The Musical Styles of Miami

Miami has always been America's doorway to the Caribbean. Just 225 miles away from Cuba, it is host to a massive Latino immigrant population and, consequently, numerous Caribbean cultures. In fact, the city's Latino population is so integral to Miami that it almost defines how we view the city's culture. Hence, Miami has become a major U.S. hub for Latino music.

Each Caribbean island is home to many different musical styles, most of which were imported to America through Miami and then fused with the styles popular in the U.S. The clash of traditional native and popular American styles fused into hybrid Latin American genres that fostered the unique Miami music scene.

This section focuses on Miami's role in four Latino music genres and one style: conga, salsa, Latin jazz, Latin rock, and Miami music scene. Conga is a purely Cuban import that became a dance craze in America with help from the band Miami Sound Machine, featuring Gloria Estefan, and their 1986 breakout hit Conga.

Salsa, a genre that borrows from the traditions of many Latin countries, was invented in New York City but further developed in Miami's Cuban neighborhoods. Miami natives -- both natural and adopted like Cuban trumpeter Arturo Sandoval or Grammy-winning rock band Bacilos, formed in the mid-1990s by University of Miami students -- were also instrumental in the Latin jazz and Latin rock genres. The Miami music scene highlights the diverse, yet distinct, musical culture of a city where the Latino influence is undeniable.

American Sabor highlights a handful of the many famous Latino artists who emerged from the talent-rich music scene in Miami. While numerous Miami artists have contributed to the landscape of popular American music, there are many more musical genres found in this great South Florida city. As America's doorway to the Caribbean, Miami will always be an important portal for Latin American music.