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Editors’ Notes

Along with Ray Barretto, Mongo Santamaría, and Pete Rodríguez, percussionist/bandleader Joe Cuba was a master of boogaloo: a hybridized breed of Latin soul that flourished in New York’s Puerto Rican communities in the mid-‘60s. Boogaloo combined the frenetic syncopation of mambo and Latin jazz with the relentless dance beats of American soul and rock. Joe Cuba and his veteran accompanists were particularly successful at stripping Latin music to its bare essentials; they crafted relentless, dance floor–filling tunes like “Bang Bang” and “My Man Speedy” that combined the immediacy of funk and soul with the instrumental sophistication of older Latin forms like cha cha and mambo. Many of the most memorable of these songs are uncomplicated three-chord stormers that were criticized by some Latin traditionalists for their simplicity. Though Joe Cuba’s free-spirited party music may have offended purists, its contagious bravado laid the groundwork for the salsa explosion that would dominate the next decade of Latin popular music.

Customer Reviews


Wonderful album. Even my 3 yr old loves it. Do you feel it, swinging mambo, and bang bang are favorites


Born: April 22, 1931 in New York, NY

Genre: Salsa y Tropical

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Joe Cuba's music career started with La Alfarona X in 1950. In 1955 the Joe Cuba Sextet came into being and his vibraharp sound caught on. In 1962, when the group recorded "To Be with You" for Seeco Records, the band began to soar to popularity because of Nick Jimenez's arrangements and the vocals of Cheo Feliciano and Jimmy Sabater. When the boogaloo era arrived, the majority of the popular New York bands were put out of work. The Cuba sound changed with its recordings of "El Pito" and "Bang...
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Anthology, Joe Cuba
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