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The City of Musical Memory
Salsa, Record Grooves and Popular Culture in Cali, Colombia
Lise A. Waxer


2002 • 416 pp. 24 illus., 23 figs., 3 maps. 6 x 9"
Music / Cultural Studies / Latin American & Caribbean Studies

$29.95 Paperback, 978-0-8195-6442-9
$23.99 Ebook, 978-0-8195-7056-7

Check your ebook retailer or local library for ebook availability.

A social history of salsa in Colombia.

Salsa is a popular dance music developed by Puerto Ricans in New York City during the 1960s and 70s, based on Afro-Cuban forms. By the 1980s, the Colombian metropolis of Cali emerged on the global stage as an important center for salsa consumption and performance. Despite their geographic distance from the Caribbean and from Hispanic Caribbean migrants in New York City, Caleños (people from Cali) claim unity with Cubans, Puerto Ricans and New York Latinos by virtue of their having adopted salsa as their own. The City of Musical Memory explores this local adoption of salsa and its Afro-Caribbean antecedents in relation to national and regional musical styles, shedding light on salsa’s spread to other Latin American cities. Cali's case disputes the prevalent academic notion that live music is more "real" or "authentic" than its recorded versions, since in this city salsa recordings were until recently much more important than musicians themselves, and continued to be influential in the live scene. This book makes valuable contributions to ongoing discussions about the place of technology in music culture and the complex negotiations of local and transnational cultural identities.

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Reviews / Endorsements

"Waxer's detailed ethnographic and archival research, clear explanations and interpretations of musical forms, and sophisticated theorizing about the changing meaning of culture in an age of global economics and politics combine to make this an extremely important book."George Lipsitz, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of California at San Diego

"Waxer's textured description of a fascinating music culture provides a crucial link in the existing literature on Latin popular music, and pulls together many strains of contemporary thinking about popular culture in an impressive and original view."Paul Austerlitz, author of Merengue: Dominican Music and Dominican Identity


Winner of the ASCAP Deems Taylor Award for Popular Music Books (2002)
Winner of the Society for Ethnomusicology's (SEM) Alan P. Merriam Prize (2003)
Finalist for the Association for Recorded Sound Collections' (ASRC); Award for Excellence for Best Research in Recorded Folk or Ethnic Music; Finalist fir IASPM's International Book Award (2003)

Lise A. Waxer was Assistant Professor of Music at Trinity College.

Fri, 9 Nov 2018 09:28:25 -0500