Bianca WidaKay’s Salsa Stories is a multimedia pop-up salsa festival that explores the Golden Age of 1970s salsa and how it became part of New York City culture. Salsa was made in New York.
Salsa Stories at The Clemente
There’s a SalsaStories.tv pop-up salsa festival with a TV documentary screening, live band (The A Train), DJ Babaloo (@djbabaloo_nyc) photo exhibition and dance workshops by Piel Canela (@pielcaneladancers) in front of The Clemente (@theclemente) in the Lower East Side, Thursday, August 26, 2021 from 5-8pm. FREE salsastoriestv.com 🇧🇷🇵🇷
Salsa stories is back Thu-Sun, Sep 2-5, 2021 from 5-8pm.
The Brazilian Salsera
WidaKay is a Brazilian New Yorker who loves salsa. She’s a real salsera who developed this project so she could connect with other salseros. She is an MNN – Manhattan Neighborhood Network community television producer. MNN makes community television production studios available to all Manhattanites for free. They’ll even give you lessons. Check it out at mnn.org. There are similar opportunities in the other boroughs.
Bianca is Brazilian and salsa is not, but how cool is it when someone from one culture, really loves and understands another culture? Interestingly, “Tite” Curet Alonso, the Puerto Rican poet of the salsa who wrote many Fania hits, said that his main influence was Brazilian music. We are mixes of each other.
We hope the community will embrace WidaKay because she is doing good work.
Salsa was Made in NYC
The roots of salsa reach back to Africa and Spain, but also have Indigenous American elements. The maraca (gourd shaker) is an Indigenous Taíno instrument. So wherever there are maracas, there is our Indigenous influence.
Basically, salsa is 1950s Cuban dance music developed in NYC’s Puerto Rican communities in the 1960s and 1970s. It reached a peak in the Fania salsa dura (hard salsa) sound of the 1970s, and then jumped to Colombia where it developed into Salsa Colombiana. There was also a Salsa Romántica movement in the 1980s with more romantic and sometimes naughty lyrics. Salsa remains popular, but continues to blend with other traditions.
Salsa combines Cuban rumba and son, with Haitian méringue and Dominican merengue, Puerto Rican bomba and plena, and New York swing (which itself is Creole and therefore Haitian Diaspora).