Salsa music is a genre of music, generally defined as a modern style of playing Cuban Son, and Son Montuno with touches from other genres of music. Originally, Salsa was not a rhythm in its own right, but a name given in the 1970s to various Cuban-derived genres, such as Son, Mambo and Son Montuno.
Son is a style of popular dance music that originated in the Oriente province of Cuba. It is the foundation of modern salsa. There are several hybrids of Son, including Son-montuno, Afro-son and Guajira-son.
A derivation of Son, usually played a little slower, and identified by its arpeggiated guitar or piano parts. “Guantanamera” is probably the most famous guajira.
A slow, romantic ballad.
Originally a derivative of the danzón-mambo, cha-cha-chá became a popular style of its own.
A secular folkloric form, Rumba consists of drumming, dancing and call-and-response singing both in African and Spanish languages.
Sacred music of the Lucumí religion featuring batá drums. This track features the master akpwón (caller) of Cuba, Lázaro Ros.
A flamenco-derived folk dance once popular throughout Cuba but now confined mostly to rural Oriente and associated with guajira music.
A style of music influenced by European dances, first developed in the late nineteenth century. The form later was expanded to contain a section initially known as “nuevo ritmo,” later called mambo.
The word mambo can have many meanings, but the samples here are representative of the dance style popularized in the 40’s and 50’s. The Cachao sample, written by his brother Orestes Lopez, is thought to be the first mambo.
Literal translation: to unload. The descarga is the Cuban jam session. Israel “Cachao” Lopez made several classic descarga records in the fifties.
Cuban jazz–self explanatory.
A style of Cuban carnival music created by Pedro Izquierdo, also known as Pello Afrokán.
Another style of Cuban carnival music.
Charanga refers to instrumentation. Flute and violins take the place of brass. Pachanga was a popular style in the 50’s and was usually played by Charanga bands.
Pilón was a popular dance based on the motions of pounding sugarcane. It originated in the Cuban town of the same name.
The newest and most controversial music out of Cuba, Timba is like salsa on steroids. It incorporates influences from Brazilian music, R&B, hip-hop and salsa.
Originated by Los Van Van, Songo was in many ways the predecessor to timba. The roles of the piano and bass were custom-fit to each song, rather than relying on traditional patterns.
An early style of Son.