Geographically, it encompasses the music of South America, Central America, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Spain, Portugal and their neighboring islands, Cape Verde and the Canary Islands. But its not that simple . Because wherever Hispanic people have gathered theyve taken their music with them, and their music has changed with their surroundings. Which would mean we would need to add Miami, New York, Texas and California to the list, and wed be sure to miss some.
Or we could try to define it in terms of language, by saying its music sung in Spanish. Oh wait, theres Brazil and Portugal, so lets amend that to Spanish and Portuguese. But its not that simple . Because, for starters, that approach would exclude all the great salsa and regional music coming out of English speaking urban centers.
How about genres? If we try to define Latin music as salsa, tango, son, cumbia, bossa nova, samba, vallenato, mambo, rumba, guajira, bomba, plena, merengue, tejano, ranchero, etc. would that be any easier? Well, then what would we do with Latin rap and hip-hop? How about Latin pop? And lets not forget jazz.
What we can do is take a look at the core music by country of origin, talk a little bit about the forms, genres and artists that made and continue to make their music great. Well offer you suggestions about the best music to listen to while making friends with some of these neighbors. Finally, well spend a little time talking about the wonderful, colorful new music coming out of todays urban centers.
Hopefully it will be better than Youll know it when you hear it. Although, you will know it when you hear it. And youll love it