[sahl-suh; Sp. sahl-sah]
salsa, American popular music developed largely in New York City during the 1970s; its name is derived from the Spanish word for hot sauce. It is a mixture of various elements: rhumba, mambo, chacha, and other Latin dance forms; Afro-Cuban, Puerto Rican, Dominican, and other Latin American strains; rock music; and jazz. During the 1980s the style also became popular in Miami as well as in Puerto Rico, Venezuela, and Colombia. Salsa is chiefly performed, and often simultaneously danced, by singers, percussionists, keyboardists, brass players, and guitarists. Prominent salsa musicians include bandleaders Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri; singers Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades, La India, and Marc Anthony; and such instrumentalists as Ray Barretto, Willie Colon, Johnny Pacheco, and Bobby Valentin.

See Salsa: Latin Pop Music in the Cities (video, 1988); C. Gerard, Salsa!: the Rhythm of Latin Music (1989); R. Figueroa, Salsa and Related Genres: A Bibliographical Guide (1992); V. Boggs, Salsiology: Afro-Cuban Music and the Evolution of Salsa in New York City (1992).

salsa(Spanish; “sauce”)

Contemporary Latin American dance music. Salsa developed in Cuba in the 1940s. It drew upon local musical styles, such as charanga (featuring primarily strings and flute) and the dance music of the conjuntos (bands), and blended them with elements of jazz. In the 1950s salsa began to flourish in New York City, where it incorporated traditional Puerto Rican rhythms, and later, elements from Venezuelan and Colombian music and rhythm and blues. Its stars have included Celia Cruz, Tito Puente, and Willie Colon.

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