Latin Music of New York and The Caribbean. Salsa captures a unique moment in time for this most exuberant and socially dynamic music. Filmed entirely on location in New York and the Caribbean in 1979, a momentous year for the genre, Salsa, presents some of Latin music's greatest exponents, framed within a broader canvas of the music's history, growth and importance. Tito Puente and his band play in the Bronx; Celia Cruz rehearses Cuban dance songs in a New York studio; Rubén Blades plays Puerto Rican ballads and records with Willie Colón and his band; Ray Barretto plays percussion at a Latin wedding while Charlie Palmieri plays keyboards and describes the rhythms of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The film also features Santeria cults, rare Cuban archive footage, and music of the barrios : from the dance floors of the South Bronx to the streets of La Perla, Puerto Rico. Tying it all together is Felipe Luciano, poet and former leader of the Young Lords Gang. Salsa is part of director Jeremy Marre's multi award-winning series 'Beats of the Heart' which includes Roots Rock Reggae, and Rhythm of Resistance: Black Music of South Africa. BONUSES Director s Commentary Picture Gallery Live audio Tracks made at the time of filming including: Celia Cruz 'Yiri Yiri Bon' , Rubén Blades 'Nobody Writes to the Colonel' and Tito Puente with Charlie Palmierie performing at a free outdoor concert in New York.
This is a moment in time, explored through different people's eyes in a community united by a shared experience of marginalization but fired to the heart with crushing, pulsating, explosive rhythms. --Fly Magazine
Salsa is a compelling portrait of the music of New York's Hispanic community and its Puerto Rico population in particular. One side of the picture is the commercial slickness of the Fania operation and Celia Cruz, predictably, comes close to stealing the show. But it's actually the grittier scenes, such as Tito Puente playing for free on a south Bronx street, or Charlie Palmieri teaching a bunch of Nuyorican school kids about their roots, that constitute the heart of the film. --Songlines Magazine