‘A Bailar Se Ha Dicho’: New York Could Be Getting Its Own Salsa Music Museum in the Bronx

BY: 
Fernanda Leon
 | July 3, 2023

Illustration by: Nuestro Stories

Many associate salsa music with Puerto Rico, Colombia, Cuba, and other Latin American countries. However, the origin of this genre also includes New York. Now, the Big Apple could be getting its own salsa museum soon.

In the form of a non-profit organization, the International Salsa Museum (ISM) is looking to pay tribute to every singer who has contributed with their talent to create songs that — today and for many decades to come — will put anyone to dance.

The ISM’s mission is to educate and spread the word about the magic and uniqueness of this genre, and part of that plan includes the creation of the museum in the Bronx, an area in NYC that’s also been denominated as “El Condado de la Salsa.”

“There’s a museum for every genre…for rock, jazz,” Janice Torres, a member of the ISM advisory board, told NPR during an interview. “There’s even a museum for trap music in Atlanta. But yet there is no museum celebrating the roots of Latin music history.” 

Although the ISM is already active in the form of events, discussions, and pop-ups, the non-profit corporation is searching to raise funds so the physical museum can become a reality.

Read more: Behind Celia Cruz: What Was Her Real Name?

What You Can Expect At the International Salsa Museum

According to NPR, this museum will be lively and feature a recording studio and activities the public can enjoy, such as dancing and music programs. Simply put, it will be a rumba Latina — with lots of new things to learn, of course.

Thus, iconic songs that make you sing along and dance in your car, such as Celia Cruz’s “La Vida Es Un Carnaval” or Joe Arroyo’s “La Rebelión,” could soon be part of a physical installation that will preserve and promote the salsa genre in a more palpable way and beyond the ears of those who listen to it.

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Featured image is from the image Hoja Suelta, by José Guadalupe Posada, 1901.
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