Top 10 salsa songs
We love sharing our salsero culture.
And it starts with the music. The music makes us feel alive, happy, free, and at home all at the same time. We came together as a community to put together our Top 10 Salsa Songs for you to feel the joy of latin flavor.
(We know there are too many great salsa songs to choose from. And even too many definitions of what it even means to be considered a salsa song. We decided to take a broad view on what is salsa, and chose a variety of salsa songs. Enjoy!)
10: El Preso — Fruko y sus Tesos
Kicking our list off is Colombia’s own Fruko y Sus Tesos with El Preso. This powerhouse group was made up of some of the most well known salsa musicians from colombia, including Medellin native Julio Ernesto “Fruko” Estrada Rincón, and later perhaps the most famous of all Colombian salseros, Joe Arroyo. Of course this song is great to dance Colombian style salsa 😉
9: Me Gusta Boogaloo — Carlos Hayre
1960s New York City saw the rise of a pre-disco music and dance form called Boogaloo, a fun flavorful fusion of salsa, soul, and R&B by a new generation of salseros. Enjoy Peruvian born salsa musician and composer Carlos Hayre’s “Me Gusta Boogaloo,” which literally means, I like boogaloo! We do too!
8: Sonido Bestial — Ritchie Ray and Bobby Cruz
From two of the most iconic salsa musicians of all time, Ritchie Ray and Bobby Cruz, Sonido Bestial is sure to get you up and dancing. Just make sure you are ready for it — its fast and 6:48 long!
7: Por tu mala maña — Rubén Blades and Willy Colon
We love the flavor of yet another legendary duo of salsa musicians, Ruben Blades and Willy Colon. After you finish dancing cha-cha-cha to this classic, take a listen again and pay attention to the lyrics. Its one of those salsa songs that makes you realize how you can smile and enjoy while exploring dark themes of everyday life.
6: Quimbara — Celia Cruz
“La Guarachera de Cuba,” aka “The Queen of Salsa”, we couldn’t possibly put a top 10 list of salsa songs without putting here on the list. Her mix of root traditional cuban rhythms with modern jazz gets us every time!
5: Negro Nanamboro — Machito
Our favorite latin jazz song, Negro Nanamboro by Machito is just as good to sit back and listen to as it is to dance to.
4: Lluvia — Willie Rosario
Willie Rosario, aka Mr. Afinque, is another Puerto Rican salsa legend with so many hits to choose from. “Lluvia,” in english “Rain” is our fave. Its surely going to get your juices flowing, so make sure you listen around someone who is ready to dance with you.
3: Arroz con Habichuelas — El Gran Combo
Are you hungry for Arroz con Habichuela (rice with beans)? We sure are. Get your cha-cha-cha on once more with this classic by our Puerto Rican neighbors and supergroup El Gran Combo. Uf que rico!
2: La Salsa Llego — La Sonora Carruseles
Bringing things back to Colombia is our local band, La Sonora Carruseles, based right here in Medellin, Colombia. We love the sabor (flavor) of nuestros parceros (our friends). Come learn colombian style salsa with us in Medellin and then go out dancing to a live performance of La Salsa Llego.
1: Juanito Alimaña — Hector Lavoe
Our all time favorite, Hector Lavoe’s “Juanito Alimaña”. The way este hombre sings gets us everytime. Learn the chorus and sing along while you are dancing! “En su mundo | Mujeres, fumada, y cana |
Atracando vive Juanito Alimana.”
Have a favorite song that you don’t see here? Post it in comments!
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