DESCRIPTION

Salsa music first developed in the barrios of New York City, where Puerto Ricans and other immigrants from the Spanish speaking Caribbean came together to cover the latest hits from Cuba, whose domination of the Latin American music scene went unchallenged throughout the 1950’s. However, in 1959, the Cuban Revolution brought the booming Cuban- American music industry to a standstill at the height of its popularity. The demand for Latin rhythm was soon met by New York-based Puerto Ricans like Johnny Pacheco and the Fania All-Stars, who added elements of Puerto Rican bomba and plena music to the Cuban son to create a style of music all their own.

the Cuban Revolution brought the booming Cuban- American music industry to a standstill at the height of its popularity

The expression “toca con salsa”, or, play with flavor, gave the burgeoning genre a name well suited to the energetic new sound. Salseros played a faster, rougher beat than their Cuban counterparts, and, thanks in large part to trombonist Willie Colón, further emphasized the horn section, resulting in more aggressive arrangements than had been played by big band soneros. This salsa dura, or hard salsa, often incorporated socially conscious lyrics reflecting the experiences of New York’s black and Hispanic working class. Salsa quickly became a dominating force in Latin American music, with distinct styles developing in Colombia, Venezuela, and, of course, Puerto Rico.