Cuban music is so powerful that it
has had an impact on virtually every
region of the earth. The Habanera,
a dainty rhythm that owes it’s
inspiration to French and Spanish
ballroom dances was the rage in
the early 1900’s and influenced the
development of the tango.
El Manciero (The Peanut Vendor)
a catchy song about a nut
salesman, was the 1930’s
equivalent of the Macarena and
put Cuban music permanently on
the map. Perez Prado turned the
Mambo into a mainstream
favourite in the late 1940’s and 50’s.
Cuban music was the base upon
which modern salsa was built.
No one in Latin music has ever
approached the status of Celia Cruz
in her more than fifty-year reign.
She is quite simply the Queen of Salsa.
Celia Cruz’s vast
repetoire of songs contains the history of Salsa - from
the earliest, fresh-voiced records
with the brassy Afro-Cuban son band,
La Sonara Matancera (who led her out
of Cuba in 1959), through her sixties
recordings with Tito Puente, when
she sang soul-stirring tributes to the
Afro-Cuban saints and joined the
New York set, to her unchallenged
dance through Salsa’s history guided
by Johnny Pacheco and picking up
gold discs and grammies for albums
with Fania’s other top bandleaders:
Larry Harlow, Willie Colón,
Ray Barretto,’Papo’ Lucca.
Tito Puente said about Celia “There will never be another
Celia Cruz; she has everything”
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