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Caribbean Music

Caribbean music has always had a great deal of prestige in Mexico. If we travel through the traditional sounds of the various islands, we can find an extremely rich mosaic of rhythms and melodies, many of which also are heard and danced to in our country. Hispaniola Island brings merengue, while Puerto Rico plena. Trinidad is the land of sensual calypso and Martinique, the refuge of zouk. Jamaica is distinguished by its hypnotic rhythmic reggae and Cuba by danzon. Other musical genres came about later, like rumba, guaguancó, guaracha, mambo, conga and cha-cha-chá.

Salsa started to become an integral part of Mexico City’s cultural heritage several years ago, and is now a great attraction that can be enjoyed as much by beginners and the well-intentioned with little talent as by experts. Many of the Latin dancing bars and clubs in the capital – Mojito Room, Mambo Café, La Flor del Son, La Nueva Cuba, Son de la Loma and Mama Rumba – offer “Salsa Nights” with live groups of different nationalities, dance classes, delicious Latino-style drinks and an appetizing menu of traditional dishes. La Bodeguita del Medio also has a humidor with a selection of the best cigars and tobacco from Cuba.

Salsa, a product of immigration in the United States, is a fusion of Afro-Caribbean rhythms and soul-jazz. Its origin is often debated, although it’s known that its roots reach Cuba, Puerto Rico, Venezuela and Colombia. Its name indicates its mixed origin, as it blends together many rhythms and styles. The modern salsa movement took off in the sixties. In those years, Puerto Rican exiles living in the New York City slums named it the “Devil’s Cauldron.” Later, it was called salsa, a term that singers and musicians used to express the flavor and heat of the music. It was in 1973 when the term became official, leading to its expansion throughout America with the band Fania All Stars and their famous album Latin Soul Rock. Two years later, Hector Lavoe with Mi gente and Celia Cruz with Bemba Colora became the greatest representatives of this music.

There are two styles of salsa that have been widely practiced in Mexico City since 2000: “Salsa en Línea” and “Rueda de Casino”, both with their own features, steps, music and codes. “Salsa en Línea”, commonly danced in performances and competitions, is characterized by its linear movement. More social in its nature, “Rueda de Casino” calls for couples to dance in a circle, maintaining a base and inserting short sequences of steps – mariposa, Italia, rodeo, 70’s, etc. – practiced in unison, following the lead of whoever takes the wheel.

Article  by Con Acento Latino. They strive for the knowledge of the Spanish language and Latin culture among executives and students throughout the world. For the comfort of the students, the classes are tailor-made and held in their offices or homes.

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