Salsa Dance

Couple dancing in Malecon Havana, Cuba

Salsa is a word meaning “sauce”, used by Cuban musicians in the sense of “spice”; the term began to be used in the early ’70s to describe New York City’s hot and up-tempo Latin music. A classic Cuban son of the early ’30s by Ignacio Piñeiro was called “Echale Salsita” (Put A Little Sauce In It!). The term was used in song and album titles, for example, “Salsa y Bembé” (from Joe Cuba Sextet’s LP Steppin’ Out ’62 on Seeco), Pupi Legarreta’s 1962 debut LP Salsa Nova (New Spice) on Tico and Charlie Palmieri’s LP Salsa Na’ Ma’, Vol. 3 ’63 on Alegre, both made in NYC, and a 1966 album by Venezuelan band Federico y su Combo Latino was called Llegó La Salsa (Salsa Has Arrived) on Palacio. The radio showLa Hora del Sabor, la Salsa y el Bembé launched in Venezuela in 1966 is cited as popularising “salsa” as a generic label. Izzy Sanabria, MC, designer, editor / publisher of Latin NY magazine (now defunct) and host of the ’73 TV show Salsa, is also identified with its origin. By 1975 the term was firmly established as the title of the Fania film Salsa, the same year a Grammy category for Best Latin Recording and Latin NY music awards were introduced. Salsa is mainly derived from Cuban music, which contributed traditional Latin percussion (i.e. timbales, conga, bongo), types of ensemble (conjuntos of trumpets and percussion, charangas with flute and violins, brass- and sax-led big bands), clave (the basic rhythmic pattern) and numerous dance forms: son, son montuno, rumba, guaguancó, mambo, cha cha chá, bolero, guajira, guaracha. Salsa also embraces an international range of musics including Puerto Rican bomba and plena, etc; also fusion experiments with rock, jazz, soul, etc. At the time the term was adopted, the music had returned to its roots, the típico (typical) Cuban conjunto sound, after the Latin / R&B fusion of the late ’60s called boogaloo; the music had always lacked a suitable tag and “salsa” assisted marketing. By the mid-’90s salsa was being fused with hip-hop and other styles, a prime example being the slick and swinging salsa / hip-hop / rap / raga / R&B synthesis DLG (Dark Latin Groove). In the 2000s reggaetón was brought into the mix to create salsatón. - John Child

Hot Sauce or Salsa where the word Salsa comes from

The hot Salsa”sauce” where the association of hot and sexy Salsa Music comes from