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Donde Fidel is one of the best known places in the city to listen to salsa. Photo: CartagenaPlay
Donde Fidel is one of the best known places in the city to listen to salsa. Photo: CartagenaPlay

Salsa, a rhythm that is alive and well in Cartagena

Salsa is a representative rhythm of the city, in addition to vallenato and champeta.

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Cartagena is a city where all musical rhythms merge, and although the most representative of the region are usually champeta and vallenato, salsa is also an important part of the city's culture.

Salsa is a musical genre very appreciated by residents, as a result of the combination of the Cuban son and other musical genres of the Caribbean, such as jazz and cumbia.

Ricardo Chica, professor at the University of Cartagena said that "we have to broaden our musical sensitivity and recognize salsa as a world soundtrack that is produced, listened to and danced in the most unthinkable places and cultures."  

One of the greatest exponents of Caribbean music worldwide was Álvaro José Arroyo, better known as 'El Joe,' who was born in Cartagena in 1995 and died in Barranquilla in 2011.

Some of his most successful songs were "La Rebelión" and "Centurión de la noche." In addition, he was considered an ambassador of the Afro-descendant and Cartagena culture, for which a square was named in his honor in the La Matuna sector in the center of the city. In the square, a statue was erected as a figure in honor of the renowned artist.

Some of the best places to enjoy salsa in the city are:

Donde Fidel

This is the most popular salsa venue in the walled city. Located behind the Torre del Reloj (Clock Tower), the old city gate where merchants bought and sold slaves, it is home to almost 40 years of salsa tradition.

Vueltabajero

This is the home of salsa in Cartagena. A picturesque and cultural space, and place to meet every week and enjoy the most joyful moments and feel the Afro-Caribbean music to the fullest, with a venue in Getsemaní and another in the La Castellana neighborhood.

Havana Club Café

This club is located on Media Luna Street pays homage to the salsa legends, and gathers all the musical mysticism of the golden age in the middle of the last century.

Quiebra canto

In the Getsemaní neighborhood, in the Puerta del Sol Building, this emblematic place is one of the favorites of locals and tourists. With an informal atmosphere and a view of the Camellón de los Mártires and the city walls, it welcomes visitors, who are transported to a cinema that evokes the era of the 70s.

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