Music is everywhere in Cuba, and the following represent some of the island's most popular genres:
Son: Son gave birth to all other Cuban music genres. It originated in the 19th century as a combination of Spanish verse & chorus, and African vocals and drumming.
Salsa: This famous genre is descended from Cuban son, but also borrows heavily from other styles, particularly American jazz. Salsa dancing has been influenced by Afro-Cuban forms, especially rumba.
Rumba: A catch-all word for various forms of Afro-Cuban song and dance.
Bolero: From Santiago, this is a romantic and heart felt genre, usually performed by soloists or a harmony duo in the form of a ballad.
Jazz: Jazz is extremely popular throughout the island, and Cuban jazz musicians are famous throughout the world. The annual International Jazz Festival in Havana and venues like La Zorra y el Cuervo and the Jazz Café are great options to experience top talent.
Nueva trova: This politicized genre arose after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, and was made famous for its folksy and emotionally charged style.
Timba: A modern and faster-paced version of Cuban son-derived salsa that has become a dominant sound in Cuba today. It draws on African folk dances and rhythms like rumba, but also rap and reggae.