Salsa “Folklórico y Experimental” 1965–19751
This chapter explores the history of Salsa in New York City. In the late 1960’s Salsa became the vehicle for the cultural expressions of community, aesthetics, and identity for the Puerto Ricans, Nuyoricans, and other Latinos. Salsa was a musical celebration and valorization of Nuyorican identity and became the voice of the alienated and disenfranchised barrio youth in New York City and beyond. Though in the main, its practitioners heralded from the Puerto Rican diaspora: from its very inception “salsa” has been a pan-Caribbean creation. With the Cuban Revolution, the subsequent recording ban of 1961 and the embargo of 1962, New York City displaced Havana as the center of Latin music. After the brief but rich Boogaloo explosion of the mid-Sixties, salsa took over the airwaves and dance-floors. If Boogaloo can be seen as an anticipation of and response to the Civil Rights movement, salsa was “Black Power.”
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