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* Guiro Y Maraca, quarterly newsletter. Wonderful articles and CD reviews on Puerto Rican Folkloric music and dance.  Contact Juan Cartagena, Segunda Quimbamba Folkloric Center Inc.  279 Second St. Jersey City, NJ 07302 . Phone (201)420-6332. Email:quimbambero@hotmail.com 

From AfroCuban Music to Salsa (Book and CD Package) Pirahna. There's a ton of information in this book and CD set  by ethnomusicologist Dr. Olavo Alan Rodriguez.  The pictures alone will make you want to take the next flight to Havana.

Cuba: I am Time (Book and 4 CD set) CD and a 112 page book on the history of Cuban music.  The CDs give numerous examples of various styles of Cuban music.  Look at  section entitled  ROOTS: CLASSIC CDs for some of our favorites.

The Cuban Danzon (Booklet and CD set)  An interesting collection of vintage  danzon selections, previous found on wax cylinders and 78 rpm discs. Available at : www.camsco.com/artists/carib.html

Salsa Guidebook for Piano and Ensemble. Rebecca Mauleon, 1993.  Sher Music Co., Petaluma, CA. 94953.  A wonderful resource for dancers and musicians.  The book contains great photos of salsa bands and a glossary of music and dance terms.  Available at: www.rumbeca.com/linkspage.html

Salsiology. Vernon Boggs, 1992.  A hard to find gem. One of the most comprehensive looks at Latin music and dancer history, sociology and politics.  My personal bible on this area.

Encyclopedia of Latin American Music. Frank Figueroa. 1994 Pillar Publishing St., Petersburg, Fla.  A brief who's who of Latin American legends and glossary of music and dance terms. Encyclopedia of Latin American Music in...

The Latin Tinge: The Impact of Latin American Music on the Unites States. John Storm Roberts.  An interesting overview of the trends in Latin America and American popular music and jazz. Available at www.amazon.com.

Musica:  The Rhythm of Latin America, Salsa, Rumba, Merengue and More. Sue Steward, Willie Colon. 1999.  Since the last update, I have picked this one up and I love it.  This one looks at salsa from its earliest origins in Cuba and Puerto Rico and  takes us right up to current stars such as Isaac Delgado, DLG and Bamboleo.  There are highlighted artist profiles,  lots of pictures and commentaries on sociocultural issues in the U.S. and Latin America.  A great gift idea for your favorite salsa addict.  Available at www.amazon.com

Salsa: Havana Beat, Bronx Heat. Hernando Ospina. 1995. Another hard to find paperback but a useful reference.

Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music (Music in American Life). Steve Loza, 1999. University of Illinois Press.  An insightful, informative biography of El Rey, a tireless pioneer and innovator of Latin music who we will never forget.  Lots of great pictures and interviews.  Available at www.amazon.com

  My Music Is My Flag: Puerto Rican Musicians and Their New York Communities, 1917-1940. Ruth Glasser. Reprint Edition 1997. This book offers a distinctive socio-cultural history of Puerto Rican culture in New York during the first half  of the 20th century.   I found the chapters on the bomba and plena  real gold mines of information. Available at www.amazon.com 

From Bomba to Hip-Hop (Popular Cultures, Everyday Lives). Juan Flores, 2000. Columbia University Press.  A compilation of essays on the evolution of Puerto Rican Culture in the U.S.  This text has probably the most comprehensive discussion on Boogalu, a marriage of African American dance and contemporary Puerto Rican music.  Available at www.amazon.com



International Salsa Museum

2127 Third Ave (at 116th St.)

New York, NY.

(212) 472-2652



  * I made the pilgrimage to the International Salsa Museum this fall  and I had a great time.  If you are anywhere close to New York, you must spend an afternoon there.  My full report with pictures appears as ROOTS:SALSA MUSEUM  at www.salsaroots.com

Email and feedback can be directed to: rita@salsacrazy.com



CON LA MUSIC POR DENTRO. CIEN ANOS DE HISTORIA. This video produced by Banco Popular in Puerto Rico presents  wonderful footage of the  Los Hermanos Cepeda dancing and playing  Bomba and Plena.  The video also includes boleros and salsa segments. 1999, Color, Spanish. Available at: http://www.antojitos.com

THE MAMBO KINGS, 1992 Color 102 minutes --The story centers on two Cuban brothers who are trying to break into the mambo music scene during the 1950's.  Great music and dancing scenes with special appearances by Celia Cruz and Tito Puente.  The movie is roughly based on the Pulitzer prize award winning book “The Mambo Kings Sing Songs of Love” by Oscar Hijuelos.  Get it from www.amazon. com.

SON SAROSON, Color 90 minutes – A documentary shot in Cuba by Hugo Barrosos that features interviews and vintage performances by well known figures in Cuban popular music.  Available at:


SALSA A LA CUBANA! A demonstration video that shows the Cuban style of salsa dancing.  Available at:


DANCE WITH ME. A recent dance film with actress Vanessa Williams and singer Chayanne.  The film features ballroom dancing, salsa, rueda and lots of professional salsa dancers from Los Angeles. Available at http://www.amazon.com

A BAILAR!: THE JOURNEY OF A LATIN DANCE COMPANY  1988, Color, 30 minutes. Tells the story of Eddie Torres who for more than a decade nurtured the dream of establishing a Latin dance company on the scale of what Alvin Ailey did with Afro-American dance. The film documents Eddie's recruitment of the best of New York's salseros--Hispanic club and street dancers--and how, with the musical collaboration of Tito Puente, he molds them into a professional dance troupe.

Available at: http://www.thecinemaguild.com

ROOTS OF RHYTHM  WITH HARRY BELAFONTE Rumba! Mambo! Cha-cha-cha! Hot Latin dance crazes have swept Americans onto dance floors for decades. Routes of Rhythm is a joyous and colorful three-part musical odyssey that follows the powerful flow of Afro-Cuban music from its origin five centuries ago in Africa and Spain to the contemporary sound of such exciting popular artists as Gloria Estefan, Ruben Blades, and jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie.

1990, Color, 3 programs of 58 mins.   Available at:



EVERYDAY ART.  A wonderful look at contemporary music and dance forms in Cuba.  Many interviews with dancers and musicians and an inside look at the National School for the Arts in Havana  1994, Color, subtitled.  Available at:



Email and feedback can be directed to: rita@salsacrazy.com

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