of salsa songs (which Cubans would called son or guaracha) also follow this pattern.

Another development that occurred in the 1940s was the invention of the mambo. Essentially, the mambo was a fusion of the Afro-Cuban rhythms with the big-band format from Swing and Jazz. Although bands in Cuba like   Orquestra Riverside were already playing Mambo-style in the 1940s, the invention of the Mambo is usually credited to Cuban bandleader Pérez Prado, who spent most of his years in Mexico and elsewhere outside the island. Bandleaders like Beny Moré combined Mambo formats with son and guaracha (a similar up-tempo dance  genre). The Mambo reached 
its real peak in New York City in the 1950s, where bands led by Machito and the Puerto Ricans Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez incorporated Jazz-influenced instrumental solos and more sophisticated arrangements. With Prado based chiefly in Mexico and the New York mambo bands developing their own styles, Cuban music had begun taking a life of  its own outside the island and the stage was set for the salsa boom of the 1960s.


From the early 1800s until today, Puerto Ricans have avidly borrowed and mastered various Cuban music styles, including the Cuban danzón, son, guaracha, rumba, and bolero. Indeed, the richness of Puerto Rican musical culture derives in large part from the way it has adopted much of Cuban music, while contributing its own dynamic folk and contemporary popular music. Puerto Rico should not be regarded as simply a miniature Cuba, especially since genres like the seis, bomba,  and plena are distinctly Puerto Rican creations, owing little to Cuban influence in their traditional forms.

Since the 1920s Puerto Rican music has been as much a product of New York City as the island itself, due to the fundamental role the migration experience has come to play in Puerto Rican culture. As a result, Puerto Rican culture can not be conceived of as something that exists of only or even primarily in Puerto Rico; rather, it has become inseparable from  "Nuyorican/Newyorican" culture, which itself overlaps with black and other Latino subcultures  in New York and, for that matter, with mainland North American culture as a whole.

By the 1940s, Nuyoricans like timbalero Tito Puente and vocalist Tito Rodriguez had become the top bandleaders and innovators, and the Latin dance music scene in New York came to outstrip that on the island. (Even today, there are more salsa bands and clubs in New York than in Puerto Rico).


The Rise of Salsa is tied to Fania Records, which had been founded in 1964 by Johnny 
Pacheco, a bandleader with Dominican parentage and Cuban 
musical tastes. Fania started out as a fledging independent label, with Pacheco distributing records to area stores from the trunk of his car. From 1967, Fania, then headed by Italian-American lawyer Jerry Masucci, embarked on an aggressive and phenomenally successful program of recording and promotion.

Particularly influential was composer-arranger Willie Colón, a Bronx prodigy. Colón's early albums, with vocalists Héctor Lavoe, Ismael Miranda and Ruben Bládes, epitomized the Fania style at its best and captured the fresh sound, restless energy, and aggressive dynamism of the barrio youth.

Every commercial music genre needs a catchy label, and there was a natural desire for a handier one than "recycled Cuban dance music". Hence Fania promoted the word salsa, which was already familiar as a bandstand interjection.

The 1970s were the heyday of salsa and of Fania which dominated the market. By the end of   the decade, however, salsa found on the defensive against an onslaught of merengue and hip-hop and an internal creative decline.


By the late 1970s, salsa abandoned its portrayals of barrio reality in favor of sentimental love lyrics.  Most of what is promoted on radio and records is the slick, sentimental salsa romantica of crooners like Eddie Santiago, Luis Enrique, and Lalo Rogriguez rather than more aggressive Afro-Caribbean salsa Caliente or Salsa Gorda.  Perhaps there has been some criticism as to this   new sub-genre but one cannot deny that it has managed to keep salsa alive and well. The change   is also reflected in the fact that most of today's bandleaders are not trained musicians and seasoned club performers like Willie Colon or Oscar de Leon but cuddly, predominantly white singers distinguished by the pretty-boy looks and supposed sex-appeal like Giro or Salsa Kids .

Salsa remains essentially alive and well, within its limited sphere. Its market has grown in Latin America and Spain. The 1990s have seen former hip-hop/house singers La India and Marc Anthony return to latin music as part of the new wave of salsa stars, attracting new followers with their updated images. There is a glimmer of hope with stars such as Victor Manuelle and Rey Ruiz rising to fame in the current "scene" and many hope that this will lead to a resurgence of the glory years of the 50s and 70s.


Name: Carlos P. Pagan
Date: 20 Jan 1999


This is my opinion: I am Puerto Rican, and I grew up as many kids do in this country with all that goes with being brought up by my family in another culture attempting to adapt to this country.

My father was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico, raised in New York. My father taught me Salsa, however, then it resembled Mambo more than Salsa. I began when I was eight years old. As a child he told me of my lineage and instilled that I should be proud of it and I am. During this time he often spoke of our culture socially and its contributions musically which was hubbed on Mambo, Cha-Cha, and Salsa.

He spoke of often how Salsa evolved over a period of time spanning almost 15-20 years. He played his music and taught me to dance as to I have done with my son.

Make no mistake, the music which they called Tropical, and or Latin Music (They-meaning the American Culture and the standards that they always inevitably seem to set) had its beginnings in Cuba with the father of Musica del Tropical, Benny Morre and later Chao.

Benny was truly the father of the ritmo especial, and the music was soon to be labeled as the tempo for Mambo. Cuba was highly commercialized in the eyes of many Americans due to the associations in the late twenties, thirties and forties of American Gangsters and their associations with Cuba's leaders. I therefore grew up listening to these guys and the music that was apart of mine and my fathers world. People like Beeny, Chao, Celia Curz, Eddie Palmeri and so on.

In the late thirties and early forties Cuba was highly visible and became a focal point for 
Americans to look upon Cuba as the exotic and forbidden island. Mambo was heralded all Cuban and that was that. Cuba took credit for Salsa because of its presents and the allure of it mystic.

In all actuality according to my father and what he told be as a boy the music and Mambo came from Cuba. Salsa on the other hand evolved out of Mambo and Cha Cha. Los Borenquens enjoyed Mambo but it was too slow and unexciting.

Cha Cha came along from Puerto Rico and was the rage but it to fell to routine. What I was told was that in an effort to dance effortlessly and have fun without the restrictions of Mambo and Cha Cha the Puerto Ricans developed Salsa. Which is a combination of Mambo and Cha Cha.

By the way in the Music Category for the Grammies now this type of Music is now referred to as Afro-Latin Music. for many years the word to most Americans simply meant you were Mexican. Even today many Mexicans think and take credit for Caribbean music and dances.

Salsa vino sobre como una evolución de dos bailes Puerto Ricans del puerto generalmente baile y lo usaba como una manera hablar a su mujer y los seduce. Como mi padre me dijo una vez es una manera hacer a la mujer dar cuenta de usted pero debe ser muy bueno.

Cuando lo interpreto está sigue como:

Mambo: Cuba ChaCha: Puerto Rico Salsa: Puerto Rico Merenque: Republica dominicano Rumba: América del Sur Rumba Bolero: América del Sur Cumbia: América del Sur Modificó Cumbia: México Punta: Centroamérica, Honduras

Name: Luis F. Frontado
Date: 08 Feb 1999


Salsa is mixture of Afro-Cuban music it all originated from Guaguanco from this we get Rumba, Tumba and Macumba later on in the 20s Son originated from these dances and later came Guaracha,Cha Cha Cha and Mambo to me Salsa is mixture of all these types of rythems and lets not also forget Cumbia and American Swing as well has been added to todays modern Salsa

Name: Roberto  Montano
EMail: Montr68@sunysuffedu
Date: 29 Mar 1999


Guess what, I just decided to add to your comments. Firstly, the roots of many of our rhythms can be traced to W. Africa, from Nigeria,Congo, and Yoruba. To date many of the rhythms are still played in their original form which are used in toques, bembe's, and rumba's. These rhythms come from the lucmi religion. it is from here that the base of our rhythms are generated from. Any way I have to go to a class now. But I would appreciate if you would contact me. See ya!

Name: rafael ilarraza
Date: 05 Apr 1999


hey guys nice page,im from puerto rico and your info is precise.IM 
doing a term paper for the university and any info you nice folks can 
give me will be greatly apreciated.kuddos to yo all, Rafael Ilarraza llaurador

Name: José Luis
Date: 12 Apr 1999


For latin music and more visit my page at:

Name: Masanda Boyd
Date: 21 Jun 1999


Salsa's roots are definitely West African. When the Africans were brought over 
from the West African coast between the Gulf of Guinea and the present-day 
Republic of Angola to Cuba, these men, women and children from various cultures 
(yoruba, bantu, karabali, arura and congo)took with them their religion, music and 
culture. Once they arrived, their Spaniard owners forbade them to have in their possession
 their native instruments. As a result, they used wooden fish-packing cases (cajones) and 
other makeshift instruments. From this amalgam of instruments appeared what is now
 known as rumba from which emerged today's mambo and son to which later evolved 
into modern salsa.


Name: Pamela Esqubilla
Date: 04 Jul 1999


I think that salsa music is a type of music that 
brings the on the edge side of you out. It makes you want to dance. 
Even some gringos find it amusing. I'm not a big hispanic talker and even though 
I barley understand it I love it. It brings you up when your down and just clears your
 mind that is the beutey of salsa ~y~ cumbia rythms. And I think they should be mor exclused.

Name: Lourdes
Date: 27 Sep 1999


Hi , I'm a proud dominican/puerto rican dancer and all my life I love the sound 
and the joy that salsa brings to me. I've been dancing sence I was 7 years old and 
now I'm looking for a dance school that teaches latindance because I want to keep 
on dancing but now a dance from my back ground. Because every time I hear the 
trumpets and the drums I can not help getting up and dance and I love to dance my latin music!

Name: rafael melendez
Date: 15 Oct 1999


hi,rafael from boston, born in P.R. i think salsa was created by puertorricans in new york>  i grew up in new york ,pioneers were willie colon
,raffy leavitt {la selecta},hector lavoy, cuba there was no such thing call {salsa}>it
 origin from cuban music like guaguanco<son< bembe>but when the puertorricans mix all those diferent music it came to be salsa.IT HAS A DIFERENT SOUND its not guaguanco anymore or {son}or bembe>is unique more modern and more famous,and puerto rico has created the most popular salseros,in history, we has the best> we gave the name the fame and we expanded all over the world to be what is today. so we should get the credit.not cuba.   Tito Puente went to Japan and introduce the salsa< thats why they now have orquesta de la  luz.and orquesta del sol,and japanes are dancing and singing salsa.i also think that other countries are playing salsa but they all have there own type of playing it.maybe is because of there rythym and culture diferences. but for me there is nothing like the SALSA FROM PUERTO RICO.

Name: lupe morales
Date: 28 Oct 1999


there's not such thing as salsa,that is cuban music ''son'' guaracha,etc.Calling 
cuban music salsa is ignorance,the name of that music is son,cuban son and its
 belongs to the cuban people.

Name: Antonio Trujillo
Date: 29 Oct 1999


My opinion is that some people that were not cuban played alongside cubans while
 this whole thing was going on and they learned from the cubans. They became good 
at what they did and also popularized the music which was good. They added their talent and other things to the music but the foundation of it has always been Cuban. I was born in cuba and when I was there we heard all kinds of music from other countries but rarely did I hear cubans playing other peoples music. I think a lot of other countries take from cuban music but never admit it. Some people say its african music because there are drums in it but then how about the trumpet, piano and flute to name some instruments that are not commonly used in old west african music. If it was only drums then it would not even be son. 
The tumbao played in son is not the same they play in a bembe. Puerto Ricans have made a lot of good music but they are not the only ones that have taken salsa all over the world Cubans also tour in Japan Europe and africa. Sometimes I hear salseros say things and their band play somethin that I have heard way back in music from cuba and people act like its new. Who knows maybe 50 years from no they will say merengue is not domincan. We have many different types  of music that we originated and are always being creative and I think we deserve more respect.

Name: Edith Ramos
Date: 31 Oct 1999


I love salsa thats my life i have salsa in my blood i fell something very nice when im 
dancing in my house thats old i can said i love salsa

Name: Paul Clifford
Date: 10 Nov 1999


see my www page to get a brief history of Mambo, Salsa & Cha Cha.

Name: Alicia Underlee
Date: 15 Nov 1999


Finally, somebody who knows something about Latin music! My Spanish class is
 looking at music and dance in-depth and after searching through vauge articles 
I was grateful to find an informative interesting site like yours. Keep up the good work.

Name: Patricia Gonzalez
Date: 16 Nov 1999


Great Information I'm doing a research paper for my English class and when 
I spoke about Salsa only one person knew what I was talking about. I hope to 
intrest more people with this paper. Please send me any more info on the history 
of salsa & merengue.

Name: LaTisha Cotto
Date: 21 Nov 1999


Salsa music has soul. That's all there is to it. I know not of it's origins, only the love and 
pride that flows through my veins when I hear it's beat. The thing about music is that it
 has the ability to unite nations, bringing the best of all worlds. Salsa has roots in Puerto 
Rico, Cuba, Dominican Republic, etc. because of the people who live there. The reason 
why it has such a unique blend of Afro-rhythms is due to the migration of Africans 
(because of slavery) to the islands. I am interested in learning more because one day 
I am going to sing salsa music and make it my own. Guess what? I'm Mexican- American. 
Music touches us all. Love and blessings to those who are reading.

Name: BB L. Muré
Date: 29 Nov 1999


I don't know for certain where Salsa began. Some say it originated in Cuba and some 
say in Puerto Rico. I believe that it all started in Africa. That is where the root of Salsa, 
Merengue and all Latin dances began. But wherever it came from, it sure feels good 
when I do it. Dancing Salsa makes me feel like a million bucks.

Si! Definitivamente!

Name: Sparrow
Date: 08 Jan 2000


Salsa originates from Afro-Cuban music and American bee-bop. Guys called 
Zizzy, Bird, Chico, Chano, Mario and Machito got the ball rolling in the 1940s 
(ie Mambo Kings). Then guys like Tito P, Tito R, Beny and Perez formed 
Afro-Cuban orchestras that people would go see at dance halls and dance their 
b***s off (ie Palladium). When you listen to the the uptempo Mambos from that
 period believe me you hear what we call Salsa.

Name: Sparrow
Date: 08 Jan 2000


Salsa Part 2- In the 1960s Puerto Ricans, especially from New York, contributed 
greatly to the Afro-Cuban sound. They added their own "sabor" to what was being 
played and something slightly new emerges from Mambo. All of a sudden it's not only a 
Cuban thing but you got Puerto Ricans playing tumbao, Jewish guys playing piano and 
Dominicans directing bands (ie Fania All-Stars). Boom! What we call Salsa is born. And all 
of this would be nothing without the dancers. Pa' Los Rumberos!

Date: 09 Feb 2000



Name: Patrick Hagendijk
Date: 09 Feb 2000


It is very interesting to see how the music of salsa evolved during all these years. However
 another interesting issue might be how people did dance in the past and do salsa nowadays. 
You probably might see another big evolution during all those years. From 1890 (danson) till 
2000 (say; american style). Th nevolvement will show an enrichment as well as a
 impoverishment. The enrichment is due to the large public now being able to dance 
salsa as well. Lots of them did analyse salsa and invented all kinds of fancy turns one never 
would have held as possible, giving it an almost acrobatic view. Beautiful to watch! However, 
where once "soul", "corazon", cultural background and identity were the core-items, these 
are gone by now. The majority does not recognise or feel this cultural background, simply 
because it's not theirs. Besides, one does not have time to feel this, neither to express corazon 
and soul because all the complicated turns, which now are the items you will be judged by, do 
cost a lot of time and attention. Nowadays it's more pretending and acting. This of course is 
very general and lots of exceptions do exist. When observing a couple doing the old style, you 
will feel the warmth they express, giving a peaceful feeling inside, the new style couple on the 
other hand will fill you by amazement and joy, giving you a more agressive feeling for wanting 
to do one day such turns you as well....... Salsa is a never ending story as it should be!!!!!!

Name: Maribel B. Taylor
Date: 09 Feb 2000


Dear sir or Madam, Salsa was started in Urargay and Argentina. Salsa 
means dance as you like or want.

Name: carlos espinosa
Date: 13 Feb 2000


yo lo que se, es que no hay que discutir si la salsa es de cuba o 
puerto rico a como le llaman a muchos ritmos tropicales. lo unico 
que se es que el termino salsa salio de la gente boricua en new york.

Name: Carlos A. Espinosa III
Date: 13 Feb 2000



Name: Bernice Maldonado-Morant
Date: 20 Feb 2000


From my understanding, salsa originated in Puerto Rico 
in the early 1900s. At this time "salsa" consisted mainly 
of african beats (mainly percussion). Once Puerto Ricans 
migrated to the United States (New York), jazz was
 incorporated into salsa, thus evolving into the salsa we know today.

Name: Moto
Date: 23 Feb 2000


Hello I am a gringo from Canada. I have played in various heavy metal, hard core, 
blues, R and R bands for over 20 years and still counting! We have arguments 
(hard discussions) of the origin of the music we play and where it comes from also. 
They can go on forever! Each person makes a valid point, and the other a valid 
counter point! All I know is I LOVE SALSA! Where this comes from I do not know. 
My family origins are of eastern European origin (Ukrainian) so it is not in my "blood", 
one might say. However a love of music and rhythms are. I first really had a good listen 
to salsa on one of my many trips to Cuba. Before that it was kinda just a background noise 
emanating from certain shops and stores in some of the market places here in Toronto. We 
do not have a large Caribbean Spanish population as found in some U.S. cities. But as I listened
 to it more and (you can not escape it in Cuba) I started to pick it a part and take a real hard
 look and listen. In doing so I fell in Love with it. My Spanish is poor at best so it's hard for
 me to understand some of the lyrics. But this however has no bearing on my love for it. 
I was so happy to see that the convention was coming to Toronto its like a dream come true! 
I have two left feet and I am a complete oaf on the dance floor, but I could watch people dance 
to salsa for hours! I don't really know where it came from and for that matter don't really care. 
All I know is if salsa doesn't more you must be DEAD…Moto

Name: osmany estrada
Date: 08 Mar 2000


Mi nombre es osmany soy santiagero tengo 21 anos de edad vivi en puerto un ano y las 
personas son las mejores del mundo no le quito merito a la musica de ningun pais y meno 
la puertorriquena creo que cadacual tiene lo suyo a mi opinion es una falta de cultura que a 
x ritmos se le cambie el nombre, el nombre de salsa es un nombre comercial con todo el 
respeto que se meresen los creadores de este nombre. Yo soy de miami y me asombra la 
falta de cultura que hay en esta ciudad,a las personas se educan y a esta comunidad hay que
 educarla y la responsabilidad es de las emisoras de radio que todo lo que tocan lo hasen por 
dinero no hay un programa que sirba en la radio de miami son los mismos cantates y las 
mismas canciones una ves mas hay falta de cultura en miami. porque llamarle salsa al son
a la quaracha al chachacha,rumba,mambo,charanga,chanqui que es el son oriental en sus 
comiensos a la timba esto son al gunos ritmos cubanos para poner ejemplos pero que pasa 
con los ritmos puertorriquenos, para mi una plena noes una salsa ni un son y mucho meno 
un merenque por eso y pormuchomas hay que educar a las personas. Otro punto que hay 
que tocar es el delas otras comunidades a parte de las puertorriquenas,cubana y dominicana
 hay una gran descriminasio con esas culturas en miami creo que todos tenemos derechos de
 aprender de otras culturas y la opurtunidad tiene que ser pareja miami es de todos yo imbito 
a las comunidades de miami a que canten,bailen y aque hagan buena musica para que sean 
escuchados y mui importante no imiten a nadie para que su musica perdure para siempre y
jamas sean cuestionados

Me gustaria segir con esto pero no tengo tiempo si ustedes creen que nesesitan un escape
 musical algo bueno y sin fines de lucros yo les recomiendo 88.9 FM un programa de 8:00 PM 
asta 12:00 AM llamado fusion latina lo mejor de nuestra musica latina llamada por su berdadero
 nombre. grasias por soportarme y suerte para todos viva las culturas del mundo entero, viva 
la musica.

"si yo no hubiese sido cubano me hubiese custado cerlo Jose Marti.  disculpen las faltas de 


Name: maggie
Date: 11 Mar 2000


Salsa originated in Cuba. Most of the dances originated from the African 
music that the slaves brought to Cuba and introduced into the culture

Name: Melinda
Date: 15 Mar 2000


Salsa originated from Cuba

Name: Francisco Perez
Date: 17 Mar 2000


I think all of those who think "salsa" was created in New York should listen to the work of Celia Cruz and Beny More recorded in the 50s and compare it to the "modern salseros". You will realize that the only difference is in the quality of sound. If you are dubious about it, ask those who know like the master Tito Puente who said "the only salsa I know comes in bottle, I play Cuban music". Remember that Cuban music and musicians have been absent in US for 40 years, but that absece will finally be over and many "kings of salsa" will have no more to do than go back to school when they get lost with the guaguanco, rumba, son, danzon, guaracha, guajira and the list goes up to 30 other different styles. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Name: Fran Garcia-Oyola
Date: 17 Mar 2000


I am a 49 year professional salsera. I dance to the Palladium Style - Tito Puente. My aunt Olga who danced with TP and Tito Rodriguez taught me. I have been dancing over 40 years. In 1976, in the Bronx there was jam session with Fania All Stars. Celia Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Eddie Palmeri, Charlie Palmeri, Larry Harlow and many more began to play and Celia Cruz said " Vamos hacer una "Salsa". After that the Mambo, Cha Cha, Guaracha, Pachanga y Charanga and Merengue became what you now call "SALSA". Before Salsa was called Salsa it was called "Latin Jazz". I danced at the Palladium, St. George's, Corso, Casino Broadway in the 60's. I was there to live all what you now call "Salsa". The Palladium Dancers or Dance was what you call today Dancing on "2". Last week, I went to Eddie Torres work shop and when we saw eachother we cried and laughed, we had not seen one another in other 33 years. Eddie, his sister Shortie and I were one of the heavies at Corso.

I hope this will help. But you can check with other who are my age to verify this statement.

La Salsera De Richmond - Fran on "2"

Name: Fran Garcia-Oyola
Date: 17 Mar 2000


Hi this is La Salsera De Richmond - Fran on "2". I forgot to mentioned Willie Colon who went to Jr High with me. "Burger" Junior High School in the Bronx, 143rd between Willis and Brook Ave. He too was instrumental in the development of "Salsa".

Come check me out on DC Website.Chao!!

Name: Mario Rafael Ambrosio Pardavell
Date: 13 Apr 2000


Que tal amigos de Latin Dance, soy una persona a la que le encanta la musica tropical y el baile, les escribo desde México, quisiera saber si aqui puedo conseguir susu videos... Mis comentarios hacerca de los origenes de la salsa son que el grupo Niche y la Sonora Ponceña influyeron en gran medida al estilo actual que se tiene de la salsa que es muy diferente al que habia por ejemplo en los años 60, con la inclusión de la salsa romantica de Willie Gonzalez, Eddie Santiago entre otros la salsa tomo un rumbo muy diferente.

Name: Marie-Antoinette Pérez-Brosset
Date: 17 Apr 2000


I am a Latina living in Paris, France. My passion is salsa dancing. My frustration is that in France the French have been led to believe that the "real salsa" comes from Cuba. Little attention is paid here to the other styles of salsa such as Puerto Rican salsa and little or nothing is known here of New York style or LA style salsa. Some of the French do dance Columbian salsa.

In addition, few of any of the dance instructors are of Latin origin.

I do not want to give up passion but I find it really sad that so many people here are misinformed.

Name: Antje Guthan
Date: 04 May 2000


Un saludo a todos los salseros del mundo!

Despues de haber leído casi todos los comentarios me gustaría anadir lo siguiente: Para mi no vale la pena discutir si la Salsa tiene influencias de no sé de dónde. Está caro para todos nosotros que es una mezcla de varios ritmos (cubanos, puertoriquenos, africanos,...) - por esta mezcla se llama SALSA. Lo que sí está seguro que la palabra SALSA ha sido criado en Nueva York combinando todos estos ritmos en un solo baile. Pero lo más importante y lo más bonito es que cada vez hay más gente a que le guste escuchar y aprender a bailar la SALSA en todas partes del mundo. Me parece que la SALSA tiene algo mágico que cautiva a todos que una vez han estado en contacto con esta música sabrosa.

Para terminar quiero decir que yo también me he comprado los videos de Josie y de verdad estoy encantantada de tantas vueltas y tecnicas que pude aprender a través des los videos.

Al final una pequena información para los que han solicitado informaciones sobre la historia de Salsa Bajo pueden tener un monton de informaciones sobre este tema (tambien en inglés).

Me despido con un saludo a todos los Salseros del mundo y


Date: 05 May 2000


Look up the history from the carrrbean, salsa came from the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba. African mixed tunes with mambo and plena from the islands.

Name: Carmen M. Vasquez
Date: 05 May 2000


I understand salsa is a combination of the Cha-Cha and mambo. When I first started to learn how to dance in the 50's I started with the mambo; then the cha-cha came out and before I knew it was doing salsa; of course not the way they do it today with the swings and turns; it was mostly in the hips. When Buena Vista Social Club came out, I found that salsa came from Cuba way back when. But the muscians who started it all were never recognized until today in their old age where they made their debughe. I thought that was incredible, espeicially Ruben Gonzalez who is still playing the piano. I have follower of latin music for years with all the musicians who were popular in the 50's and up until now, and have never heard anything like him; he is unique. I have up-dated myself with Marc Anthony, Ruben Blades, Ricky Martin, Oscar DeLeon, etc. I am also out there taking salsa lessons in order to learn the new moves and styles of salsa. I took a great interest in the Columbian style salsa for some reason; I just like the way they move. I am happy you gave me this opportunity to express the way I feel about dancing. Music is powerful and the only thing you can recapture in life. I belive salsa started in Cuba.

Name: Amanda
Date: 11 May 2000


This is the best page I have ever been to for Latin dancing. I am at very good school in Canada and was assigned to submit a paper on Latin dancing. I have been searching the web for a long time to get any useful info. I could not believe my luck when I stumbled upon this page. All of your info. is accurate and very reliable. I aced my paper thanks to this site. Anybody who is looking for information on Latin/salsa dance is lucky to have found this site. I will definitely be telling my friends about this place. Thanks for the help. See ya!!

Name: Patsy  Daniza.
Date: 12 May 2000


Hola todo el mundi mi nombre es patsy daniza pero todo el mundo me dise lily.Para empezar soy dominican, y resido en new york pero como buena caribeña que soy dejenme desirle que me facina la salsa y como tal mencanta bailarla pero mas cuando me encuentro un parejo que sepa bailar tan biem como yo puesto que vivo la salsa yya que me doi tanta brega aprender a bailarla pues tengo que disfrutarla.Dejenme desirles que no importa si vino de cuba, o africa, lo importante es que todo tenemos que reconoser que los boricuas lo sacaron adelante y no lo estoy disiendo porque mi esposo sea boricua si no porque es una realidad que todo el mundo tiene que reconoser.En conclusin sim puerto rico no hay salsa que viva quisqueya y puerto rico por darme tan buen marido. Gracias.

Name: J. Mat Rodriguez
Date: 16 May 2000


Salsa comes from a variety of influences and countries. The most obvious and credited country is Cuba, the birthplace of the cha-cha, songo, bombo, and many other styles. Puerto Rico contributed its own rich Carribean influences as well as musicians such as Tito Puente and Celia Cruz. But, the origin of clave, the prominent beat in salsa, is from Africa originally. Salsa is rhythm and soul to the highest degree. The rhythm of salsa is probably the most recognizable trait. And that rhythm is originally from the birthplace of man, Africa. Later influences from Spain, the Caribbean, coupled with modern influences such as jazz and rock, have formed what we call salsa.

Name: Philipp
Date: 20 May 2000


Is it not true to say that salsa in its continued development (why is it that we have jumped to conclusions in so many other dances - about the moves they should contain, but are continuing to build salsa?) has pretty much ripped off all the good moves from other dances, be they jive, tango, or whatever? To me it seems almost as though the research that we do about the origins of salsa is bound to come to no conclusion since much of the evolution takes place not in institutions of dance in the conventional sense (universities, official competitions, professionally trained, registered dancers), but in nightclubs, ghettos, streets, in one word, places that leave no documents to be studied.

Name: Meredith
Date: 25 May 2000


I think salsa dance originated from the cave man. When they danced under the moon for not rain, but food. Not many know these facts, but I do-- b/c I'm a genius. Or it could've originated from insects. I can't explain this one, but it could be true. Or... maybe some talented, coordinated, Latins decided to form a new style of dance one day... EVER THINK OF THAT?

Name: Philipp
Date: 28 May 2000


Hi (was it Molly?)! For a history of cha-cha, try the url

It dispels the myth that the 4-and-1 beat is the origin of the curious name of this dance, and that it came from African tribal dances (whoever made that up?). Of course, what is presented on that website is not the entire story. There is at least one name - Pierre Lavelle - that goes with cha-cha as we know it, i.e. the conversion of cha-cha into a modern "ballroom" type dance. Also try

I know nothing about the coming into being of the American style, however.:)

Name: Jessica
Date: 28 May 2000


I've heard that salsa has originated in Cuba with the influence of Afro-cuban artists.

Name: martha hansen
Date: 29 May 2000


I believe that "salsa" is originated from Cuba.The word salsa means:spicy sauce made from tomatoes, chillies, onions. As the music has a combination of rithymes and the rithymes are made from people expressing their souls and as well people from different nationalities as we all know cubans are since the begin and specially after Fidel took over Cuba and mixed people.

Name: Caitlin Stechschulte
Date: 29 May 2000


I was looking for history on salsa dancing and was so relieved when I came upon this site. I have to give a report in spanish on salsa and this info was just what I needed. Thank you so much

Name: Cubanazo
Date: 07 Jun 2000


Hola, Mi nombre es Angel y nací en Cuba, en la provincia de Villa Clara. Tengo 25 años. Gracias a dios hace 5 años logre escapar de mi propio país. La isla mas linda del mundo, allí me crié y estudié música en el conservatorio nacional de la Habana. Desde muy niño me gusto aprender mucho de la cultura y la música cubana. Hoy por hoy solo les puedo decir con mucho orgullo, que esta música tan linda que llamamos salsa no es otra cosa que el son cubano, desde que vivía en Cuba, admiré y bailé mucha salsa puertoriqueña, colombiana, venezolana y de la que fuera. Porque eso si tenemos los cubanos, bailamos de todo. Cuando llegué a este país me dí cuenta el por qué muchas personas parecen estar confundidas aserca de donde vino la salsa. Muchas personas en este país no conocen quien fue Benny More, Enrique Jorrín, Arsenio Rodriguez, Miguelito Cuní y tantos de los grandes musicos que ha dado Cuba. Todo se lo debemos a ese gran hijo de su madre tenemos allá en la isla que ha dejado a Cuba paralizada en la historia. Yo estoy de acuerdo y admiro a los boricuas por su contribución a la salsa, por mantener viva la música cubana que como hermanos les enseñamos a tocar, al igual que compartimos nuestra bandera. Los puertoriqueños sin duda han hecho mucho por la comercialización de la Salsa en los Estados Unidos, por su calidad de ciudadanos americanos y personas libres, aunque los cubanos del éxilio, tambien han contribuido mucho, cantantes como willie chirino, Hansel y Raúl, Rey Ruíz, Celia Cruz y muchos mas han hecho mover a toda la Florida, New York, California, ETC. Estados unidos es el sítio donde todos los latinos nos volvemos una sola raza. Pero que pasa con la música que ha estado sonando en Cuba por estos 40 años de dictadura, la música que se quedo en los años 50', pero que heredamos de nuestros abuelos, la música que vino de Africa y que los criollos cubanos mezclaron con el paso doble, el flamenco y la contradanza para entonar en sus guateques campesinos, la música que Fidel Castro quizo cambiar por consignas comunistas y les cerró todas las puertas, la música que solo escuchó y escucha el pueblo cubano, la música hecha con instrumentos practicamente rudimentarios porque los cubanos no tienen el apoyo de grandes firmas disqueras como la Sony ó BMG music para comprar instrumentos de calidad y grabar un disco. Esa música que Yo tuve el privilegio de escuchar, es la mejor música de todo el mundo, solo que no tiene un sello comercial, solo que sigue con su nombre orignal "Son" y no "Salsa," como se le llama para venderla. Y para ese que por ahí que dice que el nombre de salsa se lo pusieron al Son cubano, los puertoriqueños, que en Cuba la palabra Salsa no existía, esta algo equivocado y me parece que habla sin base, LA PRIMERA VEZ QUE LA PALABRA SALSA SE ESCUCHO COMO CANCION, FUE EN EL AÑO 1930, CUANDO IGNACIO PIÑEIRO Y SU SEPTETO NACIONAL GRABARON EN "LA HABANA" LA CANCION "HECHALE SALSITA." Les recomiendo compren un disco del Septeto Nacional de Igancio Piñeiro y escuchen esta canción, desde ese entonces ya en Cuba pegó la palabra Salsa cuando este gran exito era tarareado por todos los cubanos. yo todavia me pregunto por qué la gente escribe cosas sín tener una base para ello. yo creo que la gente debe de estudiar un poco mas, informarce y despues hablar. Ya va a hacer una semana de la muerte del Rey del Mambo, Tito Puente,aquien siempre admiré y recordaré, él siempre dijo que salsa era lo que se le hecha a la comida y que salsa era solamente como se le llamaba a la música cubana, la música que comenzó en los años 1700s con el nombre de Danzón, despues pasó a son y de ahí surgieron varios géneros como la guaracha, guaganco, rumba, conga, bolero, mozambique, guajira, habanera, zapateo y muchos géneros que los cubanos con su alegría y amor por la música cultivarón y desarrollarón hasta que a finales de los 30, Antonio Arcano y Orestes Lopez, inventan el mambo de la charanga, género que evoluciona por completo el baile y sonido del son, el cúal fué dado a conocer al mundo por Perez-Prado , El Mambo dió origen al Cha-Cha-Cha, creado por jorrín, y otros ritmos que buscaban comercialización. El Mambo fué sin duda alguna el sonido que abrió el apetito por la música cubana a todos los seguidores de nuestra música. Muchos de los grandes soneros incorporarón el nuevo ritmo del mambo a la manera en que hacian el son, como el GRAN BENNY MORE, El barbaro del Ritmo, a quien el pueblo cubano recuerda con mucho orgullo por sus pegajosas melodias, que todavia incitan a bailar al mejor salsero. Figuras como Oscar de León se inspirarón en la música del Benny para lanzarce al mundo del Son. Celia Cruz, La reina de la Salsa simpre lo ha dicho, desde que cantaba en Cuba con La Sonora Matancera: La Salsa, es el son cubano, el son que ella y mucho mas han estado tocando en New York por años. La música cubana solo tiene un nombre y se llama "Son montuno" ó "Son oriental" ó el primer nombre que fué Danzón . Tito Puente fué el sucesor de el Verdadero Rey del Mambo "Pérez-Prado." La música de Tito Puente, se recordará para siempre, gracias a la simpatía que sentimos los latinos por el maestro Puente, tambien gracias a los medios de difusión de este país, los medios que no tienen los soneros en Cuba, soneros que ahora, despues de 40 años, estan resurgiendo, si, porque la música cubana esta recuperando poco a poco el terreno perdido. Agrupaciones como Los Van Van, Cubanismo, Bamboleo, NG La banda, Charanga Habanera y cientos mas, estan siendo conocidos y seguidos por el público de los Estados Unidos, que es el público que define la palabra éxito. La exploción cubana esta llegando con el final del régimen Castrista. El son cubano o salsa, se definira algún dia. Solo esperen un poco por esa gran Caravana cubana que se aserca. Abranle las puertas a la música y vean que todo lo que he escrito tiene sentido común. Disculpenme si alguien se siente ofendido pero solo queria aclarar algunas cositas que muchos por ignorancia no saben, otros no las quieren ver, otros las quieren ocultar, otros creen que quedarán enterradas en el pasado, y otros que no les cabe en la mente. Yo solo quiero brindarle honor a quien honor merece. Al pueblo de Cuba que por siglos ha visto nacer la mas linda música del mundo, la cúal ha compartido con sus hermanos: Puerto Rico, Venezuela, Dominicana, Colombia, México, Brazíl, Costa Rica, y todos los paises latinos. Cuba no perderá su título de La isla de la música o mas lindo "La cuna de la música," aunque pasen mil dictadores por ella. Una vez mas, de parte de el pueblo cubano, mil gracias a todos los que tocan nuestra música y la llevan bien lejos. Por último les pido que estudien un poco sobre la historia músical de Cuba y que le abran sus puertas a la nueva Cuba que esta naciendo. Gracias por todo, Angel Rodriguez, El Cubanazo

Name: Mohamed
Date: 12 Jun 2000


Salsa and all other latin dances riginated from Africa. Africa if you guys hears tunes and rhythms from African music it all resembles Salsa, beats. Most instruments played in salsa bands also originate from Africa, like Clave, congaetc. When African Slaves were brought to Latin America they brought their culture with them and have been generous enough to share with the Latin people. Latin people transformed it making into Salsa, merengue, samba, etc.So if you guys talk about Salsa tunes, never ever forget Africa, Who upto now play music which resembles salsa. All the equipment in a modern African band can possibly play Salsa, but western bands like Bon jovi, Arrow smith, Ice T, LL Kool J, you take their instruments you can hardly play Salsa. So do not forget Africa.Ask Africando.

Name: Francisco Herrera
Date: 12 Jun 2000


Hola ! De Nuevo, olvidaba decir que no basta con recopilar las opiniones tan contradictorias y muchas fuera de lugar. Incluso hay una en particular que aprovecha para hacer propaganda política. Esto no debería de permitirse puesto que es un foro musical para expresar opiniones y puntos de vista enfrascados en la música y no en la política. Exixte otro tipo de foros donde el público puede acudir para espresar sus opiniones al respecto. Ustedes deben omitir este tipo de cosas cuidando su prestigio de academia de música y baile. Caso contrario dan una imagen corriente y barata que no corresponde a su nivel.

Name: DJG
Date: 16 Jun 2000



Name: Lillian Martinez
Date: 30 Jun 2000


The salsa is a copy of the Cuban mambo. It has the same rhythm and steps.

Name: Cangini Roberto (it)
Date: 01 Jul 2000


Non ho commenti sulle origini ma questa mistura di musiche con origini diverse ha in se' qualcosa di estremamente sensuale ed accattivante E' eccezionale!!!!salud Cangio

Date: 07 Jul 2000



Name: stanito i. rodriguez
EMail: 11301 wilshire blvd. #143
Date: 02 Aug 2000


salsa name was changed from african-cuban to salsa to commercialize it. It is sad that everthing a african has created. They always steal and change the name. I very sad that a lot of latino's don't know about this are ignore the truth. If it wasn't for slavery on the Spainard side. There wouldn't be salsa. I do not know what we would be doing for dancing and music if it wasn't for the African cuban slaves. 
S-Spaniard A-and African L-Latino S-Sounds A-Authentic=African roots with Spanish language If you see a motorcycle with License Plate reading SALSA UP, that is me. Just honk your horn in friendship to one of the greatest sounds of the whole world. Long live SALSA.{UP}.

Date: 04 Aug 2000


who cares where salsa is from....the best salsa in the world is now coming from south america....specifically CALI COLOMBIA

Name: Steve Genter
Date: 05 Aug 2000


Thanks for this site. My comments to this discussion: I hope that the discussion about the history takes more of the line of how did Salsa become the Salsa that it is today. Whether or not the Salsa is the proud child of Mambo Cha Cha, Son, it is a legal child of the Dominican Republic, came from the streets of New York, Los Angeles or Miami, I hope that this is not really so important. Important is to know how to dance the Salsa with everybody else and that when the music plays, the dancers are able to find the same rhythm before half of the first dance is finished. It is the common musical body language which is the key to all of this discussion. Let's try to keep it there.

Name: Henry F. Hernández
Date: 06 Aug 2000


I really enjoyed what I read about the different types of latin music. I think that everyone would like to be the crator of such a beautiful music such as "salsa". As a cuban, my father tells me that cubans invented salsa. Who created this remains a mistery, but I guess that we should just enjoy it. trully: Henry F. Hernández

Name: carlos higueros (El Salsero)
EMail: po box 667 anoka mn 55303
Date: 16 Aug 2000


salsa is only a type of music, It doesn't matter where it came from or who sings it, love music that is why it is there . las tumbas , trompetas, piano, saxofon, maracas, guira . will tell you that music is beutifull no matter what. so if you like music or latin music in general dance play and have funnnnnnnnnnn!

Name: Amanda
Date: 07 Sep 2000


hey latin dance,

I really think salsa was a mixed of cuban music and jazz made by puerto ricans. The only thing I don't understand is why people from Venezuela are saying that salsa is from Venezuela? I don't think they had any influence in salsa or did they? I really think that puerto ricans created (mixed cuban music and jazz together) salsa because the first salsa bands were all puerto ricans like Tito puente y Ray Barretto y mucho mas que eran puerto riquenos. Me gustaria que estedes escribieran de lo que tuvo que ver Venezuela en la salsa por que no me explico que ellos tienen que ver con salsa

Name: Izzy Sanabria
Date: 07 Sep 2000



What is Salsa? Where and How Did it Start? These are the very same questions journalists from around the world repeatedly asked me during the 1970s and they are still being asked today. Other questions also being asked are: How did Salsa get its name? What were the events and people that started the Salsa Explosion?

In recent years there's been an abundance of knowledgeable musicologists, music collectors and even college professors (worldwide) all "attempting" to answer those very questions. I said "attempting" because with a few exceptions, most are misinformed! I know I will be getting a lot of flack for my statements, so I will try to justify and give reasons for my opinions.

Suddenly everybody is an expert on Salsa, each coming from their own perspectives and sometimes perhaps even their own agendas. Don't get me wrong, most of what appears in print or television documentaries, etc., seems to be well researched, informative and I suppose accurate. However, a few things that bother me are the points of view and agendas I see coming through. But then again, I also have my own agenda which is to get recognition for the contribution of Latino New Yorkers. I will do this by providing to those that are unaware that the cradle of Salsa as we know it today was New York city during the 1970s. The reason most Latin music historians have such little information of the 1970s (and its movement) is because the Spanish media completely ignored that era. .. . .. . More on this topic later.

First, I'm quite sure I know a great deal less about the histories of our music (or music in general for that matter) than most of those writers do. However, if you weren't a part of the music and cultural movement in New York during the 70s, you cannot feel or fully understand what it was like to paint an accurate picture with the right information. I lived it, I helped create it and was in the center of it all seven days a week. So no matter how well they may have researched this period, it is still second-hand information. There were just too many details that even those in the music industry weren't aware of. Musicians for example were busy creating the music but played no role in promoting the name Salsa. In fact, as the term Salsa started to catch on, most serious musicians resented and resisted having their music labeled as such.

Before I continue, perhaps I should first define from where or from whom the different points of view are coming. For example, there are the two Cuban perspectives. The first was during the late seventies and the second is the nineties.

One of the first Cuban reactions to the term Salsa as a name for New York's Latin music came from Machito, "There's nothing new about Salsa, it is just the same old music that was played in Cuba for over fifty years. And they play it badly."

Another coming out of Cuba was that Salsa was a scheme ? a conspiracy by New York record companies to negate giving credit to Cuban music; in essence, stealing their music. Though it wasn't like that, I understood them because from their point of view it certainly looked that way.

With the world now completely accepting the term Salsa (which in essence is Afro-Cuban music), everywhere you turn, another name pops up that long ago coined the word Salsa, or was somehow the first to use the word. Ironically, even Cuba is now using the term and in fact I saw one of their TV shows called Salsa.

Just to set the record straight, I never claimed to have coined the word Salsa, or used it first (I'm too young). My claim to fame is being first to see the potential of the word as a marketing tool to promote New York's Latin music (and hopefully my magazine "Latin NY" along with it). I had always felt that "Latin Music" was too broad a term (for the sound being created by Latino New Yorkers) and that it needed its own name like Jazz, Rock & Roll, Disco, R&B, Blues, etc., in order to define and identify it as an entity unto itself. A new name and image was needed that people could get excited about and be able to relate to. Salsa was easy enough for anyone to pronounce and, remember. I thought Salsa was just perfect.


Its fire fanned by the Newyorican fervor, the Salsa scene was bursting at the seams. Like dynamite waiting for a spark to ignite it, Salsa was ready to explode. Then in 1973, I hosted the television show "Salsa" which was the first reference to this particular music as Salsa. That year I also launched Latin NY Magazine. But the spark igniting the explosion came in the form of Latin NY's First Salsa Awards in May 1975. The Latin NY Music Awards received greater (pre and post) mass media coverage than was ever given to any Latin music event at that time and thus gave Salsa its biggest push and momentum.

Two factors made the awards (by media standards) a "News Worthy" event that merited their attention. The first was that we publicized the event as "Latinos finally honoring their own with the first Salsa Awards Ceremonies." The second factor was our intense public criticism of NARAS for ignoring our repeated requests to give Latin music its own separate category in the Grammys.


The coverage by mainstream media such as The N.Y. Times, Newsweek and Time magazines, created an incredible worldwide avalanche of interest in Salsa. The unprecedented coverage and its impact caught everyone in the industry completely by surprise and unprepared. It prompted Harvey Averne from Coco records to comment, "I wish this would go away and return next year so we can get ready for it."

Though still largely ignored by local Spanish media, the rest of the world took notice. From Europe (Holland, Germany, France, Italy, England, etc.) and as far away as Japan, journalists and TV camera crews came to New York to comment on and document Salsa; what they perceived as a new phenomena of high energy rhythmic Latino urban music, its dancing and its lifestyles.

They started with Latin NY as their central source of information and by interviewing me, Salsa's most visible and articulate (self appointed) spokesman. I must emphasize self appointed because it is an important fact that punches holes in the "conspiracy to obscure Cuban music" theory. This world-wide attention established Latin NY as "the bible" of Salsa (its primary source of information). And as its most visible spokesman, earned me the title of Mr. Salsa.


If you have any general understanding of publicity or advertising, you can appreciate the way I sold Salsa to the media, thus getting millions of dollars worth of (Free) publicity (you couldn't buy or pay for). The concept had to be presented in a way that was interesting, easy to understand and based on enough truth to give it credibility (see Promoting Half Truths).

My idea was to sell Salsa as new music (which it was) and as an integral part of the cultural life-styles of young Latino New Yorkers.


The questions journalists most often asked me were, "What is Salsa?" and "Where and How did it start?" By then I had developed a concise simplified definition of Salsa specially prepared for the media.

Directly translated, Salsa is sauce. it is what gives Latino cooking its flavor. Like in Italian cooking. What's spaghetti without the sauce? Traditionally, in American music like Jazz (and Latin), when a band was really swinging, people would say, "They're cooking"... in Spanish--"Cocinando!" And when all the ingredients were cookin' just right--the music hot and spicy, Latinos would say, "It had Salsa y Sabor" (sauce and taste). So what it really denotes is music with flavor and spice.


My prepared stock answer was, "Salsa is Latin Soul. Salsa is Flavor and Spice. Salsa es Ritmo! Rhythm, the basis of Salsa. African slaves brought their rhythms to the Caribbean, mixed with the Indian, European melodies, Spanish lyrics and gave birth to Latin music. The sons and daughters came here, mixed in the high energy of New York, the influence of Jazz, added in some brass, and Salsa was born!" (I always added that Salsa's rhythmic origins were Cuban, but that it was the young Puerto Ricans that developed and kept it alive in New York City).


"Salsa, in reality, was any musical form, cultivated in New York by Latinos, upon a Cuban base, but inventing and adding something new..."


As Salsa's self appointed spokesman, I devoted all my talents and energies on a crusade to popularize the music and have it recognized and respected as an art form. A task made more difficult by the strong opposition from the very musicians it was meant to benefit. I was resented and opposed in an environment of inflated egos and misguided traditionalists.

To help you understand what I was up against, I offer the following anecdotes.

After the media interviewed me, took down my definitions, historical overviews and names of most prominent important musicians, it was only natural that they'd want to interview them; the real source of the music. And believe it or not, the following Machito and Puente quotes are typical of what they and most older musicians told the media again and again.

Tito Puente: A New York born Puerto Rican that modernized Cuban based music thereby creating what I've always called the New York Latin Music. The sound that turned generations of Newyoricans (including me) from Rock & Roll to Latin music. Yet, despite his achievement, a thirst for recognition and an ego the size of a house, Puente had a favorite ( and humble?) witty anti Salsa comment he consistently gave the media, "I am not a cook, I am a musician!"

Machito: "Salsa is nothing new, its the same music I have been playing for over 40 years and these young people don't even know how to play it."

Now let me ask you, suppose I had said that Salsa was not new, but just the same old music Cubans had been playing for over 40 years. Do you honestly believe the media would have bothered to give it any coverage? I just had to laugh at their naiveté * when it came to promotion and publicity. These were proud musicians that took their music very seriously with great respect for it, but were so deeply entrenched in its traditions that they resisted change. Deviations (like the Boogaloo) were seen as compromising, bastardizing or diluting the music.

However, their pure and noble beliefs prevented them from realizing they were undermining publicity that could greatly benefit them by exposing them to new markets, new fans and, Financial Gains. Benefits reaped from a new interest in old Cuban music with a new name . . . Salsa!

Years later, to his credit, Tito Puente told me, "Izzy you remember how much I hated and resisted the term Salsa? Well I've come to accept it because wherever I travel, I find my records under the category of Salsa."

So despite all the opposition, the name Salsa caught on. Today, Salsa is known world-wide as New York's Latino music. Ironically, as Salsa became a household word, I looked around one day and suddenly realized that everybody around me had made a fortune from Salsa except for me. To add insult to injury, there's only one musician I know of that has publicly given me any kind of credit in print, and that was Willie Colon.

So why should you accept what I written so far as being true and accurate? Well for one thing, aside from having lived the Salsa experience, I have it all documented with American and international print media, Latin NY magazine and television coverage on video (dating back as far as 1971).

A Final Note on Who is Really Responsible for Salsa's Explosion

When evaluating or analyzing the 70s explosion and the people most responsible for it, there are some important factors to be considered (especially if looking for unbiased viewpoints to arrive at historical accuracy). The reality or truth is that a great number of people made viable contributions to Salsa, its popularity and recognition. The musicians who developed Salsa, as well as the people behind the scenes such as journalists, radio jocks, the record companies, the promoters and most important of all, the fans. In other words, nothing can be attributed to just one person.

In the long run, it doesn't matter who said or who did what first, but rather who or what developed it. In fact, if we were to honor the person most responsible for spreading Salsa world-wide during the 1980s and 1990s, that distinction would belong to Salsa's greatest promoter and certainly the most prominent non-musician and central figure in Salsa today, Ralph Mercado....... But that's another story.


Salsa, like every major social or cultural movement starts with people.

Starting in the late 60s and into the 70s, Latino music, fashions and lifestyles had a major cultural impact on New York City. The new Latino lifestyle started emerging in the 1960s with Latin Soul music (The Boogaloo) in places like the St. George Hotel in Brooklyn. In the 1970s, the world famous Cheetah Discotheque became the showplace of these young Latinos. Then, following the massive gatherings in Central Park of the Flower Children, during the 60s and early 70s, the new generation of New York Puerto Rican baby boomers took over and gathered by the tens of thousands every Sunday in the park. Their immense presence literally Latinized Central Park as well as New York City itself with a new look and a new sound.


The Fania All Stars are filmed at the Cheetah (August)


FREE CENTRAL PARK CONCERT (drew 50,000+) PROLAM (Puerto Rican Organization for Latin American Music), started by 17 year old Nancy Rodriguez who came to Izzy Sanabria for help in promoting her idea to get Latin music recognized and played on the radio. This was to influence Latin NY magazine's continuous crusade.

PREMIER of the movie: OUR LATIN THING (July) Years later, it would have a greater impact than when originally released.


LATIN NY MAGAZINE is launched from The Cheetah (January)

FANIA ALL STARS Sell-Out Yankee Stadium & it is Filmed (August) Later Released in 1976 as the film "Salsa"

SALSA TV SHOW hosted by Izzy Sanabria is taped at The Cheetah (November) First radio or TV show to start calling the music Salsa, thus helping to establish Salsa as the name of New York's Latin Music.


LATIN NY MUSIC AWARDS - 1st SALSA AWARDS CEREMONY (May) * The event that catapulted Salsa to international status. Being a First, the Awards received the widest mass media coverage ever given to any Latino event. This in turn attracted international media coverage, that established Salsa and Latin NY Magazine. *



PREMIER of the movie: SALSA (March)

* Once the curiosity in Salsa was aroused, the films "Our Latin Thing" and later "Salsa" which were Pre-Music Videos, provided the world with authentic visual images of New York's Salsa Scene -- the musicians, their music and the people. This established The Fania All-Stars as the world's ultimate Salsa group.

The Fania All-Stars' world-wide concert tours organized by Fania President, Jerry Masucci and promoter Ralph Mercado, followed-up the interest generated by the films.

RMM's Annual New York Salsa Festivals reinforced New York as the Salsa capital of the world, and continues attracting world-wide media attention.

by Izzy "Mr. Salsa" Sanabria: Publisher of Latin NY Magazine 1973-85

Please Visit my website: WWW.SALSAMAGAZINE.COM

Name: Ian de Souza
Date: 09 Sep 2000


Salsa was the name chosen by marketing people in the music business for the type of 2/4 music. It simply means spicy. As anything in dance, music sets the pace, the 2/4 ryhthm was interpreted in the clubs through merengue, Mambo etc. Salsa is more of a dance / music interpreteation as opposed to a dance. ie., Standard, Latein, Swing and now Salsa

Name: Guadalupe Sanchez
Date: 18 Sep 2000


Salsa is the next best thing to me dancing Tex-Mex. I really enjoy dancing Salsa and Merengue, I've actully forgot how to dance Ranchera's. I'd like to know more information on how I can obtain the most recent music for Latino Artist such as: Oscar de Leon, La India, Raulin Rosendo, Grupo Niche, Gilberto de La Rosa, Rey Ruiz, La Sonora Carruseles etc.

Sinceramente. Guadalupe de San Pablo, Minnesota

Name: Iris
Date: 12 Oct 2000


Salsa music is something that comes from the heart. To me it does not matter the origins as to where it comes from. It is in our blood because of our past. Cuban history and Puerto Rican history both share a history of pain, misery and happiness. The music that was made was later combined to make the beautiful sounds named Salsa. Salsa music has been apart of my life ever since i was in my mother womb. it has been a part of my families lives and parties before i was even around. it showed importance in uniting and Salsa mucis is romantic, sensual, sexual, and powerful. every culture understands it more than any other cultural music and Puerto Ricans and Cubans need to stop arguing on who made it and share the efforts of the beauty of Salsa

Name: Jason Marchand
Date: 12 Oct 2000


Hi, I'm a musician from southern Louisiana. I'm not of a Spanish heritage, actually, I'm about as white as they come but still in all a involved student of Latin music. Regardless of it's roots it is incredible that through all of middle and South Americas troubles, one thing has remained uninjured. However, though i see no evidence in this site, there are those that think only persons of some Hispanic origin can truly play the music. I come from the school of thought that all who have the desire can do so. Just a little page food there. Love the page and yall keep it up. Take care. Jason

Name: miranda
Date: 15 Oct 2000


I have always believed that salsa was originated in Puerto Rico. What influence did Tito Puente have on salsa. If according to your site it was created or had Cuban influences.

Name: eric anthony
Date: 18 Oct 2000


I feel sort of strange staking my part of the claim of salsa to my African heritage but I can feel the sound just as much as any Latin person except for the language. The first time my Domincan girl friend took me dancing I could sense the African rhythms and started dancing naturally with ease. As an African American I am proud to know where the influences originated.

Name: Kerrin Piche
Date: 02 Nov 2000


My dad (a ballroom/latin/swing instructor) told me a story about how the Cuban motion came to be a trademark in latin dancing. Many years ago in the Dominican Republic the women of the local villages would carry laundry down to the river on washing day, and would return carrying large baskets of clothes balanced on their heads. As they would cross from one side of the stream to the other, they would feel the floor of the stream with one foot for rocks and such, before stepping and shifting their weight. Then they would feel with the next foot for rocks, step and shift the weight, and thus make it safely across the river. This action of placing all of the weight on one foot before stepping onto the other created a sway and rotation in the hips as they walked, one foot in front of the other. Apparently the men in the village discovered that this movement seemed very sexy, and would hide in the bushes to watch the women cross the stream with their laundry. The women, perceptive as they are, noticed the men watching them and delighted in exaggerating the swivel and rotation of the hips as they walked, and soon began incorporating these movements in their dances, because the sensuality of the movement of the ladies' hips drove the men wild. I don't know if this story is true but it helps our students to visualize the way the Cuban motion should feel and look like.

Name: Karina
Date: 12 Nov 2000


Well I'm a salsa lover. As we know there are two meanings for salsa: "Salsa-dance" and "salsa the sauce". Obviously this makes sense, because both of the "salsas" have "sabor=flavor" there both enjoyable, so that may be one of the reasons where "salsa-dance" may have gotten it's name.

Name: Maren
Date: 14 Nov 2000


Salsa is a combo of many different forms of latin dance. It is originaly a style created be african slaves in Cuba and Puerto Rico in the 1920's.

Name: lorraine
Date: 29 Nov 2000


im lorraine from dubai and ive been learning for ayear now i dont think theres anything else in the world that gives me such intense pleasure as much as the salsa does

Name: Jose A. Padilla
Date: 06 Dec 2000


La gente habla de que la salsa es de Cuba o Puerto Rico. La verdad es que uno debe de estudiar un poco sobre la historia de la musica caribena. Sobre esto, mucha gente concluye que la salsa es de Cuba porque el son es cubano y porque los "mejores" cantantes de los 30's y 40's eran cubanos. Los mejoes o los mas conocidos. Es lo que uno se debe preguntar. Hay que acordar que Cuba fue un pais que se utilizo para comercializar la musica por el mundo 60 anios atras. Eso limita el interes de las casas disqueras con los musicos de P.R. y con la musica que se tocaba en P.R. Que musica? Esa pregunta es la que la gente no sabe. Les informo que esa musica era la misma musica. En P.R. desde el siglo pasado se toca el son. Cuando en Cuba habian cuartetos en P.R. tambien los habian. Cuando en Cuba habian conjuntos en P.R. tambien. El son es un genero musical bien viejo. Quien sabe donde se creo, Africa, Cuba, Republica Dominicana, Puerto Rico, etc. Uno no sabe. Se dice que es de Cuba porque es alli donde se gozo mucho y la gente de esta genaracion lo conoce de alli. Eso no quiere decir que es de alli. Porque hay tantos soneros buenos en P.R. No sabes? Los cubanos no nos ensenaron a cantar ni a tocar. Ellos si llevaron estos ritmos a orquestas grandes y lo adaptaron a lo que le gustaba a la gente de ese tiempo. Pero nosotros hemos hecho lo mismo. En los 70's y los 80's y hasta en los 90's. Esta musica es de negro caribeno y de esos habemos muchos en Cuba y en Puerto Rico.

En Cuba han habido muchos maestros especialmente en la percucion. Se han cuidado y han guardado con mucho orgullo. Nosotros en Puerto Rico hemos perdido mucho ya que la situacion de nosotros es diferente. USA. Pero con todo ese castigo anti-cultural que hemos recibido, nos queda un monton. Ahora estamos trabajando mas con la Plena, la Bomba y otros ritmos. Otro pais que debemos mencionar es R.D. Si visitas a Santiago, mucha gente te dira que el son se origino alli. Es un pais que al igual que P.R. y Cuba tine una riqueza musical muy buena.

De esto es lo que se basa todo esto que llamamos salsa. Todos los sabemos. Esto es del Caribe Hispano. Fue aqui donde todo se creo. De aqui fue que salio y se empezo a regar por en mundo entero gracias a los Latinos de N.Y. En N.Y. fue donde la creacion musical o fusion empezo. Estos latinos (la mayoria Puertorriquenos) siempre pensando en sus paises fueron los que dieron un sonido diferente a la musica caribena. Desde los 50's en N.Y. se ha hecho mucha musica de la buena. Un sonido que l mulato en todo el mundo se dio a identificar. Esto es lo que yo le puedo llamar Salsa. Es el sonido, la manera de tocarse (la expresion), pero siempre con la caribeno por encima de todo. La verdad es que hay que darle credito a los latinos de N.Y. por llevar esta musica a cualquier parte del mundo. Con ese frio que hace alla en N.Y. estos latinos del caribe le daban calor a su gente con la musica. Para concluir: De Puerto Rico, Republica Dominicana, Cuba? Si es de todas esas islas lindas que todos nosotros queremos. De ahi para N.Y. y de N.Y. para el mundo entero.

Muchas gracias y disfruten siempre de esta musica.

Date: 15 Dec 2000


Hey gente, por que salsa es latino , por eso escribo en espanol. 
Quiero decirles y de una vez participar en todos estos comentarios y ademas increibles opiniones de todos ustedes, que la salsa es algo que llevamos todos los amantes de este bello ritmo.

Me crie en el barrio obrero de la ciudad de cali, en colombia, alla en esa popular barreada de la ciudad en donde todos desde los mas chicos hasta los mas grandes disfrutan de la salsa.

Cuando yo era chico tenia solo 11 anos y disfrutaba de los temas de joe quijano, ismael cortijo, joe cuba y muchos mas, ya se escuchaba el gran combo y tambien las canciones de andy montanez al igual que de oscar d'leon.

Oh bellos momentos que han quedado plasmados en mi mente y mi corazon y que muy dificilmente podre olvidar por que eso es lo nuestro , esas son nuestra raices culturales que por mas que pasen los anos seran siendo nuestras, asi como lo es el arroz con gandules en puerto rico, los frijoles negros en cuba, la tortilla en mexico, la pupusua en el salvador, asi como lo son las gaitas en venezuela, asi como lo es la arepa en colombia, y por que no decir que hay algo que es comun en todos nosostros y que estemos donde estemos siempre sera de nosotros ese bello ritmo llamado musica salsa.

Amigos, conservemoslo, divulguemoslo, ensenemoslo y disfrutemoslo por siempre


Name: Pedro Martínez
Date: 15 Dec 2000


Dime donde vive el negro con el blanco en harmonia? Tierra donde el sol sale todos los dias. Tierra que aunque lejos la siguen extrañando. Yo te digo esa tierra es Puerto Rico. Esta tierra, tan hermosa, es mi bandera. Y la llevo conmigo por do'quiera.     Pedro Martinez Aguada, PR.

Name: Andres Morales
Date: 17 Dec 2000


I want to contribute with my comentary to this forum i'm 51 years old.I was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in Puerto Rico . I started listening the music we call "salsa" today since 1956 if i remember when Mr.Ismael Rivera and Cortijo Band started in Puerto Rico with the introduction of the TV in Puerto Rico in 1955.About that time Ismael and Cortijo began with the rythms of Pachanga,Charanga.Ismael Rivera was using those rythms to play his song .Then he also used some songs with a kind of rythm called Bomba like "Mataron al Negro Bembóm" this was a sort of song mix with that rythm they were using to advertise the news of a fact in Puerto Rico,another song they used to announce the facts in Puerto Rico was "Perico" Quitate de la vía.Then later Ismael was arrested and went to jail for approximily 10 years.After That another band came to the scene in Puerto Rico the Gran Combo's Band with some mussicians of Isamel Rivera's band.Also the Gran Combo still playing music today.The Gran Combo's was using the Cuban rythms when Castro's took the power to rule Cuba.The Cuban music began to go down and the Puerto Rican musicians took the music and their rythms until they have perfectionated but with the Puerto Rican style also the word salsa wasn't in the mind of those guys but they introduce a lot of dance and rythms for example boogaloo,Jala,jala,pata pata,oriza,etc.I remembered that before the music was danced by the name of the rythm.If the rythm were guaganco the dancers danced guaganco,if the rythm were jala,jala,the dancers danced jala,jala,if the rythm were guajira the dancers dance guajira.Now the term "Salsa" doesn't changed the rythms but changed the dance because some people does't know how to see the difference between each other,and they have everything mix.While the Gran Combo were playing in Puerto Rico and making money there were others good musicians that being contributed to the latin music later called "Salsa" like Eddie Palmiery,Charlie Palmiery,Ray Barreto if i know from Mr.Barreto is that he was traveling a lot to Africa to learn and heard diferents rythms to put into his compositions if you hear Barreto Wattussi,a big man from Africa and all the spirituality influence music from Barreto and from Cuba music came from the pious religion originated with the black pious religions that came from Africa and they mix the music and the religion to worships their gods and they mix the name of their gods with the spanish catholic religion. There are a lot of pious songs dedicated to pious religions i can tell Celia Cruz has a lot of pious songs in most of the music she sing for example they use the term Yemaya,Babalú,Ochún,Changó,Obatalá,Abacuá, some of those names are mixed with Mary the mother of Jesus and other saints from catholic religion.I remember that one time Willie Colón and Héctor La Voe played a song called "yemaya" i heard the word "changó" in some many songs of Barreto's Band,Palmiery's Band,Puente's and Celia's Band,Willie and Héctor La Voe Band,Fania All Star,Ismael Miranda and Larry Harlow Band,Richey Ray and Bobbie Cruz Band all the singers and bands or groups they have the music salsa or what ever you want to call mix with pious song dedicated to pious religious.I'm talking besides the what people call "Salsa Romantica" that is dedicated to other genres the genres of love.In resume only i can say that the blacks Cuban's mussicians invented the rythms that we have today but there is a diference between the Cuban salsa and the Puerto Rican Salsa and other countries salsa players i think that the Puerto Rican salsa is more sophisticate with more rhythm also i was reading last week an interview of a youngsters from the University of Cuba and from the tourist are and some of them said the best "Salsa comes from Puerto Rico and is the best place where they play "Salsa" than the Cuban salsa also we have the best singer in salsa in Puerto Rico and the best composer in Puerto Rico is for this reason i can say that Cuban's people own to Puerto Rican musicians to keep what they consider her music..

Name: Louis
EMail: JosephJ07
Date: 31 Dec 2000


I am 23 years old. well I am a lover of latin music specialist with cuban music. son, Cha-cha-cha, mambo,guaguanco,charanga, danzon and other rhythm from cuban and also plena from puerto rico is what people call salsa. Salsa is mix of those rhythms. Many musician back in the day, they used to record many of those type of rhythm so for them were really hart to tell in their records what they were playing. So they deciced to call salsa. That's mean all together. for exemple latin Jazz is a combination of Mambo and biboJazz.

Name: Nina
Date: 03 Jan 2001


Hi everybody!

I have read all the comments on this page about where the salsa comes from and I have to tell you that I really believe that salsa is a modification of both the Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican and other LatinoAmerican rhythms.

I can tell you that I am not that old (25) and I grew up in Cuba and it is true that after Castros regim installed in Cuba we were very inclosed and did not hang with the development of the music outside of Cuba. But I do remember that the first time I heard the word "salsa" and that people called that the same music I had been listening all my childhood I could not understand why are people so ignorant (I am sorry for that because now I use that term myself too) and could not distinguish that one sort of "salsa" was absolutely not the same than another rhythm also called by not latinoamerican people as "salsa". "What the h...", I thought, don't they see that they are callling the rock´n roll just rock?!? Do you see the similarity? We all know what the difference is beteween these two genders and we call them differently though they have the same roots...

I mean may be salsa is a distinct music rythm... or it is still to become it, but it is a pitty to see how the commercial world can destroy something so rich and that have been developing during decades in just a cuple of years.

I love the cuban casino style! I love the cha cha cha, I love merengue, I love la punta, I love the romantic cuban SON, I love the guaguanco, all of them have different ways to dance, the dance is rich and allways expreses something! Salsa? I dont know, it is just a name that lanced our latinoamerican rythms to the rest of the world, but it is not a genuine music style... it is still to come I think, but right now is is a NAME for our latinoamerican DIFFERENT rythms that was created in different latinoamerican countries and that still has theirs own very unique stamp.



Name: Vladimir Dunac
EMail: vlad509
Date: 04 Jan 2001


Hello everyone! before I begin, I'm Haitiano born in Canada. I travel many times in a year to NYC, 1 a year in Miami.
I was expose to music from the Caribbean from Haiti, P.R., Cuba and the Dominican Rep.
There is a difference between Cuban Son and P. Rican Salsa. I am not a specialist but it's obvious that Salsa/Son has origins in the countries that make these cultures. Africa, Spain, and the natives of the Island.
yo you get a bit of everything, African drums and percussion and Spanish Guitar, brass.....
that is what made what we have through out the Caribbean, weather it be Haitian Kompa (which is a slower meringue), Domin. Meringue, Trinidadian Salsa, Cuban Son and other rythms, P.Rican Salsa and other rythms, Martiniquan Zouk, Braziian Samba....
But that is just the way it is Africa's culture has it's presence where ever it's people went.
I don't think personally that If you are Black you are automatically African. I don't think that I'm African. We have our own Identity now. I've known African here in Canada and I'm not them. the Bands in West Africa play Salsa beats. (I really don't believe that) but obviously there all ther percussion comes from... obviously not from Spain. Cause Argenrtinian or Chileans probably have anyt type of Salsa/Son in their national music. Then the residents of that Island mixed the cultures that they were expose to and Voila!

Name: hans hellstrom
Date: 05 Jan 2001


salsa Dance come from CUBA, not from USA,colombia but all music come from Africa. salsa is hot hot chillis!!!

Name: Foster
Date: 09 Jan 2001


SALSA>.CON SALSA. I think that it had to come out bottom line we have we feel it!! what more do we need.. we all have our own veiws on were it came from who made it..HOW'S THIS WE MADE IT!!!! enjoy is here to stay.. oh and anyone in the nyc area who wants to get it on with the **CONGA or BONGA OR THAT CASE ANYTHING TO DO WITH LATINO MUSIC IM HERE GET IN TOUCH I HAVE A BASSES AND GREAT LATINO SINGER AND I AM ON THE CONGA/TIMBALE/UDU/DJEMBE SO GOD BLESS ALL AND LET'S KEEP IT TOGETER!!

Name: jason hanvey
Date: 15 Jan 2001


i,m very new to the latin cultural styles but the culture,the dance and most definatly THE WOMEN have set fire to my soul and have me begging for more of these beutiful people. i would be very very happy to hear from anyone who feels this deeply and has been bored to death with american traditions for WAY TO LONG !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i believe when the moors invaded spain there was alot of co mingling of dance styles such as belly dancing, this could have had an effect on many latin dances. GRACIAS.

Name: nancy montes
Date: 23 Jan 2001


Salsa is a mixed from Spaniards and African people

Name: Jaime
Date: 30 Jan 2001


While I agreed with some of your points on Salsa history I also disagreed with others. I found a bunch of articles which are food for thought. I believe these all have strong points to be considered when trying to define salsa.

My Inferences (up to now): A look at the origin of Salsa: It is not only Cuban; nevertheless we must give credit to Cuba for the origin and ancestry of creation. It is here where Contra-Danze (Country Dance) of England/France, later called Danzón, which is brought by the French who fled from Haiti, begins to mix itself with Rhumbas of African origin (Guaguanco, Colombia, Yambú). Add Són of the Cuban people, which was a mixture of the Spanish troubadour (sonero) and the African drumbeats and flavora and a partner dance flowered to the beat of the clave. This syncretism also occurred in smaller degrees and with variations in other countries like the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Puerto Rico, among others. Bands of these countries took their music to Mexico City in the era of the famous films of that country (Perez Prado, most famous...). Shortly after, a similar movement to New York occurred. In these two cities, more promotion and syncretism occurred and more commercial music was generated because there was more investment. New York created the term “Salsa, but it did not create the dance. The term became popular as nickname to refer to a variety of different music, from several countries of Hispanic influence: Rhumba, Són Montuno, Guaracha, Mambo, Chachacha, Danzón, Són, Guguanco, Cubop, Guajira, Charanga, Cumbia, Plena, Bomba, Festejo, Merengue, among others. Many of these have maintained their individuality and many were mixed creating “Salsa.”

If you are listening to today’s Salsa, you are going to find the base of són, and you are going to hear Cumbia, and you are going to hear Guaracha. You will also hear some of old Merengue built-in the rhythm of different songs. You will hear many of the old styles somewhere within the modern beats. Salsa varies from site to site. In New York, for example, new instrumentalization and extra percussion are added to some Colombian songs so that New Yorkers - that dance mambo " on the two" - can feel comfortable dancing to the rhythm and beat of the song, because the original arrangement is not one they easily recognize. This is called " finishing," to enter the local market. This “finish” does not occur because the Colombian does not play Salsa, but it does not play to the rhythm of the Puerto Rican/Post-Cuban Salsa. I say Post-Cuban, because the music of Cuba has evolved towards another new and equally flavorful sound.

Then, as a tree, Salsa has many roots and many branches, but one trunk that unites us all. The important thing is that Salsa is played throughout the Hispanic world and has received influences of many places within it. It is of all of us and it is a sample of our flexibility and evolution. If you think that a single place can take the credit for the existence of Salsa, you are wrong. And if you think that one style of dance is better, imagine that the best dancer of a style, without his partner, goes to dance with whomever he can find, in a club where a different style predominates. He wouldn’t look as good as the locals. Each dancer is accustomed to dance his/her own style. None is better, only different. ¡¡¡Viva la variedad, ¡¡¡Viva la Salsa!!!

Name: Lorraina Serrano
Date: 09 Feb 2001 


Salsa is Puerto Rican music because we mastered the music. Now son is Cuban.

Name: afig2001
Date: 16 Feb 2001 


I'm going to take the DARWINISM approach to explain the origin and evolution of SALSA= Survival of the Salsa.  Salsa culture started with the first human heart beat.Selected especially for the salsero and salsera.  Since then Salsa culture has evolved to bring people together.  Influenced by heartbeats of great salseros from around the world, the salsa culture has survived.  If you live in Los Angeles, the Capital of "The Modern Salsa World," you'd agree...

Name: Rachael
Date: 20 Feb 2001


Hola Me llama Raquel. I would like share my knowledge on where Salsa originated from, and how it all started. Salsa is the direct descendant of mambo, a dance that evolved from the blending of European and African music in the Caribbean. More to the point, the African roots of mambo lie with ritual performances, which became secular after they reached the Caribbean with the slave ships. Another notable Cuban musician was Isaac Oviedo, one of the orginators of the style called son, evolving it out of the changui music of the Cuban province Oriente. Son became popular with the Matanza Sextet and kept so through the works of Sexteto Habanero and Septeto Nacional. Emilio Orfe popularised danzón, and Oresete Lopez deveopled mambo out of it.Mambo was further popularised by Anselmo Sacassas and Pérez Prado. In the 1930s, both son and mambo found their way over to Puerto Rico and directly from Cuba to the United States mainland. Finally, Latin band leaders in New York such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Machito amalgamated son and mambo to form salsa. HOW DID THE WORD SALSA COME OUT? Well the first time the word was heard in a term of music was in 1932 when Gershwin in his Cuban Overture, used the first four bars of Piñeiro's Echale Salsita(put a bit of sauce in it). It didn't have a great meaning then, but it was the first. Cuban's Salsa is more Mambo style, while Puerto Ricans is more Son style. I think the both Cuba and Puerto Rico made a great team, cuban started forming it, but it didn't go right, or sound good. Puerto Rico finalized the beat, and dance to a beautiful piece of art. It got its name, and it spread around because one reason is that Cuban's, and Puerto Rico's social, and political restrictions and pressures enforced caused many people to emigrate and flee into the exile to New York, Miami, and many different cities of the USA. It was these enthousiasts who grew up in Spanish Harlem of New York that created this new rave along with other musicians in the Caribbean. Thank You for reading, I justhope and pray that these controvercies will settle, and Cuba and Puerto Rico enjoy the Romantic Music, and Dance. Have a great Day!!! :o) God Bless You ALL!!!!! Rachael

Name: norbert girigorie
Date: 24 Feb 2001


All originated in Africa.

Name: Louis Gerald
Date: 25 Feb 2001


The Salsa is from Cuba By Perez Prado and beging to dance in New York In 1950

Date: 15 Mar 2001


Salsa is a combination of son and other music from the Caribbean long with Jazz from the U.S.

Name: Carol


I went to my first ever, Latin dance on March 16, 2001. There was a dance couple there giving instruction during the first hour or so of the dance ( -- Bernard was the male instructors name) My friend and I knew nothing about Latin dance, except what we had seen in movies or on televised dance competitions. There was a group of women there, in their mid 60's, who "adopted" us, and showed us how to take the bit we learned in the first hour and use it in dancing. One of the women gave us the best advice. She said, in a soft rolling spanish flavoured english, "don't worry about any of this, let the music move you and dance from the heart." We had so much fun, and have decided to learn more about the technical side of the dance, so we can more fully enjoy the incredibly soulfull side. For me, the rhythms in the music sound like a mix of cultures from Africa, Spain, the Mediterranian (Greece, Arabia) and Italy. The music is sensual, inspirational and impossible to sit still to....movement is mandatory! I hope the generous Latin hospitality will always be part of the dance, as it is what has taken my heart. I am happy it is part of my life's experience, wherever it originated!

Name: Suada


Well, I am not that good in history. But what i want to say is: salsa is not only a dance, it is a way of life.. And it is wonderful! LA VIDA ES UN CARNAVAL!! (Celia Cruz) Salsa is my greatest passion, although I am not Latin, but the more and the longer i dance the more Latin I feel. Besos a todos Latinos del monde.. ;) Ciao

Name: Eric Candelaria
City: Jersey City
Country: United States


I am a 17year old, young hispanic male, living in Jersey City, NJ. I must say that all lot of young latin kids my age are big on salsa. But me i was raised with salsa by my family. Most of my knowledge are from my uncle, and asking people that i know love salsa. I must say that i agree with some people when they say"salsa moves you" IM listening to some old salsa and i can not stay still, my hands are always tapping or just moving, salsa touches fr some reason or another, it just does. I want to learn as much about as i can.But parties that i have gone to, i look around and i see that noticing it or not when there is salsa playing there heads bop to the beat.i fund it funny.But i think that salsa comes from all over the world with little sound of everywhere, espeacially if you have some sites that can help me learn more about salsa, please feel free to e-mail me. thank you. just remember that "you will move to the music"!, thats a promise. Let the music touch your heart and your heart will move your body!

Name: Montero
City: New York
Country: United States


All I really have to say is that Salsa is a great form of dancing and with the research and all the info. I have gathered so far I would say that Salsa originated from Africa and then us Hispanics adapted to that form of music and just added on to it. Basically Salsa originated from Africa from what I know but as a Puerto Rican I think that Salsa is just a way of showing how many different cultures can together to form a new thing.

Name: Lily
City: Worcester
Country: USA


If you all listen to yourselves you can see that the name "salsa" was given to the music precisely because of the diversity of its backgrounds. I have been researching through multiple websites and found that the richness of the music comes from african, cuban and puerto rican influences. I think that what we should be looking at here is the creativity of these artists in combining these wonderful sounds to make the phenomenon known to everyone of us as SALSA.

Name: Gilbert
City: Carolina
Country: Puerto Rico


Hi everyone!
I am a part-time musician (bass player) from an "Orquesta de Salsa" in Puerto Rico. We also have to play "plenas, merengues, bombas, latin jazz, boleros and even "aguilnaldos" on Christmas, all depends of the social activity.

Talking about the term of the word "Salsa", it all started in an interview with Richie Ray on a tv show. When they asked him "how to describe all that music?". Richie Ray came with the word "salsa" to describe how that music was developed. Since then, everyone started to call the afro-caribbean music "Salsa". But as you all know, Salsa has so many influences, from the cubans, son montuno, mozambique, guiro, etc., and from Puertoricans, jazz, bomba, and other variations, and some other countries have played a roll in this evolution until today. But the most important thing for all this music is that they all rest on the rhythmatic pulse of "La Clave" (2-3 or 3-2). For music writters, composers, dancers, musicians, etc., they all need to count of "La Clave". Because without this called "Clave" all will fall apart, no matter if you are cuban or whatever.

As a dancer (front my point of view), it's very sad to see couples dancing without clave. Understanding how your steps match within "La Clave" is the most important thing we all need to know. It won't matter how many turns you could do if you are out of Clave. Sometimes, here in Puerto Rico, all we need is a pair of congas to dance, because you will not always hear the Clave (produced by two "palitos") in all records. The dry or "seco" sound that the small conga (quinto) produced is all we need to hear to dance in a "rumba". I recommend to learn about this basic concept before attempt to dance. The videos that Josie sell are very helpful, LA style is not so different than the style we dance in Puerto Rico or in New York.

As a puertorican musician and dancer, we all know Cuba's contribution, and we really appreciated what they did in the past. If they danced before than Josie, or me, good for them! What Beni Moré, Arsenio Rodriguez, Perez Prado, La Orquesta de Machito, La Sonora Matancera, La Orquesta de Tito Rodriguez, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Richie Ray y Bobby Cruz, Larry Harlow, Willie Rosario, La Fania, Ruben Blades, Hector Lavoe, Willie Colon, Rafael Cortijo, Ismael Rivera, Los Van Van, El Gran Combo, La Sonora Ponceña, El Conjunto Clásico, Tito Nieves, Frankie Ruiz, Bobby Valentín, Oscar D' Leon, Marc Antony, and so many others did, was great! I strongly recommend to hear music from all of them.

So when we think about "Salsa" (dancing or playing), think about the wise words from Richie Ray. Salsa is a mix from all the afro-caribbean rhythms and styles, jazz, and even classical, and music all around the world.But all of these music rest on "La Clave" (no matter if you hear it or's there. That's why you see dancers doing ballet or jazzy moves within Salsa steps.

So look for it! And good luck!

Name: Jose Gabriel
City: las vegas
Country: USA


salsa of course was born in Cuba under the name:son

Name: larusa
City: Anchorage
Country: US


Quiero decir mucas gracias a Angel Rodriguez para dar su opinion. Lo respeto mucho. La musica y los bailes Latinos son muy imprtante en mi vida. Gracias a los musicos de Cuba, Perto Rico, Republica Domincana, NY, etc. para la felicidad y la liberdad en mi vida.

Ekaterina Kuznetsova

Name: Denis "Tony" Duarte
City: Miami,Fl
Country: U.S.A.


Hi everyone, if you really want to learn more about salsa/mambo and its roots.. I'm going to list some videos that will tell you and show you the history of Salsa. I discover this videos through research and I beleave that they are excellent. This videos are really good. here they are: Beats of the Heart - Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the Cities , The Golden Age of Salsa Music with Larry Harlow , Son Sabroson - Antesala De La Salsa - In Spanish : A must have, this is a complete history of Salsa , Roots of Rhythm with Harry Belafonte

I also have the links to where you can buy this videos on my page at: when you are in the page go to history on mambo/salsa. I hope this videos are help full to all of you.

Name: El tio grande
Country: Canada


It doesn't matter where Salsa is from. Each "country" has made it its own and has added its flavour and rhythms.

Name: Frances
City: New York
Country: New York


I was under the impression that there is no such thing as "Salsa dance" That is a slang term that people call it. According To Tito Puente, Salsa is the music which originated from Puerto Rico and Mambo is the dance that originated from Cuba. Both countries gave their own contribution. So enjoy and learn!!!

Country: USA



Name: Leonel Toyos
City: miami
Country: USA


Salsa is simply a name given to a musical style that in its basic format was simply a Cuban Guaracha/Son/Mambo. Celia Cruz in CUBA and countless others, for instance El Septeto Habanero back in the 1930s, were already doing. You can put a suit on a monkey but it's still a monkey. Do i believe that there is Puerto Rican influences, sure, but so what? Rock and Roll is still considered an "American" creation and there are huge variations of rock. For instance, what do Little Richard and the Sex Pistols have in common. Nothing really, yet, they are both called "Rock", a uniquely "American" creation. In "Salsa" there are basically no differences in the Cuban music beginning in the 1930s, yet many people want to call this a new music! Listen to that old Cuban music, you'll hear the Tumbao (Conga in USA), the Clave, the Guiro, the bass line, yes, it's all there. Sure, you can change it a little, but at it's core it's the same thing. The English made rock really popular with the Beatles and the British invasion back in the 60s, should that cause us to call rock a "British" creation? Did the British change any names to suit there needs? No. Therefore, i think you can call the music whatever you like, as long as you know that it all started in Cuba. FYI, so did the Mambo (yes Cuba not Mexico), Cha Cha Cha, Rumba (remember "Cuban Pete"?), Guaguanco, Bolero (yes Cuba not Mexico), Guajira, Danzon, Contradanza, Son, Son Montuno, Habanero (prelude to the Tango), Mozambique, Pilon, Conga, and countless others, over 22+. Therefore, there is absolutely no doubt that Cuba was a hotbed for great music that has left an imprint on the entire world, including the USA.

Name: DJ el Gringo
City: Freiburg
Country: Germany


In case some of you are looking for decent background ---don't take these comments for granted! Most of them are wrong and based on misunderstandings. I'm writing a paper about salsa-dance (not that 5pages papers you folks write in the USA ;-) we have to write 60 to 80 pages). Thus having done research for more than half a year I think I can say that most of the comments do not come to reality. The main problem is the word salsa as a term for more than 40 different music styles and dancestyles!

Name: melanie bruss
EMail: senorita_melania
City: Detroit MI
Country: USA


hello everyone, i may not be a latina by blood, but i sure feel it in my soul when i hear latin music. i dance salsa with my heart, and no one ever believes i'm not latin. thanks for your site, i learned a lot about the origins of salsa, son, rumba, etc. the salsa scene in detroit is boomin! come check us out some time! lots of love to all salsa lovers! peace.

Name: bobby marin
City: new yorK
Country: THIS ONE



Name: MARI



Name: Robbie Oldfield
City: Southern California
Country: USA


IN my humble opinion, it is dificult, if not silly, to try to pinpoint the EXACT origins of MOST music. Consider the elements of your basic rock band: Snare drums (with two heads) were used in the British military, toms come from pitched drums in Africa as does the bass drum. The guitar comes out of yet another part of Africa and some "fat, dead, white guy" (what my music composition instructore once referred to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms as...)in europe built the modern piano. Truly, music is as old as humans and arguing or debating over who made something happen in such recent historical terms (the 1900's) is taking great pains to macro-analyse the music itself. Because music migrated with its culture, the Moores brought music, architechture and incredible knowledge to Spain when they ruled that area. I am of the opinion that because of this occupation of Spain, the finger cymbals that Belly Dancers use became the precursor to the Castanet which is used in Flamenco dances. Another example is the Tambourine. This instrument goes way, way back. Its ancestors were often referred to as 'timbrels' and these are even mentioned in the Book of Exodus in the Bible (Meriam and the women take up their Timbrels and dance...) We hear tambourines in everything from classical music (i.e. the Russian Dance from the Nutcracker) to whatever Mick Jagger is barking out over the airwaves. That instrument is ancient, though. In so far as the debate over Cuba vs. Puerto Rico, both cultures should be very proud of their musical contributions to the modern world. The rhythms of both cultures are specific and integral parts of the cultural language of both islands and that cannot be de-emphasized. Because of this, though, if a guy from Cuba (or vice versa) heard a great rhythm while on his trip to Puerto Rico (or vice versa) it is likely that he would pick that rhythm up, but iject and infuse the rhythmic language of his own heritage, mutating the rhythm to fit his culture.

I have to address the person who said that the Salsa originated in New York and that people should be 'up on their history'. I have this to say to you: Bullshit.

Without the cultural influences of the immigrants to New York there would never have been a 'Salsa' in New York except for the canned salsa at the local Taco Haven or whatever pseudo Mexican fast food place is in New York. Without the cultural contributions of people from other places on the globe we (meaning New York City also) would never have had the opportunity to dance the Salsa, the Mambo, the cha-cha or even the Hustle or the Jitterbug as all of these dances are borrowed from other cultures.

...what? Did we just wake up one morning with this grinding, puming rhythm in our heads <poof> there we have it! SALSA!!! ...NOT!!

Anyway, I am not of any Afro-Cuban or Latin heritage. In fact, I am Scandanvian, Irish, English and French (4 notoriously warring cultures all wrapped up in ME!) However, I LOVE to Salsa! I love the whole thing: the music the dance...all of it! For me it is much less an issue of where the dance originated, but more an issue of how it can be promulgated, promoted and perpetuated for generations to come.

Thanks for your time. R

Name: Cubano
City: Habana
Country: Cuba


Muy buenos comemtarios por parte de unos pocos, los otros lo que estan haciendo es hablar boberia sin base como ese que dice que Tito Puente decia que la salsa es de Puerto Rico, cuando Tito siempre estuvo en desacuerdo en que le llamaran Salsa a la musica cubana. Por favor estudien, lean, indagen y dejence de hablar sin base. Escuchen la musica de los años 30 en Cuba, sientan la clave, el bongo y se daran de cuenta que que la Salsa si tiene algo nuevo, pero sigue el mismo patron del son cubano. Por otra parte, la clave sale de Cuba, el bongo se invento en Cuba, la conga se invento en Cuba, el timbal se invento en Cuba, el bajo, la trompeta, el trombon lo añadieron a la musica cubana los cubanos. El piano lo añadio Arsenio tambien. ¿Que inventaron los boricuas? lo unico que hicieron fue mantener vive en los EU la musica cubana, ya que ha los cubanos los aislaron del mundo. En Cuba se mantuvo la tradicion, muchas de las canciones que todavia se escuchan son de los años 50, de una epoca donde ni yo ni muchos ustedes estaban en este mundo. La musica cubana quieran o no, volvera a tomar el mundo, porque los cubanos son la mata del ritmo y somos los que tenemos mas sabor en el mundo. Sigan discutiendo muchachones nuevos que no saben lo que hablan que el futuro dira quien es quien. Ah! segun los Puerto riqueños ellos tambien inventaron el merengue....Nada personal, solo que me indigna como escriben sin base....Felicitaciones a Izzy por su comentario.. Yo y no sigan escribiendo que estan llenando de comentarios sin fundamento esta hermosa pagina.

Name: Giovanny Arguello
City: Manchester, NH
Country: USA


La salsa se originó a partir del bolero rítmico caribeño, cuando se incorporaron mas instrumentos y variaciones de ritmo.

Name: Cartlos Sanchez
City: Shaker Hieghts
Country: U.S.A. Ohio


I think when Ignacio Piñero use the word " Echale Salsita" in 1928, but I also think it originate long before that in the Cuba country side

Name: Maikol
City: San Juan
Country: Puerto Rico


Actually even Tito Puente said in an interview that Salsa is actually Cuban "Songo" The term Salsa came from Puerto Ricans Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz when Richie heard that great beat during a rehearsal and said "Ese ritmo tiene mucha Salsa" !  Did my homework :)

Name: giancarlo hernàn alva gonzales



Name: Oggun
City: Brooklyn
Country: USA


There is a rich sound that pierces your ear drums and rests in your heart. The rhythm is like no other. The clave keeps your feet in time and the congas remind you to release your inhibitions. The melodic raspy voice of the singer guides you through a familiar story while the horns warn you of impending climaxes. That is salsa!!!! That is music. Enjoy it, live it and love it.

Name: Erna Edie
City: Jakarta
Country: Indonesia


Since originally, Salsa means sauce, I think salsa dance is a compilation of many latin dance movements roll into one.

Name: Johnny Mercedes
City: bronx
Country: u.s.a.


In my opinion, salsa originated in the late 1960s to early 1970s. In the Bronx, NY, by musicians such as Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz, Johnny Pacheco, Willie Colon, and other monsters of the "FANIA" generation; such as Larry Harlow, Ray Barreto, etc... This music is a combination of guaguanco and mambo in a New York City style.

Name: Richard Bosch
City: Austin, TX
Country: USA


Well...interesting subject. My father was never one for words and still has an extensive collection of records from the 50's, 60's and 70's. He never really discriminated against any good music. Being Puerto Rican we listened to what was available. I have to say that in PR, Maelo and Cortijo were very influential. If you take a look at my fathers collection, the worn out records tell a story of what people wanted to hear and I assume what was influencial. True salseros seemed to prefer what would have been called musica titere. Guys who spoke of what was happening in the streets like Colon, Maelo, Lavoe. There was a heathy respect for the cutting edge of the Palmieri Bro's and R Ray and B Cruz. Not to mention the powerful trombone of Barry Rodgers. Real musicians. I see now days that people are more interested in the commercially successful artist such as Puente. My father has very little Puente albums and most are untouched. He threw many parties. But records by La Tipica, La Perfecta, Colon and Lavoe, Maelo, Cortijo, the Lebron Bro's, L Harlow, T Rodriguez and a slew of "unknowns" to current fans are well worn and currently well kept and enjoyed to this day. These guys form the real base of salsa. I can still remember my fathers description of what he felt the first time he saw La Perfecta with trombones. The man is 67 now and he describes it like a sexual experience. He also saw Puente but not with the same excitement. We saw the both in concert here in Austin prior to Tito's passing and Eddie's conga man R Flores blew us away. Eddie still has it on stage...recordings are up for debate. To listen to what is popular now is to cut yourself short. It doesn't really matter where the music originates from as long as it is good and the artist is a musician.....not a lip synching wannabe. I let the music speak for itself. The point is that the music was created.

Name: Hector Rodriguez
City: San Diego, Ca.


I find many interesting narratives describing the origins of SALSA. Izzy Sanabria's entry is perhaps the best I've read! I am Puerto Rican, raised in New York and Puerto Rico in the 1950's and 60's. As a young man I knew all the bands, their members and the clubs they played in. Some of my favorites; Palmieri, Puente, Ismael Rivera, Colon, Harlow, Pacheco, Gran Combo... and so on. Hunts Point Palace, The St. George Hotel, Casino 14, Red Garter, Village Gate... and so on! Enough to say... "I was there!" The term SALSA for us at the time was simply a term we used to describe that good feeling we had when we were "In the Groove...!" Like the finger licking SALSA found in mom's "Fricase de Pollo" or "Carne Guisada"..., the dance added flavor to our souls. Indeed people of all races enjoy that flavor in their souls today. We danced Mambo, ChaCha, Bolero, Merengue, Bomba y Plena... and it was all SALSA! ONE MORE NOTE There's an old saying: Puerto Rico y Cuba son de un pajaro, dos alas. I add to that: Republica Dominicana... Los pies del baile! There's no "Toma y Dame here. Those three countries represent the Hispanic Caribbean and all three had their hand in the SALSA stew. Peace and Love Mi Gente, Y que viva la Musica... Hector

City: new york
Country: usa
Date: January 04, 2002


The History Of Mambo/Salsa The Beginning The first dance of Afro-Cuban origin to obtain success with the American public was the rhumba. This rhythm was introduced in the 1930s through a 78 RPM rendition of El Manisero (The Peanut Vendor) by Dan Azpiazu and his Havana Casino Orchestra. The song was composed by Cuban pianist, Moises Simons and became a popular favorite and paved the way for the rhumba craze.The band though that really popularized Latin rhythms, during this time, was that of Spanish violinist, Xavier Cugat. His repertoire was eclectic but it did not lack in quality. Two of his vocalists were Miguelito Valdes and Frank Grillo (better known as Machito). Cugat enjoyed great commercial success and was responsible for the growing Latinization of American music. El Barrio During the late 1930s and 1940s in New York's El Barrio Latin musicians, mainly Cuban and Puerto Rican, crossed over to develop a blend of Latin and Black American (jazz) rhythms. Many of these musicians worked in the jazz orchestras of the era. Two bands developed during this era of musical exchange. One band was led by Puerto Rican pianist Nora Morales and the other was fronted by vocalist Machito. The heart and soul of the Machito Orchestra was Mario Bauza, the musical director. He was also Machito's brother-in-law. Mario was an accomplished jazz saxophonist & trumpeter. He played with Chick Webb & Cab Calloway. It is during these gigs that he honed his jazz arrangements. Soon the Machito Orchestra became the most exciting orchestra in the Latin field, taking over the crown of Xavier Cugat. These bands had a more direct Afro-Cuban sound than that of their predecessors. Also they added the lush orchestrations of jazz with its brass and wood sections to the traditional rhumba instrumentation based on percussion instruments (tymbal, bongos ans congas) plus piano, bass, claves and maracas. Another band that enjoyed success during this period was that of Cuban born pianist Jose Curbelo. This band included two musicians who would later become legends on the New York Latin music scene, Puerto Rican singer Tito Rodriguez and El Barrio born percussionist Tito Puente. Cubop During the second half of the 1940s, many jazz musicians entered Latin bands and many jazz band leaders started to include afro-cuban elements to their arrangements.This fusion led to the emergence of a new trend: Cubop. The movement was led by Machito and Dizzy Gillespie among others. After hour jam sessions were the rage at many established jazz clubs. Jazz greats such as Charlie "Bird" Parker and Dizzy Gillespie, the emissaries of bebop, would jam with the best Latin musicians at the time. Mambo It is also during this era that a new cuban-originated rhythm was introduced: The Mambo. Quite different in its beat and with more syncopation than the rhumba, the mambo first succeeded in Mexico thanks to the cuban bandleader Damaso Perez Prado. Prado started to attract local attention in Mexico in 1948 with his first mambo recordings. His popularity quickly rose due to the success of his song "Que Rico El Mambo" a year later. Mambo soon took over Mexico. The mambo was introduced in the States by the Latin orchestras of New York, who were well aware of its success in Mexico. After leaving the Jose Curbelo Orchestra to form their own respective groups, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente jumped to make their own mambo recordings which found immediate popularity in New York ballrooms. The mambo did not gain nationwide appeal until the west coast tour of Perez Prado and His Orchestra in 1951. The success of his tour was enormous, as Americans saw him as "Rey Del Mambo", the true personal personification of the new dance craze. The Palladium In 1951, the mambo reached its highest point when the illustrious Palladium Dance Hall changed its music policy to become the mambo center of the world. During its prime the Palladium regularly featured the Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Machito Orchestras. It became common for other ballroom owners to insist that their musicians include the new Latin rhythm to their repertoire. 1955 saw the success of the cha-cha-cha, a mambo derived rhythm slower and more rocking in tempo. The cha-cha-cha became an overnight success, but its popularity lasted less than that of the mambo. Prologue Another important orchestra in the 1950s that contributed to the emergence of Latin music was that of cuban born vocalist Beny More, ex-singer for Perez Prado's Orchestra in Mexico. Another great vocalist to come out of Cuba during this era was Celia Cruz, who made many great recordings with Tito Puente. After its heyday in the 1950s Latin music has gone through many changes, both in rhythm and popularity. Through the decades it has influenced some of pop music's most popular songs. Today it has attained its goal of becoming mainstream in popular music. There are many other great musicians who are equally responsible for the incredible sounds of mambo/salsa. I will profile one each week with a selected discography of their works.

Name: A K Jonsson
City: Stockholm
Country: Sweden
Date: January 24, 2002


The term salsa it is just only a comercial used by FANIA records in the early 70's to make money from the music of the style of Benny Moré (read below). Today the term covers many rithms from the caribean, and latinoamerica. Since there are a lot of people trying to make other peoples' music their own, I'm inserting few afro-latin-caribean rithms below together with their creators in brackets. (Only the most known are included here) From Cuba comes: 1-Guaguanco (an african-cuban sometimes called rumba).It is the basic and the root of the cuban music. 2- Mambo (Perez Prado and others from Cuba) 3-Cha cha cha (Enrique Jorín) 4-Son (comes from danzon, son montuno and later son. The son as it is played today is what Benny Moré already already played in the 50's) 5-Songo (Juan Formell y los Van Van) 6-Timba (a variation of the songo) 7-They have others rithms as well Many people from latinoamerica cannot dance nor play today's cubans rithms which are based on timba. By the time FANIA were making money with thier sons (using the term salsa) Cuba was already in the creation of new rithms. This country is without any doubt the musical center of the region. Since the music has evolutionated the dance has followed it. The so called NY-style, LA-style, etc are in fact just only the way of dancing in the 50's in Cuba and it is sometimes known as "baile de salón". This is still practice in the contry side (rural areas) when cubans music from the 50's together with the cuban country music (= known as guajiras which a version of the son montuno) are played. Meanwhile the new dancing has been imposed due to new cuban rithms such as timba, which is very popular in the cities (and also in the rural areas too). This style is known outside Cuba as "Cuba casino-salsa style" In other words: There exist two major different styles in Cuba: The rural and the city style. The rural is influenced by the farmers (mostly white people) while the city style has the guaguanco sign => afro-style. It is easy to see where people comes from (urban or rurals areas) by observing their styles. Since most of the foreigner goes to the cities they think By the way, their is no dance called salsa nor music term either (in the stricktly and correct way). The dance is called casino and that's why the term "Rueda de Casino" when many people dance casino doing a rueda (=wheel). Republica Dominicana 1-Merengue 2-They have others rithms as well Colombia 1-Cumbia 2-They have others rithms as well

Name: ron bermudez
City: san francisco
Country: u.s.a
Date: March 15, 2002


hello my name is ron bermudez. i am the first salsa d.j. in the s.f. bay area since 1958 in radio k.o.f.y. i used to get death threats for playing black afrocuban music in the radio. i was sponsored by don mendez, and chamorro iglesias, who were the first pop puerto rican radio announcers. i was trained to mix the authentic n.y. latin hustle with salsa by george vascones and 2 couples from the latyn symbolics, they were: floyd chisolm, and nelly coto, and eddie vega and lourdes jones, they both went on to become national and world champions. i am sorry to give you the news that todays salsa, or cuban dancing was started only because the big bands of the 40's in the u.s. went on strike. the radio networks, abc, cbs and nbc had no choice but to bring in music from cuba. since it became a u.s. thing and dance schools like arthur murray opened up, our dancing got changed off the clave, and violated in many ways. but it is o.k. all of us in the salsa industry enjoy watching people making up their own salsa dancing, who cares just have fun. for more truth, or for me to play free salsa dance videos of you the public, or of any level beginners, or professionals on my t.v. program on ch.29 public access channel in s.f. for right now fridays at 11pm. and on ch.26 in pittsburg, and antioch, california, saturdays at 6:30pm. contact me at air mail address: 441 rolph st. s.f. ca 94112 or at  or 24hr. voicemail, 650-991-9490. love you all salseros ron bermudez

Name: mikecancel
City: bronx
Country: new york
Date: April 12, 2002


hola sola para dejarle saber que he leido todos los comentarios de donde salio la salsa y en ningun momemento lei que fue richie rey bobby cruz,los que por primera vez usaron el termino salsa en una orquesta y me acuerdo que fue en venezuela.y para la informacion de los que hablan de la salsa romantica los pioneros de la salsa romantica fueron luie ramirez con rey de la paz con el grupo noches calientes.


Name: Juan
City: Santa Rosa
Country: USA
Date: April 24, 2002


I believe salsa is a mixture of European and African music which evolved over time. The simple proof lies in the instrumets themselves; Trmpets, trombones, pianos, ect are ALL European instruments. Africans contributed through rhythms, drums, call and response (which is heard in every type of salsa song where the salsero sings a lyric and receives a response from the background vocals). Other than that, it's hard to say what exactly made salsa the type of music it is. I've read all the point of views regarding Cuban son, the invention of salsa through the barrios of New York, ect. From what I've read, it seems as though Cuba has given salsa a lot of what it has today, and Puerte Ricans spiced it up a bit. Again, this is from what I've read. I am not Puerte Rican or Cuban and I make this very clear, I am Mexican. People are often very ignorant and assume that salsa has come from every Spanish speaking country, I'm not one of those people. I apologize about all the ignorant assumptions made by the world that has led people to believe that salsa is Mexican music. My father has always made it clear to me that salsa is not Mexican, but I still love the music. There is no rule that says salsa belongs only to the ears of Puerte Ricans and Cubans, because music is music. If people are going to fight about music, why play music? I'm a trumpet player and salsa brass sections have inspired me a great deal. No, I didn't grow up in New York or in Puerto Rico or Cuba, I only know what I read and hear, and I hear good music. Whoever is responsible for this, thank you for taking the stress out of my life and adding some fun. God Bless....

Name: Darious
City: NY
Country: US
Date: April 27, 2002


Hey people i can't believe how many versions of the origins of salsa have being said here. The bottom line is that the real salsa rythmn and the word "Salsa" was developed here in New York by Fania not in puerto rico or cuba or africa, of course it has african heritage but it was developed here in New York and by the way the master mind behind the evolution of of salsa to what we know today was Johnny Pacheco, not puerto rican but Dominican, sorry to surprise you boricuas, although this is not my point i want to make clear that Salsa evolved here in New York by latinos just because most of them were puerto ricans doesn't mean is from puerto rico, damn i needed to say that!!!!





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