Faces of Salsa: A Spoken History of the Music

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $7.77
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 54%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (9) from $7.77   
  • New (5) from $9.42   
  • Used (4) from $7.77   


In this collection of masterfully crafted interviews with some of the most famous creators of the music we call Salsa, prizewining Cuban novelist Leonardo Padura Fuentes explores the genesis of the music, its rise in popularity, its social context, and its artistic legacy. Filled with personal revelations by the musicians, historical detail about their lives and times, and colorful anecdotes about their identities, friendships, and working relationships, the book is a tribute to the artistry and social commitment of some of the most inventive artists of our time.

In his brilliant introduction about the idols of Latin music since the 1920s, and throughout the book, Padura takes up the old dispute about the relationship of salsa to the Cuban music known as son, but the book is not a search for origins. Rather, through his conversations with a group of extraordinarily articulate musicians, he reveals how the aesthetics of salsa filled a cultural void, transforming popular Latin and Caribbean dance music and creating a new generation of musicians who would establish a new model: the salsero, an artist who had embarked upon something his forbearers never did—a conscious project.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781588340801
  • Publisher: Smithsonian Institution Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 200
  • Sales rank: 831,731
  • Product dimensions: 5.95 (w) x 8.95 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Leonardo Padura Fuentes is a Cuban writer whose works include Máscaras, La Puerta de Alcalá y Otras Cacerías, Vientos de Cuaresma, and Pasada Perfecto.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Among Friends ...
Prologue: The Salsero: Music and Conscience 1
1 Conversation in La Catedral with Mario Bauza 13
2 Willie Colon: The Salsa Kings Don't Just Play Songs of Love 26
3 Johnny Ventura: Merengue Can Be a Very Serious Thing, but Also Wonderful 38
4 Johnny Pacheco: From the New Tumbao to the Old Tumbao - The Great Chronicle of Salsa 51
5 Juan Formell: It Ain't Easy, It Ain't Easy 62
6 Searching for Ruben Blades 77
7 Cachao Lopez: My Language Is a Double Bass 90
8 Wilfrido Vargas: I Am Merengue 103
9 Papo Lucca: From Ponce to Heaven (without a Doubt) 113
10 Adalberto Alvarez: Sonero in a Car 125
11 Juan Luis Guerra: With and without Hat 138
12 Nelson Rodgriguez: With Salsa until 2000 154
13 Radames Giro: The Tangents of Salsa 168
Conclusion: Ten Reasons and Five Opinions to Believe (or Not) in the Existence of Salsa 183
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2005

    Wonderful salsa expose...

    Being an devoted music lover, this book allows for a true understanding of the origins of what is known today as 'salsa music.' Padura is able to elequently entertain as well as to inform readers not only about the vast cuban influence on this type of music, but also on how 'salsa' has influenced societies.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews

If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
Why is this product inappropriate?
Comments (optional)