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salsa

salsa (sälˈsə, sôlˈ–) [key], 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).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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