Songlines | Playlist: Salsa From The Street
19 February 2018

Playlist: Salsa From The Street

By Chris Moss

A Songlines playlist for Apple Music charting the rise of the Fania label, featuring Eddie Palmieri, La Lupe, Ray Barretto and Cheo Feliciano

salsa-from-the-street-1024x1024.jpg

Synonymous with the rise of salsa, the Fania label was created in 1964 by Dominican bandleader Johnny Pacheco and US lawyer Larry Masucci to give voice – and a vital dance-friendly soundtrack – to the lives of the thousands of Puerto Rican and Dominican migrants who had arrived in the New York barrios of Harlem, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Signing up emerging artists such as Cheo Feliciano, Pete “El Conde” Rodriguez, Ray Baretto, Celia Cruz, Rubén Blades and many more besides, Fania would evolve a house style that fused Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Cuban son, Latin jazz, funk, mambo and blues, while allowing individual artists the space to experiment and establish their own takes on what would collectively be dubbed Nuyorican salsa.

In retrospect, it can be claimed that Fania did for Latin American rhythms what Motown did for soul, commercialising and globalising a hybrid, hitherto marginalised music and culture. 

Subscribe from only £34.50 per year

Start your journey and discover the very best music from around the world.

Subscribe

View the Current
Issue

Take a peek inside the latest issue of Songlines magazine.

Find out more