The Musical Styles of American Sabor

The history of Latin music in the United States goes back for as long as Latino immigrants have called this country home. Coming from dozens of countries in all parts of the Latin world - from Cuba to Mexico, from the Caribbean islands to South America - the Latin American identity encompasses a variety of cultures and backgrounds, stories and traditions, and, of course, music.

Here you will find a directory of the most popular genres of Latin American music. Some are quite similar - like the salsa and mambo - while others are vastly different - try comparing banda rap and merengue. Yet they all share a common thread: the unique fusion of the popular music of their respective era and the distinctive, passionate Latin feeling.

Undercurrents of African-inspired rhythms appear in many of these genres, showing the influences imported to Latin America during a long history of slave trading. Traditional instruments of various countries also shine through in many styles; the congas of salsa, the timbales of Latin jazz, the accordion of Tejano. Each genre is utterly unique, yet they all honor the dual-heritage of musicians rooted in the traditions and culture of their Latin homelands while embracing those of their adopted America.

Latin music has always found a spot on the main stage of this country's popular music, a testament to both the talent of Latino musicians and the open American musical palette. Explore the many different styles of Latin music and see how Latinos have helped shaped the landscape of popular American music to this day.