Salsa Celtica's Great Scottish Latin Adventure: an insider's view

Alexander, P. (2018) Salsa Celtica's Great Scottish Latin Adventure: an insider's view. In: McKerrell, S. and West, G. (eds.) Understanding Scotland Musically: Folk, Tradition and Policy. Series: Ashgate popular and folk music series. Routledge: London, pp. 139-156. ISBN 9781138205222 (doi:10.4324/9781315467573-11)

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A significant force in UK world music for over fifteen years, Edinburgh’s Salsa Celtica promotes a particularly resonant blend of Scottish cultural hybridity: a finely-honed marriage of traditional and newly composed Scottish melodies set against Afro-Cuban rhythmic patterns. As a long-term member, I discuss the group from both a personal and ethnomusicological perspective, exploring the changing salsa/celtic balance within this contingent identity, and how these elements play back against a wider conception of contemporary Scottish music. Salsa Celtica’s deft adaptability represents a growing dialogue between increasingly co-territorial musical worlds. But more than this, the band is both product and expression of urban Scotland: its line-up speaks to a city’s ethnic encounters and the music itself is a direct outcome of the self-conscious eclecticism of the Edinburgh session scene. I therefore also investigate how this musically embodied multiculturalism functions as a pragmatic, easygoing and ever more pertinent celebration of contemporary internationalism. Through interviews and musical/visual analysis, I unpack the shifting ground that Salsa Celtica treads between insider and outsider in the world of Scottish music, a fluid musical discourse offering continually varied spaces of negotiation for both musicians and audience.

Item Type:Book Sections
Keywords:Salsa, folk, music, Celtica.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Alexander, Dr Philip
Authors: Alexander, P.
Subjects:M Music and Books on Music > M Music
College/School:College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
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