Roots of Salsa
To find the roots of Cuban music we look to West Africa where the slave trade thrived. The Yoruba, Congo and other West African people created rhythms in ancient times to call forth various gods. Sadly, these wonderful rhythms were brought over to the New World under dire circumstances when the slave merchants stole the free people from Africa.
Troubadours from Spain brought Flamenco guitar music to Cuba. Out of this came Son.. Later on Emilio Orfe created the Danzon style. Oreste Lopez helped create Mambo by combining Danzon with African rhythms from the street. The dancing itself came out of rehearsals where couples would come over and improvise. The Latin music we hear today has its origins in Cuba where the blending of African drum rhythms and Spanish guitar evolved into a variety of Latin American music: Son, Danzon, the rhythms of Carnival, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Salsa.....even Tango came out of Cuba.
Americans went to Cuba (during the prohibition in the US) where drinking alcohol was legal and they became infected with the Latin rhythms. As early as 1909 radio recordings came out of Cuba. In 1932 American Radio came to Cuba to record Orquesta Anacoana. This amazing all-female orquesta consisted of 10 sisters. They were the first females in Cuba to openly play percussion, horns and other instruments.
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