I get a question all the time from my fellow DJ friends …What happened to Salsa music ..Can’t find new material to play. Salsa music , the little that’s left of it has become more focused on the singers than on the musicians that make the music. One of the shining moments of traditional salsa was the solo , either by the piano player, the bass player, the conga player ….wait a minute …that was the Fania All Stars . the largest collection of kick ass musicians ever to assemble on one stage. It was not uncommon for tracks to run 7 minutes because EVERYONE in the band had talent ( of course they still do , but they are not the pretty faced, tatooed , front men that new crowds want to see) As a DJ in Miami for the last 40 years I feel a responsibility to support Salsa from contemporary artists that still produce this music, DJs cannot continuously play Marc Anthony as the representative of the genre. As with any other style it is our ” Duty” to seek out new music and break it to our crowds. Maybe theses are antiquated ideals, but as long as I am actively working as a DJ I believe , it is my responsibility. Salsa/ Son is still there. our Carribean rythyms flourish , we just have to take the time to find these treasures. Here in South Florida it’s not difficult , you just have to look, Lucy Grau, Palo, Tony Succar, Carlos Oliva, Orquesta Palenke,,Marlon Mendioroz. Sonlokos
So sadly we are seeing salsa music morphing into other styles as a background element while vocals and the ” Soneo” are replaced with rap. Nightclubs are no longer willing to pay top dollar for 14 piece bands. Will the traditional salsa style ever be revisited when the likes of Oscar De Leon, Gilberto Santa Rosa,and other Salsa greats depart this earth? What needs to be done to ensure the survival of this style that put Latinos on the musical map in the 70s?
DJ Alex Gutierrez