Orquesta de la Luz






:: Multicultural Phenomenon


  Orquesta de la Luz

In 1990, the Japan-based salsa band "La Orquesta de la Luz" released their first album and hit the salsa scene. Within months they gained widespread recognition for the next five years.

From the first track of that debut album, they demonstrate their precision and high-energy. They are disciples of the old salsa school, with the lyrics in Spanish. The song "Salsa Caliente Del Japon" is great example of salsa and compares favorably with anything produced by Puerto Rican artists.                                          (Jaime Serrat, musicofpuertorico.com)

Orquesta de La Luz composed of Japanese musicians who do not speak Spanish but sing in Spanish and who discovered salsa through the music of Tito Puente and of another Japanese salsa band…wonderful exponent of this musical tradition, of its singing styles and its performance rhythms.


This is a group that, by its very presence, has destabilized the value of salsa music as a nationalist marker and as a product of cultural essentialism. The experience of watching Orquesta de la Luz perform, particularly in its concert appearance at Madison Square Garden, was truly new for most Caribbeans, including myself.  Their onstage performance obliges us to recognize our assumptions about expected submissive Asian gestures, manners, and behavior. That Orquesta de la Luz thrives on this double-edge destabilizing of national/cultural constructs, on the self-tropicalizing of Japanese musicians, is most salient in some of their arrangements and lyrics.

                  (Frances Aparicio, Listening to Salsa: The Plural Sites of Salsa)



:: Salsa as a Marker of National Identity


Indirectly, salsa music is one of those unacknowledged results of the Cuban revolution. As a specific historical-cultural expression salsa was first produced during the 19608 in the Latina/o (mostly Puerto'Rican) barrios of New York City. Puerto Rican working-class musicians had been avid listeners and students of the Latin popular music mostly performed by Cuban and Puerto Rican musicians during the 1950s at the Club Palladium: among others, Arsenio Rodnguez's mambo, Machito's Cubop, Mario Bauza's wrongly labeled Latin jazz, the Puerto Rican Tito Puente's

timbales, and the voice of the other Tito. Tito Rodnguez. While Latin music in New York during that decade had been heavily Cuban, after 1959, with die success of the Cuban revolution and with Fidel Castro's taking of Havana, Latin music in New York "would never be the same."20 The embargo on Cuba and the censorship of Cuban music in the United States led to some years of void and confusion among Latin musicians in New York

creating the need to mix musical forms. It is this syncretic tendency in Latin popular music that characterizes salsa's historical genesis.


                  (Frances Aparicio, Listening to Salsa: The Plural Sites of Salsa)



:: Music




partial MP3 clipDescarga de la Luz

Sample courtesy of musicofpuertorico.com





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