The Salsa/Jazz/Blues Idiom and Creolization in the Atlantic World

  • James A. Noel
Part of the Black Religion/Womanist Thought/Social Justice book series (BRWT)


This chapter seeks to investigate the salsa/jazz/blues idiom as a means of discerning the nature of creolization in the Atlantic World as a feature of modernity. This term—salsa/jazz/blues—is definitely not stated in historical order but indicates the fact that by the time salsa received its label there was a mutual and reciprocal interrelationship between it and jazz and blues that continues to this day. I place salsa first in this term because had I started with the blues or jazz I would have been force to privilege the North American experience of creolization and then had to endeavor to include the Caribbean and other areas of the Atlantic World. To start with salsa brings us immediately into a discussion of migrations of Afro-Cubans and Afro-Puerto Ricans from the Caribbean to New York and other cities in Europe. The meaning of the term creolization will be elaborated on later. Suffice it to say at this point that its importance has to do with understanding the nature of modernity whose temporal structure I am situating in the Atlantic World. That world did not come into being until the extreme western end of Asia called Europe made contact and entered into a series of sustained and nonreciprocal exchanges with Africa and the Americas. Creolization was the biological and cultural product of this temporality.


Popular Music Musical Genre Black Person African American Culture African Diaspora 
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© James A. Noel 2009

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  • James A. Noel

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