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 Recommended Salsa Music


First six artists have more slow to medium speed tunes for students who seek practice music.
Click the links to hear samples. Enjoy!

CD: Salsa Tropical Fantasia
A cover band playing well known Salsa tunes. Available at "Reflections" CD displays at some Shopper's Drug Marts, Canadian Tire and some Save-One-Foods stores (call ahead to verify availability, approx. $10). Hear samples while in store. Also sold at Amazon  
visit page >>

Melcochita:
Peruvian artist. Beautifully arranged medium speed Salsa with lots of soul. To listen click  
Amazon Samples >>

Oscar D'Leon:
For excellent dance music buy his albums from 1990 and on. To listen click  
CD Universe Samples >> Or sample one of his best albums by clicking this Amazon Sample >>

Africando:
Their Album Gombo Salsa is available at Highlife Records (1317 Commercial Dr.). However there are at least four Cha Chas on it. You can sample the album by clicking   Gombo Salsa >> or you can listen to other Africando tunes by clicking   mp3 Samples >>

Sonora Carruseles:
Colombian Salsa group under the Fuentes Record Label. Exciting pieces with immense appeal to dancers but many (not all) are too fast for beginners. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

Hector Lavoe:
Many Medium speed pieces. Puerto Rican born vocalist discovered by Johnny Pacheco to collaborate with Willie Colon for New York's Fania Records. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

El Gran Combo:
World famous group (for decades) from Puerto Rico. Buy recent releases for better mastering/production. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

Fruko y sus Tesos
Colombian Salsa group under the Fuentes
Record Label with releases from the 80's to the present. Musical style is called "Salsa Dura" (hard salsa). To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Los Titanes
A Colombian Hard Salsa group from the 80's under the Fuentes Record Label who's new releases still pack a punch. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

The Latin Brothers:
Another Colombian Hard Salsa group from the 80's. To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Joe Arroya y la Verdad:
A favourite who's recordings from the 70's still pack a great Salsa punch. Joe's more recent recordings have changed in style, with fewer pieces suitable for salsa dance.
To listen click  
Amazon Samples >>

Eddie Palmieri:
A well distributed 'Latin Jazz' artist, his album "El Rumbero del Piano" is good Salsa on it, but older CD's may be too jazzy for some. To listen go to samples of  
El Rumbero del Piano >>
or click   mp3 samples >>

Jose Alberto "El Canario":
One of the wonderful singers that have come from Eddie Palmieri's Salsa/Jazz group. To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Cubanismo:
Has Many great albums out, with some very exciting dance-suitable pieces. But albums include pieces too fast for dance students. Dancers avoid their  "Mardi Gras Mambo" album for its New Orleans theme with few suitable salsa-dance pieces. To listen click  
Amazon Samples >>

Johnny Pacheco:
Has not released anything new for many years but his arrangements and instrumentation from the 70's are sublimely beautiful to certain listeners. To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Orchestra De Le Luz:
A Japanese Salsa band (with hits) that has been around for over ten years now. They do Salsa/Mambo with a great danceable beat. To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Grupo Niche:
A softer sound from Colombia, this group has been together for many years with many hits has several good "best of" albums. But I recommend making your own compliation of their mp3s, selecting only the pieces with better production/mastering quality. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

Los Niches: A group that was formed by an ex-member of Grupo Niche and started with a very similar sound. To listen click   mp3 Samples >>

Celia Cruz:
Easily found in stores, she has countless albums and compilations with many hits. I recommend making your own compliation of mp3s since many of her albums contain many non-salsa tunes.
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Gilberto Santa Rosa:
A Popular Salsa artist with many recent releases.
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Tito Nieves:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Willie Colon:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Willy Chirino:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Puerto Rico's VICTOR MANUEL:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Puerto Rico's REY RUIZ:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Puerto Rico's WILLY ROSARIO:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Puerto Rico's ISMAEL QUINTANA:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Puerto Rico's DOMINGO QUINONES:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

MERENGUE ARTISTS
Jose Pena Suazo Y La Banda Gorda:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

La Makina:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Giselle (A Que Vuelve is a favourite)
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Sergio Vargas:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Wilfrido Vargas (Abusadora is a favourite):
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Proyecto Uno (Tiburon is a favourite):
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Zafra Negra (No Llores Por Ella is a favourite):
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

Elvis Crespo:
To listen click  
mp3 Samples >>

 STUDENTS' TOP
11 SALSAS
Click each piece to listen. Speeds are in beats per minute (in class I slow pieces down for teaching purposes):

1 Talento de Television by Willie Colon 204 bpm   sample it >>

2 La Vida Es Un Carnaval by Celia Cruz or Issac Delgado 207 bpm   sample it >>

3 Micaela by Sonora Carruseles 175 bpm   sample it >>

4 Lavado Cerebral (Cumbia) by Alfredo Gutierrez 168 bpm   sample it >>

5 Una Novia en Monterrey (Cumbia) by Los Chiches Vallenatos 187 bpm   sample it >>

6 Yamulamao, Joe Arroyo 164 bpm

7 Ave Maria Lola by Sonora Carruseles 190 bpm   sample it >>

8 Me Voy Pa Cali by Oscar D'leon 187 bpm   sample it >>

9 Cali Calor, Orquestra Matecana 198 bpm

10 Barranquillero Arrebatao by Sarabanda or Fruko Y Sus Tesos 180 bpm   sample it >>

11 Cali Pachangero, Grupo Niche 186 bpm (also released by Galileo Y Su Banda 200 bpm)   sample it >>

+ A Favourite Merengue
Le di Mi Carino by Jose Pena Suazo Y La Banda Gorda   sample it >>


WHERE TO BUY MUSIC
Music stores in "Latin" or "Salsa" section, or in World Music section under the artist's country.

When stores allow, listen before buying. Not all CDs have good mastering & production quality. Some will have fewer danceable tunes than others.

Listen to online samples of artists (to decide what artists you prefer), then purchase at your local music store or choose to buy online. Have a list with you so that if stores don't have one artist, they may have the next.

Salsa music is internet searchable as "Latin Jazz" or "Tropical" Music. Don't forget iTunes.