About Nelson & Cuban Salsa

Nelson Batista

Nelson was born in 1962, in the Buena Vista neighbourhood, Havana city, Cuba. Cuban music was a part of Nelson's childhood, and through his life in Cuba, Latin dance became a family tradition, passed from father to son.

He trained in dance alongside his regular studies at specialised dance courses in the Casa de Cultura community centre, and did a lot of social dancing throughout the years.

He also studied economics, and studied languages to a high level. After moving to England in the Mid-eighties, he did some work for Dunn & Co., before taking up a serious career in Salsa dance.

Wikipedia - Nelson Batista (Biography)

Cuban Salsa

Essentially Cuban in Origin, Salsa originated in the 1920's from an unlikely mixture of African Rhythms and the melodies of the Spanish Colonies. This was called "Son", which together with other Cuban rhythms like Rumba and Danzon, merged to create a rich four-beat musical style. In the 1950's, Jazz, Blues and other Black American rhythms begun to influence Salsa. At this time, horns such as the trombone, trumpet and saxophone were introduced giving the music its rich distinctive sound.

Other Latin rhythms such as Mambo were incorporated into the Salsa musical structure; this was reflected in the dance, creating faster and more complex footwork with more twists and turns, giving birth to the extremely stylish dance we know today as "Salsa".

The music spread rapidly with the large migration of Cuban and Puerto Rican people to America since 1959. Many famous musicians, among them Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, Celia Cruz & Mongo Santamaria began to play at well-known venues in New York, such as the Palladium, establishing Salsa in the United States.

More recently the music migrated to Europe. With the expanding Latin American population in London there is now a thriving Salsa scene, with many Clubs and bands involved in it.

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