salsa origins

Discussion in 'Just Dance' started by misty, Apr 8, 2010.

  1. misty

    misty Son

    My paper is more about writing technique then about historical accuracy so I am not keeping an active bibliography. From what I recall, the article that mentioned Madagascar stated that both it and Congo were French colonies. When massive French construction projects went up in Congo, a group of slaves were brought over from Madagascar who were skilled in construction. These slaves also brought over a primitive dance which when combined with the Congo beat and and a Congo dance, became a precursor to rumba.

    From what I have read so far, Congo was one of the most developed African countries in terms of music in the late 1800s and early 1900s and a lot of other west and south African beats are derived from what Congo had then, correct?
  2. bailar y tocar

    bailar y tocar Clave Commander

    I don't know anything about what the French did in Madagascar. It started out as a Portuguese colony and somehow the French got it. It was and is inhabited by a mix of people of Indonesian and East African origin. The Malagassy language is more like one of the Indonesian languages.

    Re Congo, there is a fair amount of debate about the word and which place it described back in the 1800s. One aspect is critical though: it was not possible for sailboats to travel directly from the region of modern day Congo across the Atlantic and reach Cuba or even the Eastern Caribbean. The slave ships from the Congo had to take a torturous path to cross the Equator. It is believed that modern day Nigeria and Benin are the origin of what people back in the day called "Congo". That region, plus modern day Guinea, Mali and Senegal are still the most developed regions in the world for music. Even today many Jazz and Blues musicians travel there to learn from the masters.

    Another note on Congo and Rumba. There is a musical genre pioneered by Wendo Kolosoy called "Congolese Rumba" that has little to do with Afro-Cuban Rumba or Ballroom Rumba. I saw Wendo perform live at an outdoor festival in Chicago many years ago, he was old but still alive and doing well.
  3. kerry.alder

    kerry.alder Sonero

    From what I have read, the voyage from Africa to the Americas left Africa near what is modern day Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea to sail across the Atlantic to what is now the coast of Brazil. Then they would follow the currents north to what is now Cuba and other Caribbean Islands. On their long voyage, the shuffle step used in some of the precursor dances to salsa was invented.

    Which Congo did salsa music & dance originate from? Congo Brazzaville or Congo Kinshasa or was there even a difference between the two Congo's back then?
  4. terence

    terence Maestro 'Descarga' Cachao

    Neither.. they ( music and dance ) didnt exist at that time. and the the precursor of what you know today as Salsa, has its roots in " Son" coming out of Cuba via the D.R., and dating back to the 1500s..
  5. dj_nick

    dj_nick Son Montuno

    The slave trade to Cuba had ended before Europeans began to properly colonize the Congo region in the late 1800s. The two colonies, Belgian and French, which would eventually become the two present day countries called the Congo didn't exist.

    The largest group of Africans that made up the Cuban slave population were the Kongo people, who came from a very wide area that includes the Congo basin and goes as far south as Luanda in Angola. There were also a large number of Yoruba who have also contributed significantly to Afro-Cuban culture.

    But remember also that when it comes to Africa, we are not talking where salsa originates, but rather about the origin of one of salsa's roots.
  6. Chevere

    Chevere Changui
    This video is showing the argument if this could be the start of casino . is from the 1938
  7. dj_nick

    dj_nick Son Montuno

    This is exactly the kind of stuff I'm interested in seeing. Thanks Chevere!

    Some thoughts:
    • Very much centered around the cross-body lead.
    • They're more or less dancing in a slot (especially once the cross body leads start).
    • Hard to tell what step they're breaking on, but not entirely consistent.
    • The guy turns plenty; the girl hardly at all
  8. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    A very good start for more information on the roots, look at this documentary called "Roots of Rhythm" with Harry Belafonte:

    Have fun,
    vit likes this.
  9. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    Today part 2 of Roots of Rhythm.

    And a short synopsis of part 1 and 2:
    Part 1 description:
    PBS’s Roots of Rhythm, host Harry Belafonte traces the roots of the musical form that has come to be called Latin music. From its origins in Africa and Spain, Belafonte details the evolution of the rhythms that would eventually be carried across the sea on slave ships. Featuring archival clips of early Latin superstars, the video sets the historical stage for a thorough exploration of this passion-filled musical form.

    Part 2 description:
    In the second tape of the three-tape documentary Roots of Rhythm, host Harry Belafonte leads the viewer on a tour of the blossoming of Latin music in the Cuban and Caribbean cultures.

    Featuring performances by some of the best known Latin performers including Tito Puente, Desi Arnaz, and Ruben Blades, this volume sets the stage for the explosion of Latin flavored music into the world of popular culture.

    Have Fun,
    vit likes this.
  10. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    Today Part 3 of Roots of Rhythm.

    Part 3 description:
    In this final volume of the three-tape documentary Roots of Rhythm, host Harry Belafonte chronicles the rise to fame and fortune of Latin-influenced performers. As in the first two volumes, Roots of Rhythm, Vol. 3: To the Top of the Charts features the performances of some of the leading lights in the field of Latin music including Dizzy Gillespie, King Sunny Ade, the Miami Sound Machine, Celia Cruz, and many more.

    Have fun,
  11. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    Of course the story continues with the following documentary Yo Soy Del Son A La Salsa.

    "Yo Soy del Son a la Salsa," executive produced by tropical music industry leader Ralph Mercado--founder of RMM Records and Video Corp., and now, RMM FilmWorks--fills in that history. The 100-minute documentary pulls salsa music out from under the sanitized cloak of kitsch that films such as "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and television performances such as Desi Arnaz's on "I Love Lucy" cast on Cuban music, and sheds light on its populist roots and evolution.

    "We thought that telling the story of the popular dance music which we today call salsa, from its origins in the hills of Eastern Cuba in the 19th century up until today, was a project that could illuminate and provide a means of expressing Caribbean Latino identity," Lopez said.

    Narrated by Isaac Delgado--a Cuban interpreter of contemporary rumba, guaracha and son, a traditional music that evolved into salsa--"Yo Soy" features interviews and archival footage of salsa legends Tito Puente, Ruben Blades, Tito Rodriguez, Celia Cruz, Machito, Benny More, Perez Prado, Marc Anthony, Oscar D'Leon and Arsenio Rodriguez, among others.

    And while musicologists pop up in the film to explain the fusion of different musical forms--from the earliest changui and nengon to el son to mambo to modern-day salsa--it's a story best told by the practitioners themselves.

    "Yo Soy" brings together for the first time in one film Cuban artists living on the island of Cuba and Cuban artists who have immigrated to the United States, Puerto Rican artists based on the island of Puerto Rico, as well as Puerto Ricans based in New York, and Dominicans and Venezuelans who have made their mark on tropical music and salsa.

    "I felt this story had to be told from the point of view of the protagonists, not from the outside," said Lopez, who took his film crews to New York, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Havana, Cuba, as well as the Eastern hills of Cuba to tell his tale.

    So what exactly is the musical expression of salsa, the Spanish word that quite literally means sauce, but has become a catch phrase for all things hot and fiery?

    "As it's defined in the film by the musicians themselves and the musicologists we consulted, it's a term that surfaced in the '70s to define a kind of worldwide Latin dance music," said Lopez, an award-winning Cuban documentary director, whose recent films include "El Viaje Mas Largo" ('The Longest Journey'), about Chinese immigration to Cuba, and "Mensajero de los Dioses" ("Messenger of the Gods"), an exploration of African Yoruba religious rites in Cuba, commonly known as Santeria.

    "It was U.S. Latino musicians in New York who, when Cuban music stopped being imported to the U.S., kept it alive and helped spread it throughout the world," said Lopez. "Contact with non-Cuban musicians resulted in an enrichment of Cuban musical forms."

    The newest generation of salsa artists includes hip-hopper turned salsero Marc Anthony, India, Cuban group Los Van Van and the exceedingly popular Albita, as well as groups from Japan, where a salsa craze has produced home-grown talent such as Orquesta de la Luz.

    It's a generation that has taken possession of a torch that has burned brightly for a long time now.

    "To me, the son is a sublime expression to cheer the soul," said 92-year-old trumpeter Lazaro Herrera during an interview in the film. To me, the son is a sublime expression to cheer the soul," said 92-year-old trumpeter Lazaro Herrera during an interview in the film. "He who does not deem the son a good thing [isn't alive]."

    The word "salsa"--which was popularized during a 1970s Fania All Stars world tour--is said to have been first used in the context of music by Cuban musician Ignacio Pineiro in a 1920s song called "Echale Salsita" or "Put a Little Salsa on It."

    But Cuban music found its way to the United States long before the 1970s. One of the early ambassadors of Cuban music to the U.S. was Arsenio Rodriguez, the blind tres player and creator of the guaguanco rhythm who came to America seeking a cure for his blindness, and brought his infectious rhythms with him in the 1930s.

    Musicians such as Mario Bauza, Machito and Israel "Cachao" Lopez helped carry the mambo era, popularizing it after World War II in New York ballrooms, until the Cuban revolution and the U.S.-Castro feud quelled America's taste for Cuban imports with its resultant embargoes.

    But instead of thwarting the growth of Cuban music, the import ban may have helped hasten the expansion of Cuban music because of a shift in musical development and influence from Cuba to New York that brought musicians such as Puerto Rican Willie Colon and Panamanian Ruben Blades into the picture.
  12. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    Of course the story continues Documental "En Clave" - Musica Cubana, Rumba y Jazz Afrocubano. Ruben Blades tells us more where everything is coming from.....

  13. arsenio123

    arsenio123 Son Montuno

    Someone who is important in the development of mambo, afrocuban jazz and salsa in New York, working with Mario Bauza, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Arsenio Rodriguez, Chico O'farrell and René Hernandez. Also great pictures of Benny Moré.


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