Faces of Salsa: A Spoken History of the Music

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Overview

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.

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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.
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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
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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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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