The music of Latin America refers to that originated in romance-speaking countries south of the United States. This music also involves rhythms from Africa and those of indigenous peoples of the Americas.
Latin American music has unique characteristics from country to country. The term “Latin Music” is a generalization because it includes rhythms that come from Europe, such as Italy or Spain, for this reason, we refer to it as Latin American music.
Some rhythms may sound familiar to people, for example, Tango which is the most known type of music from Argentina, and which is regarded as an elegant ritual, it is even featured in dancing competitions nation-wide.
When we say Samba, we immediately think of Brazil, which is the largest country in South America and one where they don’t speak Spanish but Portuguese. Another familiar rhythm from Brazil is the Bossa Nova.
Another large country from Latin America is Mexico, where a large number of distinctive rhythms exist. Perhaps the most known abroad is Mexican Regional, a genre easily identified by Mariachi music.
Mariachi are bands of musicians who wear elegant “ranchero” suits and play a variety of instruments, such as trumpets, violins, acoustic guitars, among others.
Chile is another country with very specific music, Cumbia, for instance. Cueca, tonada, and zapateado are other types of Chilean music.
Another very musical country is Cuba, home of rumba and danzón, these rhythms are well known in, and around Latin American communities in the United States.
The Dominican Republic also contributed to Latin American musical heritage; a widely known type of music is the bachata, which was very popular just a few years ago.
Currently, Latin American music is very present in the world scene, a genre known as Reggaeton has risen in popularity the last few years with many of its celebrities coming from Colombia and making duets with North American stars such as Madonna or Justin Bieber.
Latin Americans have music embedded in our DNA, it is how we cope with our history and how we express about the world around us, this is why as a community we enrich the musical scene of the world.