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Pan American (Latin) Music

Mexico, Central and South America are big places with diverse ethnic groups and musical traditions. In recent centuries, the term "Latin America" is used incorrectly to describe this great diversity of peoples, languages, traditions, magic and dance. Pan American is a better description. "Latin' is presumably a reference to the Spanish language that replaced other languages, except in Brazil where Portuguese prevailed. All the countries in the vast dominion and in the Caribbean Islands became “melting pots, combining the music and dance of native groups with Indian, Spanish, Portuguese, other European and African musical elements. South American Indians were diverse ranging from small nomadic bands to the advanced civilization of the Maya, Aztec and Inca. They invented a variety of instruments such as flutes, whistles, rattles, maracas, trumpets made from clay, bark, bamboo, and conch-shell trumpets. Drums were of many types. Panamanian Cuna Indians and the Aymara of Argentina, Bolivia and Peru had panpipe. In the Andeas European instruments -- harps, guitars, violins and lutes were combined with indigenous flutes and panpipes. African polyrhythms now dominate the music. Call-and-response songs common in Africa also emerge in Pan American music."

A music encyclopedia stated: "The many cultures of South and Central America and the Caribbean islands blend American Indian, African and European (particularly Spanish and Portuguese) traditions. In folk music, the particular combination of elements varies from region to region, from the purely Indian forms of highland Bolivia and Amazon rain forests peoples to the mestizo (‘mixed’) music of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, the largely Hispanic music of Argentina, and the distinctive style of Brazil, which blends African and Portuguese forms. Minorities such as the East Indians of Trinidad and Guyana, the Javanese of Surinam and the Japanese of Brazil complete this rich musical scenario. In the Andean region of Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador, indigenous Indian music absorbed Spanish elements under the influence of 16th-century Christian missionaries. Andean tunes are essentially European, but often have much repetition and use tetratonic and pentatonic scales. African-Hispanic folk music is especially important in Brazil, Venezuela and Colombia. African-American communities in Brazil preserve styles close to their African counterparts, with driving rhythms using syncopations, responsorial forms and the dominance of percussion instruments."

In Brazil, Jobim, de Moraes, Mendonça, and others developed Samba and Bossa Nova styles that spread to the US and Europe. Argentina contributed the Tango. Dances, rhythms and melodic styles emerged as energetic fusion elements in jazz and popular music in the rest of the world. Bolero refers to dance music that originated in Santiago de Cuba in the 19th century. The Cuban bolero traveled to Mexico, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands. Different bolero styles have been identified such as the son (rumba), bolero-mambo and the bolero-cha. | See Tom Jobim

Salsa refers to a fusion of music and dance styles from the Caribbean especially Cuba and Puerto Rica . Some suggest that the principle origin is the Cuban Son, although the music and dance developed in many countries and Hispanic communities in the US. Salsa" in Spanish means ”sauce.” The name emerged in New York where Puerto Rican Cuban and other South American styles mixed with pop, jazz, rock, and R&B. You can argue the "Salsa: has become a generic term, the ultimate Pan American fusion category, although local inflections of salsa are often claimed to be the only authentic version. A list of preceding dance styles would include mambo, rumba, samba, danzon and cha cha cha. A common rhythm is based on two measures of four beats each; the dance - three steps per measure. African style percussion rhythms use the Son clave or Rumba clave at 120 to 180 beats per minute.

Solo salsa steps are called "Shines." Salsa dancing tends to be couple-based with room for improvisation and solo breaks. Salsa music has merged with Jazz, funk, reggae, and hip-hop. A Wikipedia description of Salsa:" Peter Manuel called it the "most popular dance music among American Puerto Rican and Cuban communities, and in Central and South America; one of the most dynamic and significant pan-American musical phenomena of the 1970s and 1980s. Some musicians are doubtful that the term salsa has any useful meaning at all, with the bandleader Machito claiming that salsa was more or less what he had been playing for forty years before the style was invented, while Tito Puente said "I'm a musician, not a cook" (referring to salsa as sauce). Celia Cruz, a well-known salsa singer said that salsa is Cuban music with another name. It's mambo, cha cha chá, rumba, son ... all the Cuban rhythms under one name"

Play P2500 Band Latin Love

Black Orpheus (Carnival) Antonio Carlos Jobim and Louis Bonfa
Contigo Aprendi ( I Learnt With You) Armando Manzanero
El Reloj
Ana Gabriel
Historia de un Amor
El Triste

Enjoy sample songs


Historia Amor



Tom Jobim and João Gilberto