Looking for good danceable Latin music for children, and a simple dance step I could learn and teach my child.
April 15, 2004 10:27 PM   Subscribe

My 1-year-old son loves when we dance to Latin rhythms -- mambo and cha-cha especially. (He doesn't walk yet; I hold him.) I am in search of: 1) Best clear, bright, danceable music with Latin rhythms [my meagre playlist is inside]; and 2) a nice simple dance step I can learn, then teach the tyke when he's ambulatory.

Thus far I have a seven-song (!) playlist of some Perez Prado mambos, a couple of Cuban goodies of unknown provenance, and Doris Day singing "Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps." Doesn't exactly make an ambassador to the countries south of our border.

Also: Latin rhythms appropriated into North American music (i.e., Tex-Mex) are just grand. Except Canadian. No Canadian-Latin dance music.
posted by argybarg to Media & Arts (13 answers total)
Elvis Crespo has some very very danceable rhythms. I guess he's techically Salsa, but still...
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:53 PM on April 15, 2004

A great album:
Latin: The Essential Album.

It's got Tito, Celia Cruz, Willie Colon and the above mentioned Perez Prado among others.
posted by inviolable at 12:55 AM on April 16, 2004

Curiously, my son (6 months) absolutely loves latin music too. Particularly Ruben Gonzalez. A good CD of his is:

Introducing.....Ruben Gonzalez
posted by davehat at 1:50 AM on April 16, 2004

Santana. Carlos Santana.
posted by Goofyy at 2:01 AM on April 16, 2004

Antonio Carlos Jobim for a sweet bossa. Look for the recordings with Stan Getz, Jobim, and Astrud Gilberto.
posted by plinth at 3:33 AM on April 16, 2004

He'll love Juan Luis Guerra's clear, bright and danceable merengues and bachatas. Start with "Grandes Exitos".
posted by magullo at 3:48 AM on April 16, 2004

My latest love is for the works of "Touch and Go" (the band not the record label)... you might find 'would you' and 'big beat' on kazaa. Kind of jazzy salsa-ish stuff I guess...
posted by twine42 at 3:56 AM on April 16, 2004

Columbian vallenato is presently my favorite rhythm. You have to start out without accordion prejudices, though, because they use the little three row diatonic button accordions and get the most amazing music out of the things. The step is a restrained little walking step, done in place in a square. If you get really into it you can even get funny hats! On line Vallenato radio, for a taste. A great German documentary called "Accordion of the Devil"
posted by zaelic at 7:05 AM on April 16, 2004

Ivete Sangalo.
posted by 111 at 7:58 AM on April 16, 2004

ruben blades. good, straight ahead, occassionally political salsa.
posted by elsar at 8:40 AM on April 16, 2004

posted by scarabic at 11:21 AM on April 16, 2004

Response by poster: Wow -- thanks everyone.
posted by argybarg at 11:29 AM on April 16, 2004

Salsa of course is great but for pure driving beat and danceability I'd recommend Cumbias. Its the music us Latins really like to get down to when you want to get rid of a lot of excess energy. Probably great for a 1-yr old.

Its originally from Colombia, like the Vallenato. A good guide is the Rough Guide to Cumbia which includes classics as well as modern tracks. The latest wave in Cumbia is a fusion of it with afro-latin and even a bit of reggae as done by bands such as Celso Pina from Monterey or Grupo Fantasma (sound clips there) from Austin.
posted by vacapinta at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2004

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