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The Book of Salsa: A Chronicle of Urban Music from the Caribbean to New York City

Overview

Salsa is one of the most popular types of music listened to and danced to in the United States. Until now, the single comprehensive history of the music—and the industry that grew up around it, including musicians, performances, styles, movements, and production—was available only in Spanish. This lively translation provides for English-reading and music-loving fans the chance to enjoy César Miguel Rondón's celebrated El libro de la salsa.

Rondón tells the engaging story of ...

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Overview

Salsa is one of the most popular types of music listened to and danced to in the United States. Until now, the single comprehensive history of the music—and the industry that grew up around it, including musicians, performances, styles, movements, and production—was available only in Spanish. This lively translation provides for English-reading and music-loving fans the chance to enjoy César Miguel Rondón's celebrated El libro de la salsa.

Rondón tells the engaging story of salsa's roots in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, and of its emergence and development in the 1960s as a distinct musical movement in New York. Rondón presents salsa as a truly pan-Caribbean phenomenon, emerging in the migrations and interactions, the celebrations and conflicts that marked the region. Although salsa is rooted in urban culture, Rondón explains, it is also a commercial product produced and shaped by professional musicians, record producers, and the music industry. For this first English-language edition, Rondón has added a new chapter to bring the story of salsa up to the present.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
[A] wonderful chronicle of the Latin urban music that ruled from the Caribbean to New York City from the mid-sixties to the late-seventies. . . . This book is one of the best single comprehensive chronicles of this music and its industry, the musicians and their performances, styles, movements and productions.
Latin Beat
From the Publisher
"Possibly the best broad portrait of the artistic and commercial development of the music. . . . A landmark text in popular music and an early example of musical globalization literature . . . an essential read."--Journal of American History

"[A] wonderful chronicle of . . . Latin urban music. . . . [A] gem. . . . One of the best single comprehensive chronicles of this music and its industry, the musicians and their performances, styles, movements and productions."--Latin Beat

"Crossing continents, from New York City and Puerto Rico to Venezuela, Rondon examines salsa's working-class origins . . . and relates the difficulties of marginalized barrio life to the music's international appeal. Along with insightful analyses of styles, music, movements, performances, production and marketing, [The Book of Salsa] offers detailed coverage of such highly influential talents as Willie Colon, Eddie Palmieri and Ray Barretto. The concluding 'Basic Discography' serves as a great collecting guide."--Publishers Weekly

"An excellent English translation. . . . . The classic narrative of the origins and trajectory of salsa, which has informed the best academic writing on the subject for years, is now at the disposal of readers of English."--Hispanic American Research Review

"[The] bible for salsa lovers."--Hispanic

"A must-have for all salsa aficionados."--The Descarga Review

"Rondon's rich description of the development of salsa, his understanding of the scene, his discussion of sabor, and his recognition of the importance of the barrio make this work a must-read for all those interested in the history of salsa and Latin/Latin American popular music."--Journal of Folklore Research

"[An] excellent treatise on music. . . . The English translation of Rondon's original Spanish text is truly outstanding. . . . An encyclopedia of accurate details and an elegant example of well-grounded generalizations about the salsa story. It belongs in the library of anyone wishing to learn about the history of U.S. Latinos and their music."--American Studies

"A powerful and enduring testimony. For decades now, Rondon has been the most fervent guide to the ways in which salsa inspires feverish devotion around the world. For salsa lovers, the book is required reading."--New West Indian Guide

"[This] welcome translation . . . provides English-speaking audiences access to one of the most referenced texts in Latin music. . . . An invaluable resource for fans of Latin music, as well as journalists, ethnomusicologists, and cultural critics."--Centro

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Product Details

Meet the Author

César Miguel Rondón is a journalist, author, and radio and television producer with Corporación Televen in Caracas, Venezuela.

Frances R. Aparicio is professor of Latin American and Latino studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Jackie White is assistant professor of English at Lewis University.

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Table of Contents

Contents

Translator's Note
Chapter 1. Salsa Zero: The 1950s
Chapter 2. The 1960s
Chapter 3. Salsa's the Thing
Chapter 4. The New York Sound
Chapter 5. Our (Latin) Thing
Chapter 6. The Thing in Montuno
Chapter 7. The Boom
Chapter 8. Another Thing
Chapter 9. All of the Salsas
Basic Discography
Index

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