Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Music Mini Book...the last book of the year for me!

This is my mini book on Music. I chose Salsa because my boyfriend and I are always listening to his Salsa Music CD collection. Willy Chirino, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz are just a few among the many different Salsa artists that we listen to. Celia Cruz was the Queen of Salsa and then there is Ray Barreto who was labeled the Godfather of Salsa Jazz...For some more history into the world of Salsa read  here:                                                                                                                                      the true beginnings of the use of the term SALSA as we know it today. Ray Barreto and Johnny Ray were two Puerto Rican musicians and Ray Ruiz a self proclaimed "promoter" from upper manhattan who had developed ties to the Cuban musicians who often made that place their home even before the Cuban exile post- Castro. Upper Manhattan, with all its night clubs and upper end restaurants was a petri dish for Latin musicians, specially Cubans who were on the cusp of the music scene here in the US, where the "Cuban sound" could be twisted and turned and mixed and mangled without or with less criticism than it would receive in Cuba from the "puristas" of the music of the time.

Ray Barreto, Johnny Ray and Ray Ruiz wanted to take the rich Afro-Cuban sounds and make them more their own, and they did so by incorporating, of all things, nuances from the Classical Music genre and the works of such greats as Bach, Beethoven and others. They wanted to create their own "sound" which would be indigenous to the people of El Barrio, who were primarily of Puerto Rican ancestry. Like all immigrants, they wanted something to call their own. They were, in their own way, geniuses; they created a street sound that became known as "the Bugalu" and it took off like wildfire.

While on a promotional tour of their new "sound" to Venezuela, Ray Ruiz and Johnny Ray had the opportunity to sit in with a very well known and industry powerful DJ of his time, in Venezuela, Venezuelan radio DJ Phidias Danilo Escalona; This man had a very popular radio show that reached millions of people, something akin to an "American Bandstand" only on the radio. During their interview, they plugged their new sound, this Bugalu (also spelled BOOGALU) which they identified as "the ketchup of music" relating to the tasty sauce which was popular in America. But the DJ could not wrap his head around the idea of this "ketchup"....what was it like? What did it do? During that exchange Escalona said "Oh...its like a sauce..a Salsa" , and from that moment on, the word Salsa became synonymous with all types of Latin Music. Ray Ruiz, Johnny Ray Tito Puente and others later created the greatest Latin Music Enterprise in the history of Latin Music, The Fania All Stars... the rest, is History.

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