To have a taste of the Cuban salsa music, try it with the selection of online players below. You can also open this page into a new tab to listen while you browse. (Warning: it may take a little while for the music players to get initialized.)


The bottom of this page has links about where to buy Cuban salsa music, and a list of prominent artists to start with if you want to build your own Cuban salsa collection.



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Where to buy your Cuban salsa music:

  • Descarga.com is the absolute reference for all styles of salsa. You can find every CD there, even rare ones, the only problem is the postage costs.
  • Surprisingly, iTunes has quite a wide selection of prominent Cuban salsa artists. New releases usually take a lot of time to appear though. Encoding is AAC 256kbps, good to play on any good hifi sound system.
  • Cubamusic.com offers a weird selection of MP3s which includes rare albums and new releases as well as obscure ones. Worth a try if you can't find what you are looking for anywhere else. Encoding quality is good: MP3 256kbps, equivalent to iTunes.
  • LatinPulseMusic.com offers a very extensive selection, but the encoding is MP3 VBR with the "standard" preset of the LAME encoder. We haven't really tried on a party sound-system, so make your own mind. Personally we prefer to stick to 256kbps fixed rate, but that might be only subjective.
  • Prodland.de has a good catalogue, but there have been many reports of money being cashed and CDs being sent 6 months later, wrong CDs being sent, emails never answered etc. They might have solved their organisational problems by now, but use at your own risk.

Please email us or add comments below if you know of any other good outlet for Cuban salsa music. Many thanks in advance!


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Where to buy Cuban salsa DVDs, books and other interesting material about the music and the dance:

  • SalsaVille.com has an extraordinary collection of Cuban salsa moves recorded by American dancer Eric Freville.
  • Boogalu Productions is a reference for DVDs covering Cuban music and dance.
  • "Timba, the sound of the Cuban Crisis" (a.k.a. Timba: Black Dance Music in Havana in the 1990s (SOAS Musicology Series) by Vincenzo Perna is the absolute reference book and an entertaining read to understand the musical genre of Cuban Timba and the context where it was born.
  • "Cuba and Its Music: From the First Drums to the Mambo" by Ned Sublette is another highly recommended reading.
  • http://beautifulwheel.wordpress.com/: Cambridge-based Ian Smith has written a very comprehensive guide about Rueda de Casino. The book can be bought from this blog, which also hosts very interesting videos about the roots and evolution of Rueda.

Please email us or add comments below if you know of any other good outlet for Cuban salsa DVDs, interesting books and other Cuban salsa documents. Many thanks in advance!


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List of prominent Cuban salsa artists:

To build your own music collection, the following artists (in no particular order) are a good starting point. Not all of them maintain web pages, but lots of info can be found on other sites via Google, and many music videos of their hit songs can be found on Youtube. Lots of these artists maintain facebook fan pages (not linked here). You will very often see modern Cuban salsa referred to as "timba", the actual term to designate that particular musical genre ("casino" being the corresponding dancing style).

Timba:


Reggaetón / Cubatón:


More info and tour dates can be found on the excellent Timba.com website. The tour dates page is actually a good resource to get a list of artist names.
Wikipedia has a large page about timba, the specific name for modern Cuban salsa music, with lots of artist names.

For Cuban Reggaetón / Cubatón, Cubaton.com has a relevant list of artists and lots of samples, as well as its alias Atena Music.


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Enjoy!

-- DJ Sacha