Let me begin with the following statement: These are the kind of Latin songs that you don’t necessarily dance to at the club, but you could dance to them at home, when no one is watching, if you feel like giving it a try
Remember, the meaning of the word dance is
“a series of movements that match the speed and rhythm of a piece of music.”
These might or might not be the greatest Latin songs produced in history or the best ones to dance to but, however, they are memorable works from top artists in this genre.
Above all, let’s begin with the list of my favorite Latin songs:
“Isora Club” by Cachao.
This latin song encompasses everything that I love about music and my heritage. It is playful, romantic, classic, mellow, aggressive, and soft, all the same time.
The best way to describe it is that when I listen to it, it feels like I’m observing musical storytelling, rich in changing rhythm
Isora Club offers very few lyrics, but it’s a wonderful track to fully appreciate the talent of Cachao.
“No Hay Mal Que Por Bien No Venga” by Gloria Estefan.
This is a modern touch to the sound of the flute and violin, something that no longer is being used in mainstream Latin music.
I especially love the piano solo in harmony with the delightful sound of the upright bass.
‘No Hay Mal Que Por Bien No Venga’ is a simple fraise I grew up hearing when I was a little boy, which in English means “There is no bad that can keep the good away”…. So true!
“El Raton” by Joe Cuba and Cheo Feliciano.
The is an iconic latin song in Salsa music. “El Raton“ offers a soft piano introduction that brings an air of mystery into a melody that soon after becomes an authentic ecstasy of sounds.
The lyrics discuss wanting the rat being a “walking muleteer” and complains of how the singer “wanted a piece of cheese but the rat ate it.” As one might surmise, all the references in the lyrics to cats and rats are allegorical and instead mean to imply infidelity and distrust.
A wonderful track to fully appreciate the talent of Cheo Feliciano
“Calle Luna, Calle Sol” by Willie Colon.
This one is a must-have for anyone who loves Latin music. The famous duo, Willie Colon and Hector La Voe, was the building block of the kind of music we dance to at the club today.
Calle Luna, Calle Sol was release in 1973 by Willie Colón and Héctor Lavoe from the album Lo Mato. I have such enormous appreciation for the changes of rhythm that keeps building up. Love it!
“Que Se Sienta” by Oscar De Leon.
For me, it never gets old listening to this latin song. It is not because of the lyrics but because of passion that Oscar De Leon put into it in the live performance.
If you ever have the opportunity to see him perform, you should do it. You’ll see what I mean.
Que Se Sienta is one of the many latin songs I look forward to listening to, whether I’m dancing or not.
“Sin Palabras” by Grupo Niche.
I saw this group perform live in Atlanta in the late 90’s and I can tell you, they sound just as good doing fast-paced songs as they do slow-paced songs.
These guys make great music for listening as well as for dancing. Can’t go wrong with them.
Sin Palabras, “Without Words,” is one of those titles that fills the soul with emotions. Sublime Bolero-Cha to dance along to with the beautiful people of Colombia.
“Llorarás” by Oscar D’Leon.
The “Lion of Salsa”, Oscar D’Leon, is Venezuela’s best salsa singer and one of the greatest voices of this rhythm.
Llorarás is a brief and yet a fun songs to dance to that serves as a testament to his prowess in the genre.
The title literally translates to “You’ll Cry,” and despite the slightly depressing name, the song’s rhythm moves swiftly and Oscar D’Leon roars his lyrics out his anguish at rejection singing, “you’ll cry, you’ll cry, you’ll cry / like I suffered / you’ll cry / nobody will understand you, and yet, it beats keep you dancing from beginning to end.
“Quedate” by Jimmy Bosch.
I was first introduced to this artist when I attended a concert with my brother here in Atlanta. Man, that was a show to watch. This is the kind of latin song that will wake me up if you are I’m feeling tired.
I love how the rhythm moves you and is accompanied by a little singing. Quedate is one of the songs that creates a greater appreciation to solos from the trombone, trumpet and saxophone.
Such a great artist to listen to and enjoy.
“Sebastian” by Ruben Blades.
Storytelling at its best. Every song by Ruben has something to say about the world, people’s social struggles, or tender messages of love or agony.
Sometimes all you need to do is listen to understand the world in which we are living. In addition, the album Mundo where Sebastian appear is so rich in rhythms and melodies.
El Panameño Ruben Blades is part of history.
“With You” by Cache.
You can just listen to it or if you feel like dancing, go right ahead because this song was made for it. I like the way the trombone plays a role in this song.
My brother and I have this saying when it comes to salsa music, “If the music starts with the piano, it is 99.99 percent a beautiful song for dancing”.
With You ( Contigo) happens to be one of those latin songs that makes you want to jump and start dancing On2 or even On1.
“El Cantante” by Hector Lavoe.
Hector Lavoe’s “El Cantante” was originally released on the album “Comedia” in 1978 and was composed by Ruben Blades.
This is the kind of song that makes me stop dancing and enjoy the song next to the dance floor. I close my eyes every time when the sound of violins take over the song and I allow my body to move with it
El Cantante is, and will continue to be, one of my favorite latin songs. I wish I had the opportunity to see Hector Lavoe perform live his best.
“Pedro Navaja” by Ruben Blades.
This single was released with the legendary album “Siembra,” a musical production recorded by Willie Colon and Ruben Blades.
Pedro Navaja has been widely considered one of the greatest Salsa songs ever recorded. In fact, Salsa critics have always referred to this single as an important step in the evolution of Salsa music.
“Pedro Navaja” is probably the best story ever told in a single Salsa song and the musical progression that goes along with the lyrics is just plain fantastic.
“Rhapsody In Blue” by Cachao.
It is only fair to end the list of my favorite latin songs with other sweet composition by Cachao, Rhapsody In Blue.
In addition, a BIG Thank you to older brothers for introducing me to all kind of music when I was growing up, as a result, I’ve learned to have a great appreciation for music.
Lucio, Gracias for introducing me to Master Sessions, Volume 1 ( Cachao ).
Your dance studio