New York, September 21 (EFE) – Salsa is celebrating its 60th anniversary and although it seems to be losing ground among generations of young Latinos to reggaeton, it still has a large following around the world.

Born in the Latin community in New York in the 60s of the last century, salsa, the fruit of the mixture of various Caribbean rhythms, made the world dance in Spanish and experienced its great boom in the 70s with the help of the Stars of the Fania All Stars, the “Latin Rolling Stones” as the famous Puerto Rican producer and musicologist Richie Viera called them.

Salsa dancers at 60.
Dancers at the Salsa Congress in Manhattan, New York (USA). EFE/Angel Colmenares

Now that salsa is 60 years old, this decidedly Latin and festive style continues to attract passionate followers, in places as far away as Japan, Germany, Norway, Austria or Canada, among many other countries. , and coexists in a market with other Latin genres such as reggaeton, which is today most popular among young people thanks to its catchy beats and irreverent, sexist lyrics.

The salsa which celebrates its 60th anniversary has its “World Congress”

“For dancers, it’s a dream to come and dance salsa in New York,” says Laila Tastasa, an Israeli who travels to congresses around the world to follow her passion for salsa, which also led her to learn salsa. ‘Spanish.

“When I hear salsa, there’s nothing else, and I’m not Latin,” says Tastasa, 24, one of 7,000 people who danced nonstop to the upbeat beat, at the World Salsa Congress in New York.

Like Tastasa, the dancer and artistic director of the event, Edwin Rivera, does not consider that salsa is losing ground and remembers that this music saved his life when “I got lost in the streets” of the city ” and my mother He gave me the choice between taking salsa lessons or a military academy.

“Salsa is like gold, it never dies, it will always be there, it will always have an audience, what happens is it doesn’t have the commercial look” that reggaeton has, which was born in the 90s as an underground movement, he pointed.

The rise of reggaeton

With millions of social media followers, his primary medium, record concert attendance and award-winning accolades, as happened with recent MTV shows where Puerto Rican Bad Bunny was the first Latino to win the artist of the year, reggaeton has become a global phenomenon that focuses attention on the music industry.

Salsa dancers turn 60
Dancers at the Salsa Congress in Manhattan, New York (USA). EFE/Angel Colmenares

Rivera believes that for salsa to gain more attention from young people today, salsa musicians should seek greater collaboration with reggaeton artists and even with Anglo-Saxon artists, as happened with the bachata when Romeo Santos recorded with Usher in this genre, each singing in his language.

“Salsa is 60 years old as an immortal genre and it can be mixed with any other genre as it has already been done”, without losing its essence, it has opened doors to all Latin representatives, and there are many bands and singers like Marc Anthony who follow him taking him around the world, in addition to radio stations dedicated exclusively to his promotion, especially in Puerto Rico, Viera pointed out.

Regarding reggaeton, he recalls that he prevailed against all odds after finding his formula for success, recording with important artists like Enrique Iglesias and investing large sums of money on platforms and social networks to maintain the contact with its young followers, which other genres do not. do.

Also Spanish musicologist Sami Otazu points out that reggaeton is commercial music “of mass, sales and superficiality”, a style that works, while salsa “is more authentic, purer, musically more complex”.

“Salsa still has a whole future and even if it is a music that does not reach the general public, it is very powerful in the world and moves many people, both at the level of dance groups and music and groups. singers,” he said.

He also points out that the 60-year-old salsa is “very much alive” and that there are a lot of people maintaining it and fighting to maintain it “and that’s going to make it last a long time thanks to the fact that it’s a traditional salsa music with a folk identity.”

Web editor: Rocio Casas

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