Salsa Music

Since Columbus "discovered" America and the slave trade began, music has always been a very important part of the Cuban culture. Cuba’s strategic position in the Caribbean, made it a real crossroad for all the trades between Central and North America and for most of the incoming slave ships from Africa. Cuba became a "sponge" that absorbed and processed all the surrounding music influences and all the incoming African rhythms and melodies. Since those days the music has mutated many times and through out the years one genres of music gave birth to new ones one of the most resent of those mutations has been called Salsa. The history of salsa is no only limited to Cuba but it extends to Puerto Rico and New York. In the last few years salsa has reached even the most unthinkable places of the world.

Since Columbus came to America and brought with him the colonization of Las Americas, music has been a rich part of Cuban culture. When Spanish colonists started the trade of African slaves, the history of salsa music began. Given to Cuba’s crossroad position between North America, South America, the Old World and the New World most of the slave trading that occurred in the New World was done in Cuba. As consequence of this Cuba basically absorbed the cultures and religions from surrounding islands in the Caribbean and all the traditions and music that came from Africa.

The real development of salsa music genre came from a series of music mutations when in the late 1800 the guaguanco or Santeria music started to make its way out from the sugar plantations to rural peoples life’s and then to the cities. The first music style that had its roots in guaguanco or Afro melody was a music genre named danzon but as all genres it slowly mutated. In the 1920s, the son, a faster, more danceable version of the older danzon was making it self to the top, but the classic ballrooms rejected it. However, Cuban youth refused to be dictated to an adopted son. This new mutation went to form the base for what is today called salsa.

On October 21, 1921;Celia Cruz, who is called the mother of salsa, was born in Havana. She grew up in huge family of fourteen children. While she was growing up she always wanted to pursue a career in singing but her father urge her to pursue a career as literature teacher. After singing in a talent show, which she won interpreting a tango piece "Nostalgia in a bolero tempo feeling she had a future in the music business Cruz, abandoned her studies. Her career launched was when she joined the ensemble named "La Sonora Matanzera" replacing the lead singer of the assemble, Myrta, Silva and then staring in five films produced in Mexico. She also headlined in one of the most important nightclubs of the time named Tropicana.

In 1959 Dictator Fidel Castro came to power and Cruz had to immigrate to Mexico and then to the United States where she did not find the success she had in Cuba. In the late 1960s became familiarized with a new music genre that was the result of various Hispanic musicians experimenting with different sounds of the Caribbean to modify the son genre. As a result of these experiments was created the new genre of salsa.

Why she is considered the mother of salsa? Celia Cruz or also known as "La guarachera" or "La guarachera de Cuba" was the singer that introduced salsa to the world and made it what it is today. She has performed in the farthest and most unthinkable places in the world as China, Japan and Australia. She has been honored with a doctorate of music from Yale University, a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and a 1990 Grammy award.

Since the1970s she has had many artists followers as Willie Colon, Tito Puente, Johny Pacheco who have taken on "La guarachera" mission to deliver this beautiful and history full music style to the rest of the world. Although this music style was originated from Cuban music genres and created mostly by Cuban musicians, New York has been nominated as the new center of Cuban music, due to the isolation of Cuba from the