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Customer Discussions > Latin Music forum

Salsa in Puerto Rico

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Showing 1-25 of 705 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 30, 2007, 3:19:31 AM PDT
Marcos says:
I like diversity and listen to a whole lot of different music. I have noticed that in the radio they only play puertorican salsa. While there are many great salseros in Puerto Rico(PR), it is undeniable that in Colombia, Cuba, and even beyond there is a lot of talent.

I believe that this "segregation" of foreign salsa is partly responsible for the decline of the genre in PR, and led to a lack of innovation. Many of today's young salseros(such as n'klabe) are completely ignorant to groups such as "Fruko y sus Tesos" and "Los Van Van" who have very different styles than that seen in PR.

The new "salsaton" has shown some potential, but only when the reggeaton is submissive to the salsa sound. When the reggeaton is dominant, it lacks space for the musicians to show their talents with long solos and montunos, becoming repetitive.

I know, this is mostly a rant, but I had free time to write it. And if you know of any innovative salsa PR artists who truly add a diferent spice to their salsa, please let me know.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2007, 8:14:13 PM PDT
Hi Marcos,

PR artists that are innovative? Not really. All I can say was Victor Manuelle's Decision Unanime album was the standout.

I have the same complaint about Puerto Rico. I used to listen to but the only artists they ever play are Puerto Rican, even though the best salsa by far and away comes out of Colombia nowadays. So i recommend you listen to the following stations (out of Colombia) and (out of Peru). I prefer Panamericana because they'll play music from PR, Colombia, Venezuela, Cuba, Peru... etc. Tropicana tends to stick to Colombia and PR.

In general terms innovative salsa doesn't really exist at the moment...

I recommend you check out Adolescent's Orquesta - Buscame (2006). Good luck finding this album on the web, definitely not available on amazon. You can download it via various illegal channels. They are Venezuelan and this is by far and away the best salsa album for many years. It's influences are 70's and 80's salsa, both salsa dura (think FANIA) and salsa romantica (think Eddie Santiago and Lalo Rodriguez).

Also Grupo Niche's Imaginacion was great. Maelo Ruiz's Regalame Una noche was great (he's from PR but the album is recorded and produced in Colombia). Sonora Poncena's Back To The Road. Roberto Roena's Sr Songo. Victor Manuelle's Decision Unanime. Marc Anthony's Valio La Pena. The latest Grupo Gale albums are great. Guayacan Orquesta's latest are great as well.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2007, 12:42:09 AM PDT
HI, Marcos and Daniel I read your post and is very interesting how you guys think about salsa in PR, but I beleave that the best salsa comes from NY,Cuba and PR,that doesn't mean that I haven't heard or know salsa from Colombia,Venesuela, or Peru and the other salseros countries.
These are just my own opinion

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2007, 12:53:11 AM PDT
brooklynborn says:
The reason that you hear a lot of salsa from Puerto Rico is that it's the best salsa in the world!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2007, 12:55:15 AM PDT
brooklynborn says:
The reason that you hear a lot of salsa from Puerto Rico is that it's the best salsa in the world!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 16, 2007, 12:55:26 AM PDT
brooklynborn says:
The reason that you hear a lot of salsa from Puerto Rico is that it's the best salsa in the world!!!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 17, 2007, 1:17:26 AM PDT
E.C. says:
Hello Marcos man this doesnt seem to ever stop the whole salsa thing of where the best salsa comes from right lol. But now a days salsa isnt the same as it used to. Now its all about the sales and what is going to make the record companies the radio stations and tv money .So what happens reaggeton is the big craze now like salsa was int the 60's and especially the 70's !!! So what happens radio stations are rarely playing any salsa and if they do is the pretty boy big marke type of artist no matter what it is puerto rican columbian venezuelan etc. Dont get me wrong there is som talent out there but come on the same talent as in the 70's no way !! So great tip for you i stick to 70's salsa and i try to find rare artist or try to discover artist that were real good in the 70's but not well knonw and believe my there is alot . so believe me try that and your will keep busy for a long time so if you like to get some great music try ,islamusical .com and thats columbian mainly fuentes records artist lke fruko joe arroyo etc but man i dont really care much about radio anymore i get my mp3 cds and jam out to 70's salsa like ray barreto hector lavoe ismael rivera what more do you need but others like fuego 77 tipica 73 with a real young el canario on vocals and believe you can tell the diffrece on his voice theres alot of good musc out there . if you want i can go on and on lol. new artist aah well willie sotelo .,yes adolecentes orquesta definetly los cocorocos album is good too . jesus el nino ilike luisito carrion he is a good sonero that no one seems to want to sign has solo albums 3 then has with sonora poncena bobby valentin and also with grupo gale on the tribuet to niche also most recent with willie sotelo and other artist but his last ablum was in 2000 sin tu amor damn thats along time ago actually weell hope this was short enough lol !!!

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2007, 6:43:11 PM PST
Marcos says:
Lillie, do you actually believe puertoricans are better served by not knowing about different salsa artists, because they are from different places?
If puertorican salsa is so good, how come everyone in Puerto Rico complains about how bad the market is for salsa?
I venture to say the market is bad not despite awesome recordings, but because of a lack of awesome recordings.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 30, 2007, 7:02:35 PM PST
Marcos says:
E.C. I disagree with you. I think the cream of the crop of today is better than what was being produced in the 60's and 70's. It is just far more difficult to find the best than back in the day. I recommend:
Bobby Matos "Charanga Chango", Maraca "Soy Yo", Tiempo Libre "Arroz con Mango", anything by Ricardo Lemvo, Son de Cali "Cambiando La Historia", and SonSublime "Bailando con SonSublime", to name a few. Mind you, I could name a lot of substandard albums that have been recorded lately as well.

The key to a superior salsa recording lies in quality and variety, and few in PR are doing that. You are right about the "pretty boy" syndrome, but in PR, they don't even play many of the songs that are huge in USA latin clubs and radio stations, such as "Llorando" by Son de Cali. I believe this is just based on the fact that they are not from PR. It makes me extremely dissapointed as a puertorican, that the salsa people would rather see salsa die out than give a chance to foreign musicians.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 1, 2008, 4:41:57 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Jul 12, 2008, 2:41:10 PM PDT
hola muchachos Marcos y Daniel.puedo expresar lo mismo al respecto de la salsa que solo se le da mucho credito solo ala salsa de puerto rico,indudablemente no se le puede quitar ningun merito caso que PR cuenta con una extensa lista de musicos y compositores por mencionar uno "catalino curet alonzo" uno de los mas grandes compositores puerto riqueños.pero tambien existen muy buenos musicos y compositores en el mundo como el cubano "arsenio rodriguez" el gran ciego maravilloso como lo llamaban que muchos artistas de nueva york copiaron su estilo de el y en puerto rico tambien. uno de ellos por mencionar es larry harlow adoptaron ese estilo unico del gran arsenio rodriguez.junto a ismael miranda y larry le rinden un tributo al gran arsenio rodruiguez en una de sus compociciones de miranda. el ciego maravilloso dejo un legado musical que lo siguen difundiendo hasta el dia de hoy como uno de ellos es adalberto alvarez por mencionar.y es que hoy en dia solo se vende salsa muy comercial con mezcla y fuciones de otros generos que a mi parecer cadecen de estilo propio y que va desgenerando el genero de la salsa.tambien es cierto lo que dice daniel lo de que solo se escucha mucicos de PR,bueno lo unico que puedo opinar al respecto es que protegen mucho su musica de ellos como puertoriqueños que son.pero esto no deja de perjudicar alos demas artistas de este genero " salsa" porque nose difunde la extense variedad de artistas que hoy en dia exiten el el mudo entero especialmente en este genero. tambien cabe resaltar que es muy cierto que en radio panamericana se escucha mas variedad en lo que se refiere ya se de Cuba,Panama,Venezuela,puerto rico,
colombia,Peru por mencionar.en cambio en radio tropicana solamente difunde de puerto rico y colombia.en general hay que hacer saber que hoy en dia existen muchos artista nuevos pero con mucho talento y hay que apoyar para que se difundia como los demas artistas y que nunca
desaparesca la salsa eso es todo.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 26, 2008, 5:16:39 PM PDT
I'm agree with You Lilli.

In reply to an earlier post on May 1, 2008, 6:49:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 1, 2008, 9:39:47 PM PDT
Gordon says:
I hate to burst everyone's bubble, but the best Salsa or lets call it by it's real name "SON" comes from Cuba and Miami. Tito Puente has been quoted saying that "Salsa is what I put on my chips, I play Cuban Music", and he was also a great embassador of Cuban Music throughout the world.

This is not to take away from the contributions made to the music from PR, Colombia, or Venezuela, which ALL have produced some incredible talent and bands, BUT THE MUSIC COMES FROM CUBA, and the best musicians that interpret this music happen to have come and still do come from there (like: Cachao, Arsenio Rodriguez, Chano Pozo, Miguelito Valdez, Beny More, Alfredo de la Fe, Enrique Jorrin= inventor of Cha Cha, Generoso Jimenez, Richard Egues, Arturo Sandoval, Paquito D'Rivera, Chucho Valdes, Jose Fajardo, Celia Cruz, Willy Chirino, Eliseo Grenet, Guillermo Portabales, Polo Montanez, Arcano, etc..).

By the way, this Salsa Music which is an umbrella of several different Cuban genres like (Son, Cha Cha Cha, Mambo, Guajira, Conga, Montuno, Son Montuno, Descarga, Trova, Nueva Trova, Guaguanco, Rumba, Bolero, Danzon, Changui, Mozambique, Guaracha, Timba, and several other Cuban genres which can be looked up in Wikipedia) continues to be vibrant in Cuba, and is by far what most Cubans dance and listen too.

The proof is that today many artist remake songs from Cuba that were written in the 1930's, 1940's, and 1950's. I can give you several examples like: Francisco Guayabal, Castellano, El Manisero, Pio Mentiroso, Son de La Loma,Tres Lindas Cubanas, Pare Cochero, Chanchullo (which the great Tito Puente used as inspiration for "Oye como Va" --- Chanchullo was written by Cachao in the 1930's, and oh by the way, he also created the Mambo). There are several more examples, because in Cuba there was no copyrighting laws for songs that were written back then. Anytime you see a song in the credits portion of a Latin Album with the initials DR (Derechos Reservados), it is very likely that that song was probably written in Cuba prior to 1960.

By the way, for anyone interested in some great Cuban Bands from Cuba and exiled from the island, then check these out:
Charanga Tipica Tropical
Hansel y Raul
Tropicana All-Stars
Roberto Torres
Conjunto Progreso
Pancho Amat
La India de Oriente
Orquesta Melodias del 40
Charanga de La 4
Charanga Cubana
Caravana Cubana
Polo Montanez

Hope this helps you and broadens your view of this great music and its origin.

In reply to an earlier post on May 7, 2008, 4:14:19 AM PDT
Juan Diaz says:
My Dear Friend, there are no bubbles to burst! You are Cuban and therefore, confused!!! No estamos hablando del Son sino de La Salsa. El mundo entero sabe cual es la cuna de la Salsa. Ya se sabe lo que se dice de las opiniones, todos tenemos la nuestra. Sin embargo, quiero dejarles saber a todos que Fidel no esta presente en este pais. Si no quieres oir Salsa de PR, porque no escuchas otra cosa? Esta demás que el resto del mundo trata a los latinos como inferiores, ahora el colmo es que nosotros tambien tenemos que ponernos falta unos a los otros. Aceptemos que cada pueblo latinoamercano somos diferentes y para los gustos se hicieron los colores. Basta con eso de apuntar el dedo y criticar! Cambia la estación de tú radio y continúa tú vida tranquilo. Cada persona es un mundo y nadie puede craer el de otra persona a sus gustos!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 2, 2008, 5:58:31 PM PDT
bODYbOD says:
I am not a great fan of Columbiano salsa... But I think it's getting better all the time. My hat is off to them because they appreciate the music and are actively engaged in promoting it. Unfortunately the NY hispanic community (don't hate me I'm half Cuban) really didnt put their money where there taste was. The Columbians seem to. Also the strongest promoter of salsa was the Italian American- Jerry Massucci.The Puerto Rican community has FANTASTIC musicians but when I was there -admittedly a while back. Merengue (substandard merengue at that) was the rage on the radio. My guess is Bachata is probably the rage there. That music's arrangements is no where near as great as Salsa both old and new.. but guess what? Dominicans promote it. When you hear something on the radio over and over no matter how corny it is it seems to sell. That coupled with the musical dumming down of our youth i.e most Regetton and street rap. Good music appears to be doomed.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 7, 2008, 7:25:24 AM PDT
Marcos says:
R. Gordon you bring a good but misguided point. I am not discussing who has the best artists, because in that case even though I love timba, Cuban style you forgot to mention, I will mention enough great PR music to shut any Cuban or Colombian up. In fact top timba bands like Bamboleo mention the "Jibaro" which is purely from Puerto Rico. so Cuba is not the only source of inspiration, nor is it capable of searching for inspiration from outside. Conversely Andy Montañez sings songs from timba supergroup, Manolito y su Trabuco. My personal opinion is that timba will take over in the future based on higher numbers of timba bands outside Cuba and lower numbers of salsa bands inside PR and NYC. But this will only happen if they start to market timba to salseros, and with humility rather than your high pride that yours is best and everyone else's inferior.

The situation is that when I have gone dancing to such exotic lands as Singapore, Thailand, Hong Kong, and Japan, people go to salsa bars, and take salsa dance lessons, regardless of what Tito Puente might say or eat. Only a very small minority know about son or timba and an even smaller amount cares about whether a great song is from Cuba, Colombia, or Puerto Rico. So marketing to a sepparate audience actually lowers the Cuban music market... and maybe I have answered part of my question, at least with regard to Cubans.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 12, 2008, 1:28:18 PM PDT
Very interesting discussion! I love my old school salsa. My adolecense was timelined with listening to Willie Colon, Celia, Johnny Pacheco, Ismael Miranda and my favorite of all time Hector Lavoe. Although my experience is New York based it was because of the mixture of different latin cultures that made salsa so dynamic. It included influences from Cuba, the Dominicans (Johnny Pacheco) and of course Puerto Rico. I don't beleve that seperating and labeling who was the biggest contributor is relevent. The dynamic was in our coming together as Latinos. As a Nuyorican (now relocated to Ca.) I am proud to share wonderful music with my girls, just like my parents did when I was a child. I hope that I can get some info on tracking down the older Gran Combo recordings with Pellin Rodriguez and Ismael Rivera when he sang with Cortijo. If you have any info out there I would apreciate it very much. QUE VIVE LA MUSICA LATINA y VIVE LA SALSA !!!! Lorraine, formally from the Block

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2008, 8:29:04 PM PDT
bODYbOD says:
Marcos.. Really great analysis.....also very scientific. I also happen to be an admirer of Timba. Please excuse me if I came off sounding full of pride. I wasnt really focusing on who has the best Salsa/Son.. I was really trtying to express the fact that this great music (which is primarily Cuban and Puerto Rican) suffers from a lack of promotion,exposure and support. As an individual who played in several Orquestas in NY I have been exposed over the last 30+ years to different genres of music and knowing what goes into arranging I am very sad at the lack of exposure of Salsa (modern day AFRO CUBAN, NY, Puerto Rican Son) The genres I elluded to as inferior do not have the same passed down "classicism" as Salsa/Son. I really hope that they do elevate to the point that they can be justifiably be named MUSIC. Timba in my humble view is the only really new Afro Cuban music: and coming from this passed down "classicism" that I mentioned earlier is why it is so fantastic. Again PROMOTION unfortunately will determine how far it will go. That is the one ingredient the currently inferior genres appear to have.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 18, 2008, 7:07:23 PM PDT
The best salsa was the salsa of the 70's and 80's. Even the not-so-good stuff that came out then was better when compared to a lot of the stuff that's out today. BTW, the reason for the limted airplay of quality salsa in Puerto Rico is due to PAYOLA!!!! In Puerto Rico, with some exceptions, if a band doesn't pay the DJs, their music does not get airplay. Obviously, this doesn't apply to groups like El Gran COmbo, who have made it known they do not pay for airplay -- but then how could you get away with not playing their records on the island? But that's the answer -- real simple!

Personally, I think the best salsa today is coming from New York. It's the most innnovative, musically advanced, and pays homage to the traditional sounds and rhythms. All this in an environment where there are fewer and fewer opportunities to see live bands. Colombian salsa has come a long way, but NYC salsa reigns!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 24, 2008, 5:37:22 PM PDT
HS says:
try LA33 out of Bogota.. 1st cd the best but I have both and enjoy their "different sound"

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 25, 2008, 9:25:07 AM PDT
Boy, Let's get it right. Jerry Massucci was a PIMP. He was a businessman that saw a way to make money abusing other people's talents. He paid his musicians with drugs which led to the downfall of many great musicians. I was around back then as a musician and follower of the genre. The film "El Cantante" only hinted at the drug source. I'm sure to avoid potential legal issues. I appreciate the opportunity to voice my opinion. God Bless America!

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 30, 2008, 7:28:35 AM PDT
bODYbOD says:
C.M......Slam bang point u made! You are 1000% correct But just like with American jazz...those are the things that happen when art is and/or artists are "colonized". The musicians that are still functioning from that era appear to have taken their musicianship in their own hands and probably had hard times getting their rewards monetarilly because there were not too many places to go.
The community needs to wake up and support good music and above all enlighten the future generation! Because they don't realize that they are being cheated.

In reply to an earlier post on Aug 31, 2008, 9:38:32 AM PDT
W. Jiles says:
Well to all! P.R. salsa is the best you can't imitated.They have try but nothing like P.R salsa.Claro y esa es la verdad.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 1, 2008, 10:19:58 AM PDT is a great source for classic EGC, Pellin and Maelo...I hope this helps. AYINAMA!!!

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 6, 2008, 10:28:16 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 6, 2008, 10:29:23 PM PDT
Marcos says:
You are right, W.Jiles, Celia Cruz sucks, Ruben Blades`s music belongs in the garbage, and those that put Machito`s band as one of the so called big three right up with Tito Puente made a big mistake...

No really, do you actually believe yourself?

But maybe your post also answers my point. If, as you claim, PR salsa is so incredibly better than that of others, then surely you say it due to your extensive knowledge of salsa which comes from other places like say Colombia and Cuba. Therefore you can tell me about one dozen salseros from other places that you like enough to recommend to your best friends, even if you do not like them as much as PR salseros. And then you can explain what musical elements, when compared to those other salseros, makes PR salsa so much better.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2008, 5:52:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 26, 2008, 5:53:39 PM PDT
Ms. M says:
if you look up cuban salsa there are great groups from cuba, there is Grupo Niche from Columbia. If you did your search you would not be talking about segregation.
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