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Salsa and Latin Books

You’re falling in love with Salsa aren’t you? Admit it, you are!!  And if you’re anything like me, you’ll want to soak up every little detail about this wonderful style of dance and music. Your curiosity is driving you to learn so much more about this wonderful style of dance and music, so put your feet up and surrender!

These are some of our favourite books about Salsa. This includes its history, people’s experiences, learning to play Salsa music or even teach Salsa dance. Enjoy!

All about Salsa Music & Dance

Daniel allen salsa bachata ruedaNEW** The Little Book of Dancing series by Dan Allen.

Dan Allen is a man who has made it his mission to share his love of Salsa with the rest of the world (a bit like us at SalsaHackers- ed.)

Based in Sydney, Australia he’s a huge fan of rueda and is highly active in the salsa scene over there.

His books ‘The Little Red Book of Dancing…Salsa!’, ‘The Little Green Book of Dancing…Rueda!’ and ‘The Little Blue Book of Dancing…Bachata!’ have received great feedback following their release this year.

The books go beyond information about the dancing, moves and also the history of the dances. They also explain a little more about what goes on beneath the surface when two people dance together, making for vital reading for any Salsa, Rueda or Bachata fan.

Check them out by following the links above.

faces of salsa

Faces of Salsa: A Spoken History of the Music

In his brilliant introduction about the idols of Latin music since the 1920s, and throughout the book, Padura takes up the old dispute about the relationship of Salsa to the Cuban music known as Son, but the book is not a search for origins. Rather, through his conversations with a group of extraordinarily articulate musicians, he reveals how the aesthetics of salsa filled a cultural void, transforming popular Latin and Caribbean dance music and creating a new generation of musicians who would establish a new model: the salsero, an artist who had embarked upon something his forbearers never did—a conscious project.(Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

Buy Faces of Salsa from Amazon now

Salsa for people whoSalsa for People Who Probably Shouldn’t

Matt Rendell learned Salsa the British way, as an adult, rote-learning figures and routines. His Colombian wife, Vivi, acquired Salsa in early childhood from her parents and grandparents; the dance made her part of her community.A love story about two people from cultures at sometimes comical cross-purposes, Salsa for People Who Probably Shouldn’t explores how the world’s most popular dance went global, how it reached the UK and whether the saucy, salacious salsa of our national fantasy life is really as exotic as we like to think. (Taken  from Amazon.co.uk)

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travels on the dancefloorTravels on the Dance Floor: One Man’s Journey to the Heart of Salsa

When poet and biographer Grevel Lindop takes up salsa dancing in rainy Manchester, all he has are size 12 feet and excruciating adolescent memories of ballroom dancing lessons. But salsa has a way of getting into your blood. Intense and intimate, sexy and addictive, the adrenalin-pumping Afro-Latin-American dance style soon becomes an obsession. Inspired to learn more, Lindop decides on a solo adventure to find the geographical and cultural roots of salsa. From the streets, bars and dancehalls of Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia to those of Panama, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Miami – land of Cuban exiles – he stumbles across a colourful cast of characters and a raft of new tricks.  (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

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The Book of salsThe Book of Salsa: A Chronicle of Urban Music from the Caribbean to New York City

This lively translation provides for English-reading and music-loving fans the chance to enjoy Cesar Miguel Rondon’s celebrated El libro de la Salsa. Rondon tells the engaging story of Salsa’s roots in Puerto Rico, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, and Venezuela, and of its emergence and development in the 1960s as a distinct musical movement in New York. Rondon presents Salsa as a truly pan-Caribbean phenomenon, emerging in the migrations and interactions, the celebrations and conflicts that marked the region. Although Salsa is rooted in urban culture, Rondon explains, it is also a commercial product produced and shaped by professional musicians, record producers, and the music industry. For this first English-language edition, Rondon has added a new chapter to bring the story of Salsa up to the present. (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

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salsa worldSalsa World: A Global Dance in Local Contexts (Studies in Latin American and Caribbean Music Series

Writing from the disciplines of ethnomusicology, anthropology, sociology, and performance studies, the contributors explore Salsa’s kinetopias – places defined by movement, or vice versa- as they have arisen through the dance’s interaction with local histories, identities, and musical forms. Taken together, the essays in this book examine contemporary salsa dancing in all its complexity, taking special note of how it is localized and how issues of geography, race and ethnicity, and identity interact with the global salsa industry. Contributors include Barbara Balbuena Gutierrez, Katherine Borland, Joanna Bosse, Rossy Diaz, Saul Escalona, Kengo Iwanaga, Isabel Llano, Jonathan S. Marion, Priscilla Renta, Alejandro Ulloa Sanmiguel, and the editor. (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

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Learn to Teach Salsa Dance

Salsa teachers guidebookSalsa Teachers Guide Book: Your Guide to Becoming a Qualified Salsa Teacher: And Caribbean Dance Styles: 1

A teacher’s guide covering everything from the origins of Salsa; different styles of salsa dancing, a 20 week learning syllabus of moves from Cuba, New York, LA and Colombia, teaching methods, learning styles and how to start your own salsa dance practice. This book starts with my personal experience of salsa dance and explains the history of salsa from a worldwide historical view point. It traces England’s influence on the roots of salsa dancing and the development of the UK salsa scene. This book is divided into practical guidance and theoretical exercises. The book will tell you about the different ways to teach salsa, the rules and regulations you must follow and how to set-up a salsa dance school. It shows you everything you need to set yourself up as a salsa dance teacher.

Buy Salsa Teachers Guide Book from Amazon


Learn to Play Salsa Music 

beyond salsa introBeyond Salsa For Beginners: The Cuban Timba Revolution. An Introduction to Latin Music for Dancers & Listeners

This is Kevin Moore’s first book for non-musicians – listeners, dancers and fans of Latin music. The four Listening Tours included in the book are: I. Pre-Revolution Cuban Popular Music (1900-1959); II. Salsa and Post-Revolution Cuban Popular Music (1959-1989); Timba (1989-2012); and a special section covering Afro-Cuban Folkloric Music, Comparsa, Changüí and Rumba. The rhythm exercises include the basic rhythms of each instrument, clave, various types of basic dance steps, a section on learning to feel the Latin groove properly, and a special chapter on the problems that new listeners of Afro-Cuban folkloric music sometimes have with hearing the beat and meter correctly.(Adapted from Amazon.co.uk)

Buy Beyond Salsa For Beginners: An Intro from Amazon


beyond salsaBeyond Salsa Percussion-The Cuban Timba Revolution: An Introduction to Latin Rhythms for Beginning Drums and Timbales: 1

This book presents an encyclopedic selection of all the basic rhythm parts used on timbales and drums in Latin music (salsa, timba, Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms, rumba, danzón, chachachá et al). The central premise is for the student to master each rhythm by singing and tapping before attempting to play it on an instrument, so as to avoid bad habits of technique during the critical period when the rhythm is being memorized and internalized. To accommodate as many learning styles as possible, each rhythm is presented in eight ways: two types of standard notation, two types of graphic or “box” notation, full speed audio, slow motion audio, and two speeds using a special “task-by-task” learning method where the rhythm is learned one stroke at a time against a steady rhythmic accompaniment. (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

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Beyond Salsa Percussion: Calixto Oviedo – Drums & Timbales: Basic Rhythms: 2

Calixto Oviedo is the first featured artist in “Beyond Salsa Percussion”, the companion series to author Kevin Moore’s acclaimed “Beyond Salsa Piano” series. Oviedo, who played with such groups as NG La Banda and Adalberto Álvarez y su Son, is a living legend among Cuban drummers. This, the second volume of the series, “Calixto Oviedo – Drums and Timbales: Basic Rhythms”, covers the wide range of traditional rhythmic styles that Oviedo mastered before embarking on the dramatic innovations for which he later became famous. He plays each rhythm in its traditional form and then shows how it can be adapted to drumset in a variety of modern situations. At 144 pages, with dozens of carefully transcribed musical examples, the goal of “Calixto Oviedo – Drums and Timbales: Basic Rhythms” goal is to help experienced Latin drummers find new ways of approaching traditional Cuban styles, to help American and European drummers master Latin drumming in general, to prepare for the dramatic innovations covered in the following volume of the series: “Calixto Oviedo – Drums and Timbales: Timba Gears”, and to explain the intricacies of Cuban music to arrangers, listeners and dancers. (Taken from Amazon.co.uk)

Buy Beyond Salsa Percussion 2 from Amazon

[This series has far more titles than can be included- click one of the links and browse on Amazon if you want to know more]

Beyond Salsa Piano: The Cuban Timba Piano Revolution: Vol. 1: Beginning – The Roots of the Piano Tumbao

Written by the editor of the world’s largest Cuban music website, www.timba.com, and the author of the popular “Tomás Cruz Conga Method”, “Beyond Salsa Piano” is a series of method books and historical/discographical guides chronicling the role of the piano in Cuban music. Volume 1, with a “beginning” difficulty level, covers the earliest antecedents of the piano tumbao and provide exercises for beginning pianists to develop the technique necessary to play salsa and timba piano tumbaos. It begins with piano adaptations of tres guajeos from the seminal folkloric genre of changüí, which predates the first Cuban recordings, and then proceeds to the danzón and son genres of the 1900-1940 period to look for early roots of the modern piano tumbao in the tres and violin parts. The volume concludes with an extensive study of the various types of tumbaos pioneered by Arsenio Rodríguez in the 1940s. (taken from Amazon.co.uk)

Buy Beyond Salsa Piano from Amazon

[This series has far more titles than can be included- click one of the links and browse on Amazon if you want to know more]

Salsa pianoSalsa Piano – The Complete Guide with CD!: Hal Leonard Keyboard Style Series

Want to learn to play Salsa piano? Here’s your chance!

Buy Salsa Piano from Amazon