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4:Bohemians


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These are entries I've been making to keep track of the historical developments that I feel have been relevant in making salsa what it is today. Taking an increasingly broad perspective, this would include other forms that have interacted with or informed salsa production, for example: merengue and bachata. Some key world events have also been added to provide a stronger context. A purely personal selection.

Events are listed in reverse chronological order.
The date format is year - month - day where available.

Where specific years are not available, each decade is separated into three sections: 'early' entries placed before years ending with 0; 'mid' entries before years ending 4; 'late' entries before years ending 7.

Where specific months are not available, each year is separated into trimesters: 'early' entries before January; 'mid' entries before May; and 'late' entries before September.
 

2006. Philadelphia, PA. "Although the mambo on two pattern has been favored by mambo and salsa dancers, particularly from New York, the on one pattern was also used by mambo dancers in the 1950s and continues to be used by contemporary salsa dancers." - David F. Garcia in 'Arsenio Rodríguez and the transnational flows of Latin popular music', p.181.

2003-April-11. Cuba. In a disturbing return to the death penalty, three Cubans who hijacked a ferry (on 2nd April) in an attempt to reach the United States are found guilty of terrorism and executed by firing squad. A further four men are given life sentences.

2003-April. Cuba. Seventy-five political dissidents are given lengthy jail sentences of up to 28 years. Events that transpire in this month make support for Cuba by such external organisations like the Cuba Solidarity Campaign (sometime fund-raisers via salsa events) untenable on Human Rights grounds.

2002-May-05. United States. The Monticello Association, a group of nearly 800 descendants of Thomas Jefferson, vote to exclude Sally Hemings' descendants. From Check, E. (2002). Jefferson's descendants continue to deny slave link. Nature. Vol.417. p213.

2002. London, United Kingdom. Patria Román-Velázquez's article "Locating Salsa" published in 'Popular Music Studies' describes the ongoing debate of salsa's origins and provenance as a "fruitless attempt to prove beyond doubt that salsa is essentially Puerto Rican or Cuban".

2001-May. London, United Kingdom. A re-formed Orchestra Baobab play at the Barbican to great acclaim, launching a year-long international tour.

1999. Los Van Van garner a Grammy Award for Best Salsa Performance with their album 'Llego... Van Van'.

1998-November. Foster et al. (1998) Jefferson fathered slave's last child. Nature Vol.369. pp.27-29. reports that "the simplest and most probable explanations for our molecular findings are that Thomas Jefferson, rather than one of the Carr brothers, was the father of Eston Hemings Jefferson." Despite this conclusion slavery was legal then, and thus one of the greatest Presidents of the United States can not be considered to be guilty of the sexual violation of his property - Sally Hemings.

1997. The Grammy Award-winning album Buena Vista Social Club is released by World Circuit/Nonesuch. It, and its associated solo projects, is described by David F.García as "one of the most successful world music endeavors to date".

1995. Colombia. The official census counts 21% of the population as being of African origin, but does not factor in mestizos who have African blood.

1994. Dominican Republic. Only five bachateros have managed to "cross over" and establish themselves in the mainstream market: Blas Durán, Raulín Rodríguez, Antony Santos, Luis Segura and Luis Vargas.

1993. Colombia. Black land rights ratified. Up until this point, Afro-Colombian territories could be developed without due consideration to its occupants causing rural to urban migration.

1993-December. Santo Domingo and Santiago, Dominican Republic. In the two 'De bachata en bachata' [from bachata to bachata] concerts, one per city, original bachateros and tecno-bachateros share the same stage for the first time.

1993. Dominican Republic. Bachata song 'El dolor' [The pain] from Raulín Rodríguez's album 'Una mujer como tú' [A woman like you] becomes one of the greatest hits of the year.

Circa 1992-October. Alicante, Spain. Marcelino "Rapindey" Guerra, author of Latin hits such as 'Pare Cochero' and 'A Mi Manera' [My way] receives his first ever royalty payment after 59 years of songwriting at a rate of USD 0.025 per recording sold. His cheque was for USD 2,347.

Late 1992. Dominican Republic. As a sign of bachata's breaching of the mainstream, it is heard playing on major FM radio stations all across the country.

1992. Dominican Republic. Juan Luis Guerra's 'Bachata Rosa' garners a Grammy in the Latin Tropical category, selling 3.5 million copies. Let's but this into context... prior to Guerra's scandalous dabbling with the bachata, sales of 10,000 copies were considered exceptional.

1991. Dominican Republic. Juan Luis Guerra releases 'Bachata Rosa' (KCD-136 / BMG 3230) on Karen Records to immense domestic and international acclaim. The impact of this album on the domestic bachata scene is seismic, dismantling the prejudicial barriers that have kept the genre underground. The rest of the world remains oblivious to its significance.

1989. Curaçao, Dutch Antilles. Son revivalist group Sierra Maestra adapts its repetoire more to Arsenio's style whilst on tour to suit local tastes. This possibly lays the groundwork for the group's founder Juan de Marcos González's later success in producing the Buena Vista Social Club albums.

1989. Dominican Republic. Deborah Pacini Hernandez predicts: "I suspect that... if bachata filters through the class barriers that keep it marginalized from mainstream society, the word bachata will lose its negative connotations and will once again become at least more 'neutral'—if not a source of national pride—as Dominicans acknowledge the music as a unique feature of their national musical culture".

Circa 1989. Dominican Republic. Highly regarded musicians Sonia Silvestre and Luis Dias collaborate under the encouragement of musician producer Cholo Brenes (organiser of Siete Días con el Pueblo in 1974) and release the LP 'Quiero andar' [I want to move forward]. The critics were positive, and doors previously closed to bachata began slowly to open.

1987. Dominican Republic. Blas Durán breaks new ground releasing a guitar-led merengue, 'Consejo a las mujeres' which becomes one of bachata's biggest hits in its history. With its use of multitrack recording, electric instruments, uptempo danceable rhythm, bawdy yet clever and humorous lyrics, it sets new standards in the positive perception of bachata. Hollow-body electric guitars begin to displace acoustic guitars in the genre as a result.

1987. Dominican Republic. More than 80 merengue bands are registered with the musician's union 'El sindicato que agrupa a los músicos, cantantes, bailarines, locutores y actores' (AMUCABA).

1986-August-16. Dominican Republic. Joaqín Balaguer is re-elected President, after the opposing party's time in power proved to be a betrayal of the electorate's trust.

1985 to 1987. Dominican Republic. Juan Luis Guerra establishes himself as a musician of outstanding quailty after almost singlehandedly "renovating the spiritually ailing merengue" (Deborah Pacini Hernandez). He does so with back-to-back yearly releases of three albums on Karen records: Mudanza y acarreo (CDK 91 / BMG 3234-2); Mientras mas lo pienso... tú (CDK 105 / BMG 3233); and Ojalá que llueva café (CDK 126 / BMG 3231).

1983-January. Dominican Republic. A nearly bankrupt nation agrees to an 'extended facilities package' from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), but the draconian austerity measures implemented as part of the conditions of loan sees the removal of food subsidies, resulting later in starvation-driven riots. Some monetary capital freed up by the package and the economic restructuring finds its way to the updating of recording equipment.

1983. Dominican Republic. Politician and former president Joaquín Balaguer publishes 'La isla al revés: Haiti y el destino dominicano' [The island upside down: Haiti and the Dominican destiny], an anti-Haitian and fiercely Afrophobic book.

1982-August-16. Dominican Republic. Despite a track record of corruption, the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano's (PRD) candidate Salvador Jorge Blanco succeeds to the Presidency. He inherits a country in deepening economic crisis and infected with graft. The social impact on the lowest classes is indicated in the expression bachata of the time.

1982-July-04. Dominican Republic. Antonio Guzmán dies whilst still in office of a gunshot wound to the head. The official verdict is suicide, but speculations still abound.

1982. Dominican Republic. Bachatero Luis Segura releases 'Pena por ti', a nation-wide smash hit that temporary breaches the media-access barrier that has kept bachata marginalised.

1982. Dominican Republic. Estudios Quisqueya is established by Tin Valdés, a Cuban immigrant, who brings in the country's first 24-track recording equipment. More 24-tracks are brought in over the ensuing few years; to Estudios EMCA (formerly Estudios Fabiola) and Estudios Mozart. This allows higher fidelity recordings of larger ensembles than was previously possible, of which orquesta merengue was a prime beneficiary.

1980-October-31. The Mariel boatlift ends by mutual agreement. All-in-all, an eighth of a million Cubans make the journey, and only 2% of them are denied political asylum on criminal grounds.

1980-April-15. Mariel Harbour (La Habana), Cuba. In a period of warming relations between the island and the United States of America, an exodus of Cubans begins. This later becomes known as the "Mariel boatlift", and the Cuban immigrants as "marielitos".

1980. Caracas, Venezuela. César Miguel Rondón's seminal history of salsa "El libro de la salsa: Crónica del la música del Caribe urbano" is published.

1978-November-09. Bogotá, Colombia. Miguelito Valdés dies of a heart attack on stage at the Hotel Tequendama while singing a medley of his hits.

1978. Dominican Republic. Antonio Guzmán of the Partido Revolucionario Dominicano (PRD) is elected to the presidency in repudiation of Joaqín Balaguer's political machinations. Unfortunately this ushers in a new era of corruption instead.

1976. Dominican Republic. An event indicative of the nation's anti-black sentiment, folklorist Fradique Lizardo is heavily criticised by musician Luis Senior for suggesting that the merengue possessed African roots.

1975. Dominican Republic. Approximately 40 merengue bands are registered with the musician's union 'El sindicato que agrupa a los músicos, cantantes, bailarines, locutores y actores' (AMUCABA).

1974. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. International nueva canción festival 'Siete Días con el Pueblo' [seven days with the people] is held to showcase the genre and to bring attention to, and denounce, the Balaguer regime. Featured are local groups Expresión Joven and Convite. Some of these musicians will play a significant role in breaking down the barriers responsible for bachata's marginalisation.

Circa 1972. Dominican Republic. Leonardo Paniagua scores his first major bachata hit, covering Swedish group ABBA's "Chiquitita".

1971-August-26. NYC, New York. The Fania All Stars perform one of the defining concerts in the history of salsa at the Cheetah in Manhattan. This event is documented in the film "Our Latin Thing (Nuestra cosa latina)".

1970-December-28. Los Angeles, California. Arsenio Rodríguez suffers a stroke as a consequence of his diabetes. He passes away two days later.

1970-November-27. Los Angeles, California. Probably Arsenio Rodríguez's final performance at Club Alianza Hispanoamericana.

1970. Dakar, Senegal. The Baobab Club, the capital's swankiest nightspot opens.

1969-July. Washington CD. Arsenio Rodríguez and his brother Kiki take part in the Smithsonian Institute's third Festival of American Folklife.

1969. Dakar, Senegal. Guinea's Bembeya Jazz band play at the Miami Club alongside the resident Star Band.

1969. Los Angeles, California. Arsenio Rodríguez moves back to the city in the twilight of his career and forms a new conjunto featuring three trumpets.

1968-May-04. NYC, New York. The Tico-Alegre Anniversary Dance is held at the Manhattan Centre and broadcasted live on radio station WEVD by Symphony Sid. The show features Fania salsa superstars-to-be (Ray Barretto, Celia Cruz, Joe Cuba, Johnny Pacheco, Charlie Palmieri, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente), Cachao, Machito and Arsenio Rodríguez.

1968. Dakar, Senegal. The Star Band, many members of which would later form the internationally famous Orchestra Baobab, update and present the traditional Griot song 'Pape Ndiaye' - a first that both shocks and delights audiences.

1968. NYC, New York. Club Caborrojeño (Manhattan) and Bronx Casino (South Bronx) begin offering weekly live music events with artists: Joe Cuba, Tito Puente, Richie Ray, Pete Rodríguez, Daniel Santos. The latter also feature El Gran Combo and future salsa stars Ray Barretto, Larry Harlow, Johnny Pacheco, Eddie Palmieri.

1968. NYC, New York. Impresario José Curbelo prints a listing of all artists signed to his agency Alpha Artists of America. He places Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Ricardo Ray in the top three, and Arsenio Rodríguez in the bottom spot.

1968. NYC, New York. Tito Puente hosts his own fortnightly television show "El Mundo Latino de Tito Puente" [Tito Puente's Latin World].

Circa 1968. NYC, New York. Arranger and trombonist Barry Rogers leaves Eddie Palmieri's La Perfecta.

1967. United States of America. Robert Farris Thompson describes La Perfecta's Barry Rogers' arrangement technique as: "a splendid usage involving two trombones - one to chant, the other (Rogers) to invent".

1967. Dominican Republic. Bachata producer Bienvenido Rodríguez purchases the small record label, Montilla, which he renames Karen after his daughter. The label will later release Juan Luis Guerra's seminal album 'Bachata Rosa', and several others.

Late 1960s. Chile. Nueva canción movement emerges. This eventually stimulates the birth of the less folk-based canción protesta, later called nueva trova, movemetn in Cuba.

1966. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez returns from Los Angeles to a city musicscape dominated by Cuban-conjunto-based groups led by Puerto Ricans. This is the end of the mambo big-band period, and also the fading of the pachanga craze.

1966. Dominican Republic. Radio Guarachita resmues broadcasting after a short hiatus, caused by the dismantling of some of its facilities by Dominican Loyalists and U.S. Marines.

1966(?). United States of America. Memorandum of Understanding is issued which gives priority to potential migrants already with relatives in the United States. White Cubans had been are more heavily established in the US pre-Memorandum, hence potential black Cuban migrants find themselves systematically excluded over white Cubans due to a lack of extensive familial network.

1965-June. Miami, Florida. Teatro Radiocentro of Miami presents a concert entitled "Artistas cubanos en exilio" [Cuban artists in exlie] featuring Celia Cruz, Olga Guillot, Orlando Vallejo and others.

1965-June-13. Los Angeles, California. Tito Puente and Arsenio Rodríguez go "mano a mano" [hand to hand] at Hollywood Palladium.

1965-April-28. Domincan Republic. Lyndon Johnson sends 23,000 troops in Operation Powerpack supposedly to protect U.S. lives, but posssibly just as much to obstruct the return to power of liberal Juan Bosch thereby preventing "another Cuba".

1965-February-March. Los Angeles, California. Arsenio Rodríguez performs at the Paramount Ballroom, the Hollywood Palladium and the Million Dollar Theater.

1965. Dominican Republic. Radio Guarachita, later to become a major force in the dissemination of bachata in the birthing years of its marginalisation is fully unveiled by Radhames Aracena. It had been broadcasting anonymously for several months already.

1964-?. Los Angeles, California. Arsenio Rodríguez and his brother Kiki relocate to the West Coast in search of better performance opportunities.

Late 1964. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Radio Guarachita begins transmission, initially without identification slogans nor advertising.

1964-May. NYC, New York. Ralph Rinzler, later the director of the Smithsonian Institute's Festival of American Folklife, records Arsenio and Kiki Rodríguez performing Cuban folkloric music; probably at Kiki's apartment in the South Bronx.

1964. NYC, New York. Johnny Pacheco forms his conjunto. Despite their roots in Cuban conjunto music, groups formed in NYC were a reflection of local youth culture with most band members being chosen also on the basis of being young and thin. Pacheco was drawn to having Pete "El Conde" Rodríguez as his lead vocalist because the latter could dance as well as sing.

1964. Dominican Republic. Luis Segura, later to be regarded as the father of bachata, begins his recording career.

1963. Miguelito Valdés and Machito release 'Qué Pena Me Da' [It gives me pain], a plea to both Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez to end their top billing rivalry.

1963. Tito Puente's international hit 'Oye como va' [Listen to how it goes] is recorded in 1963. The unmistakeable piano rhythm in the opening bears remarkable resemblance to that in the diablo section of Arsenio Rodríguez's 'Pillar con pillar' recorded in 1943.

Early 1962. United States. President John F. Kennedy widens trade restrictions with Cuba on two separate occassions by Executive Order.

1962. NYC, New York. Legendary virtuoso bassist Israel "Cachao" Lopez arrives from Cuba to settle in the city.

Circa 1962. Los Angeles, California. The Billing War between the two Titos is still very much alive and kicking. Dance promoter Chico Sesma bows to pressure from Puente's agent and gives him top billing over Rodríguez despite prior personal assurances to the latter otherwise. Rodríguez resolves never again to share the same bill with Puente.

1961. NYC, New York. Ray Barretto records his first LP on the Riverside label called "Pachanga with Barretto". The album, along with Johnny Pacheco's the year previously, are the earliest and most popular pachanga albums recorded in NYC. Both albums contain arrangements by Alfredito Valdéz Jr. and Hector Rivera (self-acknowledged 'disciples' of Arsenio).

1960-1963. New York City. Pianist and arranger Alfredito Valdéz Jr. and bassist Enrique Jackson play for both Arsenio Rodríguez's conjunto and Ray Barretto's charanga. They considered themselves 'disciples of Arsenio'; this is evidence of an indelible link between Arsenio's music and the early salsa sound.

1960-November-25. Dominican Republic. The three Mirabal sisters, vocal opponents to President Trujillo, are strangled in a field, their bodies dumped in a car, and the car pushed off a cliff. Their murders provoke international outrage and the Catholic Church become actively involved in opposition to the regime.

1960-June-24. Venzuela. President Rómulo Bétancourt survives an assassination attempt by Domincan President Trujillo, although he is badly burned.

1960-May-31. Curaçao, Dutch Antilles. Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto perform at Cinelandia, Willemstad. Reception of live Cuban radio (Radio Progreso and Radio Salas) in the Dutch colony had popularised his music.

1960. Dakar, Senegal. Ibra 'Le Grande' Kasse, owner of the Miami Nightclub, forms the resident Star Band in commemoration of the nation's independence.

1960. NYC, New York. Johnny Pacheco forms his charanga and becomes a prime populariser of New York's version of the pachanga music and dance style. He records his first album titled "Pacheco y su charanga" on the Alegre label.

1960. NYC, New York. Puerto Ricans numbering approx.612,000 comprise 80% of the city's Latin American population. Cubans on the other hand number slightly less than 43,000.

1960. Cuba. Trío Matamoros disbands after 35 years together.

Early 1960s. Dominican Republic. Bachata emerges in this decade, but intially as slow romantic (non-dance) music.

1959. Dominican Republic. The first record manufactuing facility, Fábrica Dominicana de Discos, begins pressing 45 RPM discs. It is owned by Pedro Pablo Bonilla, but record producer Radhames Aracena alleges that Pedro was a front for Rafael Trujillo's daughter-in-law.

1958-March. United States. An arms embargo of Cuba is enacted when hostilities erupt between rebels and the U.S.-backed Batista regime. This is the first in a series of restrictions what would collectively become known as the U.S. Embargo of Cuba.

1957-January. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez along with fellow bandmembers Luís "Wito" Kortwrite and Candido Antomattei debut one of the former's best-known patriotic songs "Adórenla como Martí" at the Club Cubano Inter-Americano.

1957. Havana, Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez's last trip to the island before his death.

1957. NYC, New York. Mambo's decline in popularity puts pressure on performance opportunities at the Palladium and other large Manhattan dance halls.

1956. Tito Puente is signed to RCA by Morris Levy. Tito Rodríguez returns to Tico Records.

1955-July-14. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Future legendary bachata producer Radhames Aracena opens his record store Tienda de Discos la Guarachita on El Conde, selling music by Mexican Pedro Infante.

1955. Pérez Prado's hit Latin instrumental 'Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White', a cover of the French 'Cerisier Rose et Pommer Blanc', sells a million copies.

1954-October-22. NYC, New York. Mambo USA concert held at Carnegie Hall, the opening event of a national tour by top mambo big-bands.

1954. Tito Rodríguez, feeling that Tico Records is favouring Tito Puente at his expense, signs with RCA.

Circa 1954. Dominican Republic. Mexican Pedro Infante's song 'Cien años' [hundred years] takes the country by storm; so much so that listeners, unable to purchase the single through lack of distribution, offer to pay radio DJs to play it.

1953-1955. NYC, New York. Mambo's popularity reaches its zenith through the relentless promotion in mainstream print media of bandleaders Joe Loco, Machito, Tito Puente, and Tito Rodríguez.

1953-July. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez adds alto, tenor and baritone saxophones to his lineup to form his 'Nueva Orquesta'. This is disbanded less than a year later due to increased costs.

1953. Los Angeles, California. Vicentico Valdés, then vocalist with Tito Puente is given top billing over the latter. The Mexican-American community of the city were more familiar with Valdés since he had resided and performed in Mexico for several years. A disagreement between the singer and the bandleader ensues, which prompts Valdés to leave the band upon their return to NYC. Puente's annoyance would lead him to not feature a vocalist in his band for nearly a year.

1953. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez defies a ban by Musician's Union Local 802 and takes to the stage after, and in support of, Conjunto Casino at the Tropicana Club. It is an open display of his solidarity with fellow Cuban musicians, and an indication that although his songs exhorted racial equality, he was not anti-white. He and his brother were later fined by the Union.

1952-April. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto Estrellas begins a one-year contract with local independent label Seeco Tropical Records, less than one month after their contract with RCA Victor ends.

1952-March-22. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez performs with his new Conjunto de Estrellas in Park Plaza, East Harlem.

1952-March-18. Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto records for the last time in Cuba. After the two recordings for RCA Victor, Arsenio hands over leadership of the conjunto to his trumpeter Félix Chappottín.

1952-March-10. Cuba. Fulgencio Batista siezes power by military coup, ending constitutional government.

1952. NYC, New York. This year sees Tito Puente gain the upper hand in the band rivalry with Tito Rodríguez with a phenomenal achievement; he releases a total of 37 songs, all of which potential hit material, on Tico - the label to which the both of them are signed.

1951-October-15. United States. I Love Lucy, possibly the most successful television show of all time starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz makes its debut.

1951-August-26. Oakland, California. Conguero Armando Peraza makes a guest appearance on stage with Pérez Prado during the latter's West Coast tour.

1951-March. Lima, Peru. Archbishop Juan Gualberto Guevara condemns the mambo as immoral and instructs all his priests to deny absolution to anyone who dances it.

1951. NYC, New York. This year sees an increase of intensity in the rivalry between Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez, known informally as 'the billing wars'. To the lay observer the competition takes on an epic, even feud-like dimension that would only stop upon Rodríguez's death. It begins in January with Latin Talk magazine featuring the both of them on the front cover titled "Two Titos Tops in Mambo" with Rodríguez on the left (implying top billing). Later in the year, a tussle over the billing on the marquee of the Palladium Ballroom sees Puente's name placed on the left. Max Hyman, President of the Palladium, mistakenly believes that Rodríguez is having an affair with his wife and bars him from the premises. Having their residencies: Puente at the Palladium and Rodríguez at the Park Palace Ballroom serves to heat up the competition. Rodríguez learns to play vibraharp after Puente's 'Vibe Mambo' becomes a hit.

1951. Union de Musicos de Puerto Rico becomes affiliated to the American Federation of Musicians.

1951. Havana, Cuba. Conjunto Casino become regulars on CMQ television. A major reason for their success in the early years of Cuban television was because they hadvisual presentation which many other bands did not.

1950-December-25. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto Estrellas plays at the Palladium opposite Tito Puente's and other's big bands.

1950-December-15. Havana, Cuba. Celia Cruz cuts her first record, a pregón called 'Cao cao maní picao', with Sonora Matancera for New York-based independent label Seeco Records.

1950-September. RCA Victor switches Pérez Prado from its 'International' listing to its 'Popular' listing, the first time this has happened to a Latin recording artist.

Late 1950. Cuba. Benny Moré returns and signs to appear in Radio Cadena Oriental's De fiesta con Bacardí programme, which enjoys nationwide coverage.

1950-March-07. Dámaso Pérez Prado records 'Mambo No.5' (TCD-013) and 'Qué rico el mambo' for RCA Victor.

1950-February-17. NYC, New York. Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto Estrellas debuts at Teatro Tiboro in East Harlem.

1950. Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez writes and performs "Si me voy" [If I Go] in dedication to his daughter Regla María at her quinceñera occassion in Pogolotti, Marianao. It is a poignant expression of love in anticipation of their parting, due to his pending relocation to New York.

1950. Cuba. Arsenio's brother Kiki Rodríguez is released from prison after serving his term for the manslaughter of Wilfredo Mayo, an act he very much regretted. He moves to New York permanently for fear of reprisals by his victim's families.

1949-April. Havana, Cuba. Out of three groups: Las Melodias del 40, Arsenio Rodríguez y Su Conjunto, and Arcaño y Sus Maravillas, featured on Radio Salas' daily show titled "Los Tres Grandes", Arsenio's attracts the highest listener ratings.

1949-March-12. Havana, Cuba. Three drunken US sailors urinate on the statue of the Cuban nation's father, José Martí, causing public outrage. This is sentiment intensifies the following day when they are effectively released by the passing of custody from the police to officials of the US Navy.

1949-March. NYC, New York. Tito Puente establishes his own band, The Picadilly Boys, taken from Tito's song 'picadillo'. They later become the Tito Puente Orchestra

1949. United States. The Billboard's "Race" chart is renamed "Rhythm and Blues" at the behest of staff writer Jerry Wexler.

1949. Tito Puente records "Ran Kan Kan" (BMG Music 3226-2-RL).

1946. Havana, Cuba. Puerto Rican singer Daniel Santos is coontracted to sing with Sonora Matancera on Radio Progreso.

1948-December-15. NYC, New York. The second AFM recording ban is lifted, although some of effects of the ban had been side-stepped with the use of tape-recorder technology, captured from the Germans in World War II.

1948-December-02. NYC, New York. Chano Pozo is shot dead with his tune 'Manteca' playiing on the jukebox in the background. Ironically this was due to an altercation he had had the day before, after purchasing what turned out not to be marijuana.

1948-November-04. Havana, Cuba. Celina González writes 'A Santa Bárbara', more popularly known as '¡Que viva Changó!'; the first time both Santa Bárbara and Changó are mentioned together in popular song.

1948-November-02. Havana, Cuba. Celina González and Reutilio Domínguez debut on a week-long slot on Radio Suaritos.

Late 1948. Mexico. Pérez Prado and Benny Moré begin recording together, releasing 27 songs over the next two years with Benny's name on the top.

1948-May-01. Havana, Cuba. Socialist-inclined Radio Mil Diez is closed down by the then Cuban government after airing a prerecorded speech by communist member of the House of Representatives, Jesús Menéndez. This robs many Cuban musicians of performance and public exposure opportunities, as Mil Diez regularly aired live music shows.

1948-January-01. NYC, New York. The second AFM recording ban comes into effect, meaning that nearly all of the early be-bop era fails to be captured for posterity. This includes most of Chano's time with Dizzy's band.

1948. Mexico overtakes Cuba as 'the place to be' for musicians, in part due to the repressiveness of the Grau administration which contributes to outward migratory pressure on the island.

1948. The microgroove LP is introduced to the world. It opens the door to the establishment of independent music labels, ushering in a more creative approach to music making and revolutionising popular music across the globe.

1948-1949. NYC, New York. The word "mambo" as a term for a category of Latin music and dance begins to appear in the entertainment pages of New York's local Spanish newspaper, La Prensa. It appears in advertisements for: albums e.g. mambo-son, mambo-guaracha; dance lessons; dance events held at places like the Palladium and Club Casino. It also becomes part of musicians' titles e.g. Kiko "El Rey del Mambo" Mendive.

Circa 1948. Cuba. Carlos "Patato" Valdés, conguero for Conjunto Casino popularises the use of two congas. It is a more melodic style of playing that is facilitated by the advent of a tuning mechanism for the drum skins.

Circa 1948. Havana, Cuba. The Vergara brothers, instrument makers in the barrio of Lawton, develop a tuning key mechanism for tumbadora (conga) and bongó. Says Arístedes Soto (a.k.a. Tata Güines), "Everybody took advantage of it: me, Patato, Armando, Mongo, Cándido, and then we were all using keys to tune our instruments."

1947-December-30. NYC, New York. Chano Pozo's 'Manteca' is recorded by the Gillespie band. It becomes the biggest seller Dizzy Gillespie ever has.

1947-September-29. NYC, New York. Chano Pozo performs with Dizzy Gillespie's band at Carnegie Hall, premiering 'Cubana Be, Cubana Bop' a two-parter in afro rhythm with conga solo and Abakuá chant.

1947-July-12. NYC, New York. The Hotel Diplomat hosts a dance featuring stellar orchestras and guests including Machito, Daniel Santos and Miguelito Valdés. Called 'El Rayo De Luz' [Ray of light], the event raised five thousand dollars to pay for Arsenio Rodríguez's consultation with Dr.Ramón Castroviejo (where he would learn that his eyesight could not be restored).

1947-June. Tampa, Florida. Arsenio Rodríguez lodges in the segregated district with his brother Kiki, on transit to consult with Dr. Ramón Castroviejo in New York in the hopes of restoring Arsenio's sight. This experience informs his later composition "Aquí como allá" [It's the same over here as it is over there] and the guaracha "Pasó en Tampa" [It happened in Tampa].

1947-February-04. NYC, New York. Chano Pozo, Arsenio Rodríguez, Miguelito Valdés, and Carlos Vidal, all on congas, and José Mangual on bongó, record the first authentic barrio-style rumbas. (More than forty years after the first trovadores.)

1947. Mexico. Miguel Alemán becomes the first civillain president, his election campaign featured pretty girls and used the song 'La bamba' which was a son jarocho from Veracruz (just across the water from Cuba).

1947. NYC, New York. The Sunday afternoon dance, called "The Blen Blen Club" (after the song by Chano Pozo) opens midtown at Alma Dance Studios. It is avantgarde, allowing free racial mixing between African Americans, Italians, Jews, and Latinos.

1947. NYC, New York. Tito Rodríguez forms his conjunto, the "Mambo Devils".

1947. Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Cuban country music songers Celina González (primo) and Reutilio Domínguez (segundo) appear on Radio Cadena Oriental.

1947. Havana, Cuba. Panart releases the world's first commercial album of santería songs, featuring the voices of Merceditas Valdés and a young Celia Cruz.

Circa 1947. Santo Domingo, Domincan Republic. Petán Trujillo moves his radio station 'La Vox Del Yuna' to the capital and renames it 'La Vox Dominicana'. Endowed with state funding, it retains its primacy as the country's most important radio station until the fall of the Trujillo regime in 1961.

1946. NYC, New York. The word "mambo" appears for the first time in the title of a song by a New York band led by José Curbelo called 'El rey del mambo' and sung by a young Tito Rodríguez.

1946. United States. Desi Arnaz is made music director of 'The Bob Hope Show'.

1946. United States. Desi Arnaz is filmed performing 'Babalú', in what could be considered a parody of Miguelito Valdés.

1946. Havana, Cuba. Larger-than-life Puerto Rican singer Daniel Santos takes up his first contract to sing at RHC-Cadena Azul.

1946. Havana, Cuba. Conguero Arístedes Soto arrives from Güines, from which he derives his stage name, Tata Güines.

1945. Mexico. Bartolomé More changes his name to Benny Moré. Incidentally, "Bartolo" is commonly a donkey's name in the country.

1944-November. United States. AFM recording ban is lifted for Columbia and Victor.

1944-May-14. NYC, New York. Trío Los Panchos, arguably the masters of romantic music, debut at Teatro Hispano. Five years later they become the No.1 selling artist in New York of Columbia Records' entire roster.

1944. NYC, New York. Machito and his Afro Cubans bring bongó from son, congas from the rumberos and timbales from danzón orchestras all together for the first time in one ensemble, thereby establishing what is now the standard Latin percussion lineup.

1944. Domincan Republic. Frank Hatton Guerrero purchases the country's first recording equipment for his radio station (HIZ) - a Fairchild used to record commercials onto acetate media.

1944. Havana, Cuba. Miguel Matamoros, suffering a sore throat, asks Benny Moré to sing his part at a Conjunto Matamoros appearance on radio Mil Diez.

1944. Havana, Cuba. Panart records a young Olga Guillot (in place of a poorly lead singer), discovering someone who would later emerge as one of Cuba's greatest female voices within the first year of operations.

1944. Havana, Cuba. Carlos "Patato" Valdés joins as Kubavana's conguero when Armando Peraza moves from congas to bongó.

1943-October. United States. AFM recording ban is lifted for Decca and Capitol.

1943-April-23. Camp Upton, New Jersey. Machito reports for basic training. The World War II draft sees the Machito orchestra heavily ravaged for personnel.

1943. NYC, New York. Jeweller Sidney Siegel establishes the Seeco record label and signs up Latin-music artists, recording them at Joe Smith Studios on 57th Street. His shop 'Casa Siegel' formed an important part of his distribution network.

1943. Havana, Cuba. Ramón S.Sabat establishes Panart, Cuba's first domestic record label, with complete with dedicated recording studio and disk manufacturing capability. This is during the AFM recording ban, and motiviated in part by the frustrating length of turn-around experienced with RCA Victor.

1943. Havana, Cuba. The Arsenio Rodríguez recording 'Pillar con pillar' features probably the earliest recorded use of the word "mambo" which is interjected just before the commencement of the diablo section.

1943. Havana, Cuba. Antonio Arcaño and Arsenio Rodríguez standardise their music with off-beat (upbeat) musical figures. One of the main rhythms this results in is the "mambo flavor", which is the montuno and guajeo pattern of modern salsa and is probably their most enduring legacy. This contratiempo feel extends into diablo and mambo sections (of son montuno and danzón-mambo respectively) predominated by interweaving patterns, as evidenced in their recordings.

1943. Cuba. Antonio Arcaño, after witnessing its benefits on Arsenio's band, hires Kike Rodríguez to teach his band boy how to play conga.

1943. Havana, Cuba. Radio station Suaritos are the first to broadcast the playing of Batá drums. The programme is both controversial, and also a hit. A year and a half later, the Christian society Caballeros de Colón y Damas Católicas manage to get its broadcast suspended.

1943. Havana, Cuba. Radio station CMQ is sold to Goar Mestre, heralding a period of stiff competition between CMQ and RHC-Cadena Azul for artistic talent.

1943. Havana, Cuba. Mil Diez, dubbed "the People's station", makes its inaugural broadcast. Formerly Radio Lavin at 1010, Mil Diez had a significant impact because it was an international channel free of interference which enabled it to be clearly received around the Caribbean and beyond, with little power output.

1942-August-01. NYC, New York. American Federation of Musicians (AFM) Local 802 decree a cessation of all recording sessions, in contravention of the no-strike position adoped by other unions during war-time. Singers are not members of the AFM, hence the music industry sees a rise in a capella recordings over this period.

1942-July. NYC, New York. Miguelito Valdés and Machito begin the first of three recording sessions together. They just beating the ensuing AFM recording ban by five days.

1942-June-26. United States. Trumpeter James Petrillo, as President of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), notifies the recording companies that their licences allowing them to hire union musicians would not be renewed come August, amounting to a ban on recording. This is in a dispute demanding royalty payments for musicians on recorded music.

1942-March. NYC, New York. A young Puerto Rican timbalero with an agressive style of playing, Tito Puente, joins Machito's Afro Cubans. The stint only lasts a few months before Tito gets drafted into the U.S. Navy.

1942-February. Havana, Cuba. Social Club Buena Vista, a sociedad de color (black social club) advertises Arsenio Rodríguez as playing for their dances in the upcoming carnival season.

1942-January-30. United States. Noro Morales records 'Serenata Rítmica' for Decca. It becomes such a hit that Noro receives offers to perform in downtown Manhattan, an 'Anglo' world previously closed off to Latin bands.

1942-January-01. Washington DC, United States. Following the bombing of Pearl Harbour the previous month, the United States of America enters World War II via the Declaration of the United Nations announced at the Arcadia Conference. Over the war era, the U.S. War Production Board limits the non-military use of shellac, required for record production, by 70%. Record companies release Latin bands to concentrate production resources on the more lucrative Swing music market.

1942. Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez scores a big hit with "Como traigo la yuca", more popularly known by the first three words of its chorus "Dile a Catalina".

1942. Marianao, Cuba. Armando Romeu arrives at the Tropicana and assembles a house band featuring trumpetist-arranger Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, pianist Pedro "Peruchín" Jústiz and trombonist Generoso "El Tojo" Jiménez.

1942. Bonao, Domincan Republic. Radio station 'La Vox Del Yuna' is established by Petán Trujillo.

1942 onwards. Cuba. A whole school of great Cuban music arrangers comes into existence to fulfill demand, due to jazzbands passing over stock arrangements for Cuban music, and the rise in popularity of the conjunto format.

Circa 1942. Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez incorporates the tumbadora into his son group. Eduardo Rosillo intimates that this was for practical reasons: Arsenio being blind needed a helper, and so included his brother Kike in the line-up and on payroll so that he would not have to foot the expense of hiring someone seperately. The only suitable instrument Kike could play was the tumbadora.

1941-January-01. United States. A dispute between the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the radio networks results in ASCAP refusing for any of its members' works to be aired. This creates a vacuum that is filled by Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), which signs up composers of Latin and other genres. Latin music gets a boost in airplay over the dispute period which ends on 24 October 1941.

1940-December-30. Marianao, Cuba. Luxury outdoor cabaret "Beau Site" changes its name to "Tropicana" exactly on its first anniversary after opening.

1940-October-11. United States. Brazillian singer Carmen Miranda marks Latin music's penetration of Hollywood by her debut in the movie 'Down Argentine Way'.

1940-April-01. Havana, Cuba. Amado Trinidad's merged radio station RHC-Cadena Azul opens its new headquarters on Paseo del Prado. Trinidad's doorman and bodyguard is none other than Chano Pozo.

1940. Cuba. The charanga group Melodías del 40 is formed, who soon provide stiff competition for Arcaño. It features the first violin soloist in modern Cuban music, Miguel "El Niño Prodigio"Barbón.

1940. Havana, Cuba. In keeping with the new constitution, the beautiful beer garden Jardines de La Tropical on the banks of Río Almendares decide to admit blacks. Arsenio Rodríguez and his conjunto begin to play there, ushering in a new era of black Cuban dance music in the form of the son montuno.

1940. Havana, Cuba. A new constitution is ratified under Fernando Laredo Brú's administration. A progressive document forbidding racial discrimination, it contains many unenforceable clauses.

1940. Havana(?). Pianist Isolina Carrillo composes the bolero standard 'Dos Gardenias', which many decades later attains international exposure when it is recorded by the Buena Vista Social Club.

1940s. Cuba. Lorenzo Hierrezuelo singing primo [first part] and Francisco Repilado singing segundo [second part] form the duo Los Compadres. They become known as Compay Primo and Compay Segundo respectively.

1939-March-29. Miami, Florida. Former Cuban dictator Gerardo Machado dies in exile.

1939-February-27. Havana, Cuba. Orquesta Casino de la Playa record 'Babalú', a song which would be associated with lead singer Miguelito Valdés for the rest of his career.

1939. United States. Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) a non-profit performing rights organisation is founded by radio executives to compete with ASCAP, partially in response to potential ASCAP industrial action. BMI is the first performing rights organisation to represent songwriters of the Latin genre.

1939. NYC, New York. Bobby Capó joins Rafael Hernández's Cuarteto Victoria.

1939. Cuba. Guajira de salón artist Guillermo Portables returns from Puerto Rico, and features regularly on radio station RHC-Cadena Azul.

1938-March. Cuba. La Anacaona, an all female ensemble featuring the seven Castro sisters, embark for Paris to play in the prestigious Les Ambassadeurs club accompanied by Cuban flautist Alberto Socarrás. Their eight week stint is a great success, but they decline an European tour due to concerns over increasingly aggresive political movements by Germany.

1938. Cuba. Dancer Miguel Angel Banguela hands songwriter Marcelino Guerra some lyrics to fit to music. The latter promptly comes up with the future classic 'Pare Cochero' [Driver, Stop]. The dancer disappears shortly thereafter and is never seen of again.

1938. Cuba. In response to the conga craze in the United States, Rafael ("Mañungo") Ortiz releases one of the congafied hit tunes of the year "Uno, dos y tres".

Circa 1938. United States. Xavier Cugat decides to syndicate his orchestra to satisfy demand, in Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami and Philadelphia.

1937-December-30. Miami, Florida. Desi Arnaz, desperate to save his job towards the end of a poor performance by his make-shift band, gets his audience to participate in a comparsa-like improvised number. He gets the whole cub involved, and the conga line is born.

1937-December-01. Cuba. The amateur talent show debuts on radio station CMQ. Called "La corte suprema del arte" [The Supreme Court of Art], unsuccessful contenders suffer ignominious dismissal by bell, rung by the owne Miguel Gabriel himself from the control booth. The show introduced the likes of Regina Burgues, Celia Cruz, and Olga Guillot, then unknowns, to the Cuban public.

1937-January. Cuba. Control of gambling is transferred from civilian to military authorities.

1937. NYC, New York. A truant office catches José Mangual and sends the young boy to Haaren High School. Music teacher Charles Pickells takes him under his wing and teaches him piano and trombone. This was how the bandleader who would later become known as "Joe Loco" was set on the path of music.

1937. United States. The term 'disc-jockey' is supposedly coined by Variety magazine as stated by David Ewen in History of Popular Music (New York, 1961), although William Randle can only trace the earliest use of the term to the 23-July-1941 issue of the journal (1962. American Speech, Vol.37 No.1, pp.72-73).

1937. Cuba. Comparsas are finally legalised. They had returned, unoficially, with Machado's departure. Alejo Capentier complains, "when the black comparsas were reauthorised... they no longer had the same force; they had gained in spectacle and theatrical luzury... what they had lost in authenticity."

1937. Cuban Gilberto Valdés introduces Afro-Cuban sacred and secular percussion instruments to symphonic orchestra in a series of concerts.

1937. Dominican Republic. Rafael Trujillo infamously orders the execution of all Haitians in Dominican territory. Estimated at between 12,000 to 40,000 people killed, the thinly-veiled afrophobic decree saw the death of many dark-skinned Dominicans.

1937. Puerto Rico. Cuban singer Guillermo Portables, author of 'El carretero' and central figure of the guajira de salón movement arrives and becomes a radio superstar.

1937. Puerto Rico. Union de Musicos de Puerto Rico [Puerto Rican Musicians' Union] is formed.

1937. Puerto Rico. Plácido Acevedo the famous instrumentalist and bolero composer forms Cuarteto Mayarí, which goes on to become one of the most influential small ensembles of Puerto Rico.

1937. Cuba. All-white Cuban jazz band Orquesta Casino de la Playa, with lead singer Miguelito Valdés (of mixed Cuban heritage) records Arsenio Rodríguez's "Bruca maniguá". It becomes an international hit. It is doubtful that it would have found such a level of acceptance and success had Arsenio released it himself, given the then prevailing social environment.

Circa 1937. Cuba. Antonio Arcaño y Sus Maravillas add a final rhythmic section to the ageing danzón to give it a new lease of life. Called "Mambo", the section is named after a song composed by Orestes López which was ever only recorded in its abbreviated form in 1951.

1936. The first ever piano solo in a Cuban dance song is featured in a recording by Orquesta Casino de la Playa. It is played by Anselmo Sacassas in 'Dolor Cobarde', a song penned by Miguelito Valdés. Arrangers in Cuba and New York begin incorporating piano solos in their music.

1936. Ciudad Trujillo (Santo Domingo), Dominican Republic. Dictator Rafael Trujillo hires composer Luis Alberti's band 'Lira del Yaque' in a move to deploy the merengue as a personal symbol of political power.

Circa 1936. Cuba. In a ceremony held in honour of Alfonso Hornedo, Miguelito Valdés singing with Los Hermanos Castro, dazzles the audience with improvised double-time vocals during the montuno sections. This style later becomes known as soneo.

1935-August-06. Cuba. Inaugural broadcast of the thrice-weekly one-hour radio program Sensemayá on CMCF, dedicated to Afro-Cuban music and culture. It signifies the liberation of the African drum and the clave in the post-Machado era.

1935-June-24. Medellín, Colombia. Iconic tango singer Carlos Gardel dies in a plane crash departing the country. Legend has it that his final song was 'Adios Muchachos', which tangueros no longer dance to out of respect to him.

Early 1935. NYC, New York. Alberto Socarrás and Augusto Coen perform at the Park Palace Ballroom, future home of the Tito Rodríguez Orchestra, in what is billed as a musical war between Cuba and Puerto Rico. The event is so crammed to bursting that the local Fire Department are called out to assist in crowd management.

1935. NYC, New York. The lamento guajiro 'Pobre mi Cuba' is published by Arsenio Rodríguez and recorded by Septeto Machín. The song is one of Arsenio's first politically-oriented compositions reflecting Cuba's politico-economic instability of the times.

1935. NYC, New York. The bolero 'Preciosa' composed by Rafael Hernández is recorded by Grupo Victoria. It attains the status of unofficial anthem amongst Boricuas.

1935. Cuba. Miguel Gabriel, co-owner of CMQ radio station purchases a disk-cutting machine from RCA Victor. CMQ thus has the first permanently installed recording studio, and renders RCA access to recording facilities on the island.

1935. Cuba. "Veinte Años", a future Cuban classic, is sung on radio for the first time by composer María Teresa Vera, lyrics by Nena Núñez.

1934. NYC, New York. Augusto Coen y sus Boricuas become the first to apply the American Big Band concept to Latin music; an example emulated later by Machito, Tito Rodriguez and Tito Puente.

1933-August. Septeto Matancero are the first Cuban son group to play in Puerto Rico. They tour for several months, playing in Mayagüez, Ponce and San Juan.

1933. 'Golden age of son' ends.

1932. Anacaona, an all-female son septet is founded by Concepción Castro. They are mentored by Septeto Nacional's Ignacio Piñeiro and taught by bongosero Agustín Gutiérrez and trumpeter Lázaro Herrera.

1932. Septeto Nacional debuts Ignacio Piñeiro's 'Échale salsita'. The first conspicuous use of the word salsa in Latin dance music, although it had been used as a flavour word previously.

1931. Ernesto Lecuona forms the orchestra Lecuona Cuban Boys, a touring group which performed widely across Europe under the direction of Armando Oréfiche.

1930-September. United States. RCA Victor releases Azpiazu's version of 'The Peanut Vendor' paired with 'Amor Sincero' [True Love] (Victor 22483). This record is significant in the launching of "rumbamania" - a thirst for Cuban rhythms.

1930-July-14. NYC, New York. Manuel "Canario" Jimenez records Rafael Hernández's bolero 'Lamento Borincano' later becoming a popular anthem of Puerto Rico.

1930-April-26. NYC, New York. 'El Manisero' [The Peanut Vendor] by Azpiazú's Havana Casino Orchestra meets with unexpected success at the RKO Theater on Broadway and Forty-sixth Street, where vocalist Antonio Machín appears from behind a curtain to throw packets of peanuts into the audience. Some historians attribute this event with triggering the rise in popularity of Cuban music in the U.S. The Cuban dance craze which ensues in the 1930s forces even non-Latino clubs to hire "Cuban"-style relief bands.

1930-April-late. NYC, New York. 'El tabaquero ó un negro en Sevilla', a blackface zarzuela {emphasis mine} performed by Ramón Espigul's theatrical company from Havana opens at the Apollo Theatre.

1930-April-13. NYC, New York. Clarinetist, saxophonist and trumpeter Mario Bauzá, tired of being the "negrito" in Antonio María Romeu's group, migrates to the US from Havana.

1930. Havana, Cuba. The bolero 'Aquellos ojos verdes', music by Nilo Menéndez, lyrics by Alfonso Utrera, is premiered by María Cervantes. It features expanded harmonies of sixthes, dominant sevenths, and ninths; and less emphasis on the cinquillo rhythm. It becomes a hit in the United States in 1941, sung by Bob Erle and Helen O'Connell as 'Green Eyes' (mistakenly called a rumba).

1930. Cuba. Ernesto Lecuona debuts María la O, one of the best-known mulata love-triangle zarzuelas.

1930-1936. Cuba. Very little musical development occurs on the island as it is racked by revolution and violence; her centres of learning remain shut, depriving an entire generation of a standard of education. When relative stability is attained in 1937, there is a veritable explosion of musical energy.

Early 1930s. Orquesta Francesca De Tata Pereira is regarded as possibly the first charanga band to incorporate saxophone and trumpet. Bandleader flautist Juan Francisco "Tata" Pereira passes away in 1933.

1930s. Havana. Trio Azul premiers the classic 'Bilongo' (a.k.a. 'La negra Tomasa' 'Kikiribú mandinga') written by one of its members: Guillermo Rodríguez Fife.

Circa 1930. Cuba. White composer Gilberto Valdés allows santería musicians into his ensemble.

1929-February-6. Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. Town mayor Desidero Arnaz (father of Desi Arnaz) outlaws comparsas and parrandas that celebrate to the music of the bongó. Soneros take to hiding their bongós.

1929. Cuba. Los Hermanos Castro Cuba's first banda gigante [big band] is formed by saxophonist Manolo Castro with his brothers. The line-up expands from seven to thriteen and serves as forerunner to the influential Orquesta Casino de la Playa and Orquesta Havana Riverside.

1929. Matanzas, Cuba. Aniceto Díaz modifies the danzón in order to better compete against son, premiering "Rompiendo la rutina" [Breaking the routine]. He calles the new style danzonete, a development from José Urfé's 'El bombín de Barreto', a danzón which ends with a son section. The charanga format enjoys great popularity as a result throughout the 1930s.

1929. Sevilla, Spain. Septeto Nacional premieres Ignacio Piñeiro's 'Suavecito' ["Easy does it"] to much acclaim at the Ibero-American Exposition. The son septet was sent over any other group, allegedly because Piñeiro was regarded as a Machadista.

1929. NYC, New York. Cuarteto Victoria founded by Rafael Hernández and named after his sister. Also dubbed "El Cuarteto Rico" due to their smart appearance.

1929. NYC, New York. 'Linda Quisqueya' was recorded by Trío Borinquen. Originally title 'Linda Borinquen', Rafael changed the title to appeal to the Dominican audience.

1928. Camden, New Jersey. Trío Oriental record ten sides at RCA Victor, including their first hit "El que siembra su maíz" composed earlier in the year. They also change their name to Trío Matamoros.

1928. Cuba. The most famous of all Cuban songs, 'Guajira Guantanamera' is composed and popularised on radio by Joseíto Fernández. It was structured to facilitate his repentismo.

1928. Havana, Cuba. Machado bans shark fishing. This is after the remains of a Spanish political prisoner is found inside one shortly after the 1928 Pan-American Conference.

1928. Havana, Cuba. Arsenio Rodríguez forms Septeto Bóston with family and childhood friends at the age of seventeen.

1928. Santo Domingo, Domincian Republic. Victor records Dominican musicians in the country itself for the first time at sate radio station HIX. The poor facilities and the effect of heat and humidity on the wax recording cylinders force Victor to abandon further attempts and to record Dominicans only in New York.

1928. Domincian Republic. The first Dominican records are made on home soil. Prior to this, nearly all were made in the United States.

1928. The first flautist ever to record a jazz solo is none other than Cuban Alberto Socarrás, on Clarence Williams' 'Have You Ever Felt That Way?'.

Circa 1928. Havana, Cuba. The first recording is made of 'El manisero', sung by popular singer and radio artist Rita Montaner for Columbia Records.

Circa 1928. Cuba. 'The Jazz Singer' is shown on the island, sounding a death knell for musicians in the movie houses. Only about 25% of the film has a soundtrack but unlike the first film with sound 'Don Juan' (1926), it is integral to the storytelling.

1927-September-02. NYC, New York. Victoria Hernández opens what is probably the first Puerto Rican-owned music store, which also acts as a booking agency and base of operations for her brother, Rafael.

1927. Domincan Republic. Frank Hatton Guerrero expands HIH to form the country's first commercial radio station, HIZ.

1927. Domincan Republic. Two of the earliest records describing 'bachata' in print appear by: folklorist Julio Arenzo as an informal party in a rural setting; and "writer of manners" Ramón Emilio Jímenez as an urban occassion that challenges upper-class decency.

1927. Cuba. Félix Chappottín and Lázaro Herrera join the Sexteto Habanero and Sexteto Nacional respectively. The addition of these trumpeters turn the ensembles into septets.

1927. Cuba. Sexteto Nacional established by Ignacio Piñero at the behest of Columbia Records.

Circa 1927. Guanabacoa, Cuba. Ignacio Villa (affectionately dubbed Bola de Nieve [Snowball]) gives Cuban bass legend Israel ("Cachao") López his first employment in the resident orchestra of the Cine Carral film theatre.

1926-October-20. Cuba. A hurricane strikes the western part of the island destroying rural homesteads and livelihoods from Isla de Pinos (Isla de la Juventud) to Güines. This forces extensive rural-to-urban migration, introducing more African influence to music played in the larger cities.

1926. Matanzas, Cuba. The group Tuna Liberal changes its name to Estudiantina Sonora Matancera.

1926. NYC, New York. Trío Borinquen founded by Rafael Hernández.

1926. NYC, New York. The "Harlem Riots" kick off, allegedly due to attempted intimidation of Hispanic shopkeepers from thugs hired by Jewish businessmen. The conflict spawns social activities that are affirmatively Puerto Rican.

1926. NYC, New York. Manuel "Canario" Jiménez becomes lead singer for Rafael Hernández's Trío Borinquen. Canario would later leave to form his own group, promoting a (mainly) friendly rivalry with Rafael.

1925-July-02. Santiago de Cuba, Cuba. The town's youngest-ever mayor, Dr. Desiderio Arnaz, resolves to "radically suppress" congas at the upcoming carnival.

1925-May-23. Cuba. Sexteto Habanero wins Cuba's First National Son Competition.

1925. Beginning of what is commonly regarded by musicologists as the 'Golden age of son'.

1924. Domincan Republic. Frank Hatton Guerrero becomes a pioneer of the mass media in the country when he stablishes the first (albeit small) radio station, HIH.

1923. Cuba. Sexteto Habanero removes the botija from its lineup replacing it with the contrabass.

1922-October-10. Havana, Cuba. Cuba's first commercial radio station PWX begins operations. The opening ceremony features the voice of Rita Montaner.

1922. Cuba. The government of Alfredo Zayas bans Lucumí dances effectively criminalising black culture.

1922. Puerto Rico. WKAQ makes the first official radio broadcast in autumn of this year. The licence was owned by a subsidiary of American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) company. It later plays an important role by bringing many names to light through its talent scouts.

1920. Cuba. Sexteto Habanero is formed through the expansion in lineup of Cuarteto Oriental.

1920s. Cuba. A group of artists, poets and musicians (mostly middle-class whites) come together to expound Afrocubanismo. See Glossary.

1919-October-28. Washington DC, USA. Congress passes the National Prohibition Act, otherwise known as the Volstead Act, driving entertainment and drinking overseas to islands nearby like Puerto Rico and Cuba.

1919-August-24. Santa Isabel de las Lajas, Cuba. Bartolomé "Benny" Moré is born.

1919-May-09. Boston, USA. Jim Europe fatally stabbed one of his drummers Herbert Wright.

1919. Marianao, Cuba. Under the rule of Menocal, the company Casino de la Playa secures the passage of a law allowing them to operate Cuba's only gambling casino at their beach hotel. The name of the company would later become immortalised by a big band to which it lent its name.

1918. Dominican Republic. The first merengue arrangement by composer Juan Francisco García is published.

1918. Cuba. The phonograph company Victor makes the first recording of son as played by the group "Sexteto Habanero Godínez" in Hotel Inglaterra.

Circa 1918. There is evidence of the phonograph company Columbia recording Puerto Rican musics like aguinaldos and danzas.

1917-May. Puerto Rico. The famous Ragtime and early Jazz bandleader James Reese Europe recruits brothers Rafael and Jesús Hernández, and 16 more Puerto Ricans to join the U.S. 369th Infantry "Harlem Hellfighters" band. He takes them with him back to New York.

1917-April-06. Washington, D.C. United States declares war on Germany, entering World War I.

1917-March-02. Washington, D.C. The Jones-Shafroth Act also known as the "Jones Act" is signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, conferring full U.S. citizenship to Puerto Ricans.

1917. First jazz recording made by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band.

1916-1924. Dominican Republic. This is the official period of the U.S. occupation, placing the entire island of Hispanola under United States' control.

1916. Cuba. Black American Jazz plays on the island, demonstrating the strong New Orleans-Havana maritime link. This is one year before the earliest jazz recording by a (white) jazz band.

1915-1934. Haiti. The United States invade and occupy the nation following the death of President Guillaume Sam. Haiti becomes flooded with North American and Cuban dance styles aided by the mass media.

1914. NYC, New York. The people of Harlem go "Tango Mad" partially due to the efforts of Irene and Vernon Castle.

1912-June-01. La Maya, Cuba. Independientes torch the buildings of this mostly-black country town. The song 'Alto Songo' with the refrain "Alto Songo, se quema La Maya" spreads quickly across the island striking fear into black Cubans. The song attains international exposure more than 80 years later by the Afro-Cuban All Stars.

1912-May-31. Hatillo, Cuba. Independiente General Carlos Mendieta's troops test their new machine guns on innocent Afro-Cuban peasants, killing or wounding 150 including women and children.

1912-May-02. NYC, New York. The Clef Club Orchestra, led by Jim Europe, become the first black orchestra to play in Carnegie Hall presenting a "Concert of Negro (sic) Music".

1912. Cuba. Racist massacres of the Guerrita del Doce [little war of the twelfth] occur on the island, prompting the banning of comparsas the following year; which was only rescinded officially in 1937.

1912. Matanzas, Cuba. Ernesto Leucona premieres his piano danza 'La comparsa', a carnival conga for piano, at the Teatro Sauto whilst still a conservatory student. It is now an obligatory repetory piece for Cuban students of music.

Circa 1912. Cuba. According to Fernando Ortiz, the bongó is introduced to Havana upon the return of the army after supressing the 1912 rebellion in Oriente.

Circa 1910 to 1930. Cuba. The government takes steps actively to repress forms of African-derived pratices.

Circa 1910. Puerto Rico. Conjuntos playing plena began to coalesce in the Ponce area.

1909. Havana. The son gets a boost in its island-wise dissemination when the Permanentes members from Oriente find themselves posted to Havana.

1902. Cuba. Carnivals are officially reinstated.

Circa 1902. Puerto Rico. The plena was supposedly born in the towns of the southern coast. Legend has it that the plena owes much to "Los Ingleses" John Clark and Catherine George, street-corner musicians who had migrated to Ponce from St.Kitts or Barbados.

1900. Havana. In a bid to promote "Cuban Culture" as white Cuban culture, Cuba under U.S. occupation and Dictator General Gerardo Machado's leadership issues an edict prohibiting: the use of drums of African origin at gatherings; and street parades like comparsas.

1898-December-10. Paris. The Treaty of Paris is signed marking the end of the Spanish-American war and recognising Cuba's independence. Spain cedes control of the island to the United States who decline to transfer power to Cuban forces.

1898. Havana. Pianist Antonio María Romeu invited to join in playing with Papaíto Torroella's charanga group one evening; the first instance of charanga with piano.

1894 to 1900. Hispaniola. Sindo Garay travels (via Haiti) and sings with Dominican troubadours, introducing the Cuban bolero to the island. He may have introduced the word 'bachata' at this point, which would later become the name of the popular Dominican ballad genre.

1892. Puerto Rico. The mayor of Ponce outlaws the playing of nationalist and revolutionary danza 'La Borinqueña'.

1892. Puerto Rico. The first phonographs appeared on the island but were so prohibitively expensive that only the country's elite could afford them.

1890s. New Orleans, Louisiana. Invention of the electrical pump allows the drainage of swaps and the expansion of the city.

1890s. Dominican Republic. Cuban immigrants begin to arrive, fleeing the unrest of Cuba's wars of independence with Spain. They settle mainly in the Cibao region, bringing with them the bolero, guaracha, rumba, and son.

1890. New Orleans, Louisiana. The first public mention in the U.S. of the Sicilian secret society known as the Mafia.

1886-October. Cuba. Slavery is abolished.

1885. Santiago de Cuba. The first documented Cuban bolero called 'Tristezas' [Sadnesses] is penned by self-taught guitarist José "Pepe" Sanchez.

Circa 1885. Dee Dee Chandler, drummer in John Robichaux's orchestra, reportedly becomes the first drummer to play the bass drum with a foot-pedal.

1879-January-01. Matanzas, Cuba. The danzón 'Las Alturas de Simpson' is premiered at the Liceo de Matanzas. This is a watershed moment in the danzón's acceptance by society.

1877. Matanzas, Cuba. The danzón 'Las Alturas de Simpson' named after a barrio in Matanzas, is written by composer/tailor Miguel Faílde.

Circa 1873. Cuba. The last of the slave ships carrying Angolans arrives.

1870s. Dominican Republic. Accordions are introduced to the country, where they begin to displace the guitar as the primary instrument of merengue cibaeño.

1868. Puerto Rico. Most famous attempted revolution called "Grito de Lares" occurs. In the months leading up to it, the Puerto Rican danza 'La Borinqueña' becomes a symbol of nationalist sentiment.

Late 1860s. Cuba. The slave trade begins to draw to a close. By this time, Cuba alone has imported more Africans than all of English-speaking North America.

1862. United States. The administration of Abraham Lincoln finally recognises the Republic of Haiti in the forlorn hope that it might be a place where the United States could deport its black population.

1862. Santiago de Cuba. Englishman John Nunes sells his distillery to Facundo de Bacardí y Moreau.

1857. United States. The "Spanish dollar" ceases to become legal tender, however its longevity demonstrates the short supply of precious metals in the U.S.

1855. Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The first articles about the merengue, denouncing its appearance in polite society, occur in print.

1852. Santiago de Cuba. Tympani, forerunner to the timbales (pailas), played for the first time in Cuba by Antonio Boza. Featured in the Italian opera 'Lucia di Lamermoor'.

1851. New Orleans, Louisiana. The dances at Congo Square are shut down for good.

1851. Cuba. The patriotic hymn 'La Bayamesa' in the style of the canciones de salón from Cuba's Oriente is penned by revolutionaries Francisco Castillo Moreno and Carlos Manuel de Céspedes. The political content is later replaced with romantic lyrics.

1850. The British cut off the trade of African slaves to Brazil.

1850s. Deep South, United States. Cotton planters experience a boom as the Industrial Revolution in Britain gobbles up all that they can produce.

1844-February-17. Dominican Republic. The end of 22 years of Haitian occupation. This anniversary is the one the Republic chooses to mark as its Indepedence Day, not any other commemorating the end of centuries-long Spanish colonial rule.

1836. Texas, United States. Stephen Austin reinstates slavery in the former Spanish territory.

Circa 1835. Trumpets incorporating valves are introduced.

1825. Western hemisphere. Spain retains control of only two colonies: Cuba and Puerto Rico.

1815-May. Mississippi & Ohio Rivers. Henry Miller Shreve takes his steamboat Enterprise upriver from New Orleans to Louisville in just 25 days.

1812-April-30. Louisiana. The territory becomes the 18th of the United States.

1811-November-11. Cartagena, Colombia. The fortified port town declares its independence from Spain. It becomes a base of piracy preying upon Spanish shipping, as does New Orleans.

1811-September. New Orleans. The first steamboat arrives from Pittsburg after a two week trip. It does not attempt a return trip upriver.

1811-January-10. Territory of Orleans. The U.S. Army in conjunction with local militia put down the slave rebellion led by Charles Deslondes.

1811-January-08. Territory of Orleans. Charles Deslondes begins the largest slave insurrection in U.S. history, numbering five hundred rebels. It marches south towards New Orleans, burning plantations and killing two people.

Early 1810. Territory of Orleans. The bonds the Domingan slave owners posted are returned, allowing them to sell their property freely on the market.

1810. Spanish colonies, Western hemisphere. Independence movements prominent in Argentina, Mexico, Nueva Granada (Colombia) and Venezuela.

1810. United States. The government lifts its commercial blockade of Haiti.

1809-June-28. United States. Congress passes a bill allowing Domingan refugees from Cuba to import their slaves upon the posting of a bond. These constitute the last slaves legally to be imported into the country.

1809-May-12. New Orleans, Louisiana. The first load of Domingan refugees from Cuba arrive with their possessions. By U.S. law, their slaves are not allowed to disembark; instead they are impounded on their ships.

1809-March-12. Cuba. An expulsion order is made against "French nationals" i.e. those who had not married a Spanish citizen or sworn an oath of allegiance to Spain. The franceses (formerly of Saint-Domingue) are expelled, most of these emigrating to Louisiana.

1808-July. Cuba. The colony declares its loyalty to Fernando and receives instruction from the Suprema Junta de Sevilla to pursue hostile action against all French nationals and their properties.

1808-June. Spain. Napoleon's brother, Joseph Bonaparte is made King of Spain in effect dissolving the central Spanish Government. This weakens Spain's control over its colonies who begin to struggle for independence.

1808-May-06. Bayonne, France. Carlos IV and his son Fernando VII meet with Napoleon, both subsequently resigning the Spanish crown.

1808-March. Spain. King Carlos IV attempts to abdicate in favour of his son Fernando VII. Bonaparte refuses to accept it.

1808-January-01. United States. The federal Slave Trade Act of 1807 comes into force, prohibiting the importation of slaves.

1807-January. New Orleans, Louisiana. Dancing waltzes to a band becomes all the rage after a military band does so for the first time at a grand ball. The ensemble composition of brass, percussion, strings and woodwind would dominate the music of the Antilles for the next century.

1807. Portugal. The Braganzas royal family flee to Brazil under British escort as an invading French army near Lisbon during the Napoleonic Wars.

1806. Louisiana. Displeased with the increasing numbers of free people of colour, the whites manage to have the Spanish law of coartación repealed.

1806. United States. The government orders a commercial blockade against Haiti.

Circa 1806. Eastern Cuba. The french influence reaches its peak with more than thirty thousand Domingan refugees present, where the Cuban population of Santiago de Cuba numbers about ten thousand.

1805-November-01. United States. In a protectionist move, domestic slave trade is authorised and foreign slave trade banned to the Territory of Orleans. It is also an effort to contain the infiltration of black revolutionary movements from Haiti and Africa.

1804-April-28. Haiti. Jean-Jaques Dessaline orders the extermination of all remaining French on the island.

1804-January-01. The Republic of Haiti (an aboriginal name) declares its independence, an act that sends seismic shockwaves through the slave-owning colonies. Headed by Jean-Jaques Dessalines, it is the hemisphere's second independent nation formed from the first and only successful slave rebellion.

1803-December-20. Louisiana. The Americans formally take possession of the territory from France.

1803-November-30. Louisiana. The French formally take possession of the territory from Spain.

1803-November-18. Saint-Domingue. The Battle of Vertières sees the defeat of French forces by the former slaves who subsequently flee the island. Only eight thousand soliders survive the failed campaign out of an inital fourty-three thousand.

Circa 1803-July. Saint-Domingue. As the slave rebellion continues, estimates of up to 30,000 Domingan refugees flee across the water to Cuba: those from the North to Baracoa, and those of the West and South to Santiago.

1803-May. Paris, France. Robert Livingston and James Monroe sign the Louisiana purchase less than one month after the offer was tendered. It was less time than it would have taken message of the offer and corresponding reply to travel across the Atlantic. The price was a sixty million francs (approximately fifteen million U.S. dollars).

1803-April. Paris, France. French minister François Barbé-Marbois, under instruction by Bonaparte, offers to sell its vast Lousiana Territory (which it had yet to take possession of from Spain as agreed in the secret Treaty of San Ildefonso) to the United States.

1803-April. Jura Mountains. Toussaint Louverture dies of starvation and exposure in a dungeon.

1802-November. Saint-Domingue. The treacherous French General Leclerc dies of yellow fever.

1802-June. Saint-Domingue. General Victor-Emmanuel Charles Leclerc, brother-in-law to Napoleon Bonaparte, arranges a meeting with Toussaint Louverture and kidnaps him to France.

1801-March-21. The Treaty of Aranjuez confirms Louisiana's return as a French territory from Spain.

1801-January. La Española. After capturing Santo Domingo, Toussaint Louverture gains active control over the whole island.

1800-December. Saint-Domingue. Toussaint Louverture, fearful of the risk of reintroduction of slavery via the Spanish colony, sends 10,000 troops into Santo Domingo.

1800-August-30. Richmond, Virginia. The conspiracy of Gabriel, a Saint-Domingue style slave rebellion is foiled. Whites shudder at the news.

1800-July. Jacmel, Saint-Domingue. The first incident of U.S. military intervention in the affairs of another country: a U.S. warship fires at André Rigaud's forts in support of Toussaint Louverture's rebel forces.

1800-1830. Cuba. The peak of slavery on the island.

1798. New Orleans, Louisiana. The U.S. Deposit for goods is established.

1797. Philadelphia, United States. French pro-slavery exile Moreau de Saint-Méry publishes Topographical, physical, civil, political, and historical description of Saint-Domingue. It is a work that gives us a rare glimpse into the life in the colony up to 1789.

1796. Philadelphia, United States. Moreau de Saint-Méry publishes Danse, a sixty-two page monograph. It is the first book published about dance in the new United States.

1796. New Orleans, Louisiana. The cabildo open a city-owned dance hall. Although initially only for whites, Saturday nights become designated as for coloureds.

1795-October-27. The Treaty of San Lorenzo is signed, where Spain grants the United States (among other things) the free use of the Mississippi and the right to deposit goods in New Orleans for transshipment.

1795. Louisiana. Planter Etienne de Boré, in conjunction with a Domingan sugar chemist, succeeds in producing granulated sugar from local cane. The territory joins the profitable and cruel world of sugar production.

1794-February-04. Paris, France. The National Convention approves the abolition of slavery in all French colonies. More slave owners flee to other territories.

1793-August-29. Saint-Domingue. Commissioner Leger-Felicité Sonthonax, in an effort to bring the rebel slaves on to the side of the French revolutionaries in the fight against the (pro-royal) white colonists and their British allies, proclaims the immediate emancipation of all slaves of the north. The freeing of slaves is one of the least acknowledged achievements of the French Revolution.

1793-June. Cap Français, Saint-Domingue. At the urging of the colony's Jacobin French Commissioner, Leger-Felicité Sonthonax, three thousand rebel former-slaves invade the city, killing most of its occupants and burning it to the ground.

1793-June. France. The Jacobins, political radicals, assume power.

1793-January-21. France. In parallel with events on Saint-Domingue, the French Revolution sees the beheading of King Louis XVI.

1793. United States. Eli Whitney patents the cotton gin, making viable the production from short-staple cotton grown in the Deep South. The invention consigns many more generations of African Americans to slavery.

1792-July-25. Louisiana. The new Spanish governor Françoi-Louis Héctor y Noyelles, Baron de Carondelet, increases the penalties for the importation of slaves from French and British Antilles, effectively closing off the territory from emigrating Domingan slave owners.

1791-August-22. Saint-Domingue. A slave uprising begins in the northern province of the French colony involving between one to two thousand rebels by the next day, fifteen thousand by the end of the month, and eighty thousand by the end of November. Plantations are burned and machinery crucial to sugar production is destroyed. The massacres stimulate a wave of emigration of Domingans to Cuba, the United States, and Spanish Louisiana.

1791. Saint-Domingue. As a result of the slave uprisings and consequent emigrations this year, the French colony, formerly the largest producer of sugar and indigo in the world (accounting for 40% of France's foreign trade) falls from the international market. Cuba begins to take advantage of the sugar vacuum, and that means more slaves.

1789-April-30. New York City. George Washington takes the oath of office in Federal Hall to become the first President for the Constitution of the United States of America.

1788. New Orleans, Louisiana. Following the fire, 496 property damage claims were made of which 51 were by free women of colour and 21 by free men of colour. This gives some indication of the distribution of wealth amongst the genders of free blacks.

1786. New Orleans, Louisiana. Governor Estevan Miró makes the earliest written reference to the word "tango" using it to describe black dancing one century before the emergence of the Argentine genre.

1783. New Orleans, Louisiana. Free people of color found the Perseverance Benevolent and Mutual Aid Society in a (possibly unrelated) manner similar to Cuba's cabildo de nación (see Expanded Glossary).

1782. The Spanish scrap import duties on slaves to their colonies, opening the market to slavers of all nationalities. This results in a new wave of Africanisation in Spanish America.

Circa 1781-May. New Orleans, Louisiana. Governor Gálvez succeeds in taking control of West Florida from the British following the siege of Pensacola. He declares that slave solders serious wounded in the campaign would be freed and given 100 pesos; those lightly wounded would be given 100 pesos as well, and could purchase their own freedom for a bargain 400 pesos.

1779. Louisiana. Military reinforcements including musicians arrive from Havana to guard the Spanish colony, while governor Bernardo de Gálvez battles the British in Florida.

1778-June. Spain. The last of the flotas [annual treasure convoys] arrive from Havana.

1776-November-02. United States. The Continental Congress of the United States resolves to issue its currency in dollars and cents using the peso (Spanish dollar) and centavo as its direct model. This demonstrates the importance of Spain to the continent's economy.

1776-July-04. United States. The Declaration of Independence, formally 'The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America', is adopted by the Second Continental Congress.

1763-February-10. Europe. In the peace settlement of the Seven Year War, Spain unhesitatingly chooses to cede Florida to the British for the return of possession of Havana.

Circa 1763. Louisiana. Acadians, French Canadians, begin to arrive following their expulsion from Nova Scotia by the British. They would evenually become known as the Cajuns.

1762-March-05. Havana, Cuba. The British land east of the city, taking Morro Castle, thereby avoiding the heavily defended Havana Bay. They occupy the city and sieze the entire Spanish silver cargo of the year.

1762-January-04. Britian, upon learning of King Carlos III's pact with France, declares war on Spain in a pre-emptive move.

1761. Spain. King Carlos III, an Italian Bourbon, secretly agrees to support Bourbon France in its war against Britian openly on 1st May 1762 should hostilities still persist by that date.

1740. South Carolina. The teaching of slaves to read is prohibited. Black protestants are forced to learn the Bible as folklore; their preaching takes on a different rhythm and pitch resulting in a more musical form.

1721. New Orleans, Louisiana. Out of 7,000 French forced-emigrants, only 1,300 arrive in the New World, of which 178 survive by this time.

1719-1743. New Orleans, Louisiana. This is known as the Senegambian period, where a total 23 slave ships bring in 5,951 Africans, of which 16 ships embarked from Senegal.

Circa 1718-March. Louisiana. Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville begins the construction of New Orleans.

Circa 1717-September. Compagnie d'Occident [Company of the West], having proprietary rights to Louisiana, passes a resolution to establish New Orleans.

1685-March. France. King Louis XIV promulgates the Code Noir [Black Code] which establishes regulations on the treatment of slaves. Among its 59 regulations is described a slave's (limited) rights; and conditions under which a slave may be emancipated, and punished (including the maiming thereof).

1674. The Americas. The Dutch exchange possession of New York for the plantation colony of Surinam with the English.

1667. Nieuw Nederland. Nieuw Amsterdam is passed from Dutch to English control and is subsequently renamed New York.

1641. Luanda, Africa. The Dutch wrest control of the Angolan port from the Portugese, to emerge as the then second-greatest slaving power.

1640s. Barbados, The Antilles. The Dutch introduce sugar-making technology from the North-East of Brazil to the English colony. The English become the first slave-labour plantation empire of the Antilles, and Barbadians will become one of the first settlers of South Carolina.

1637. Elmina, Africa. The Dutch greatly increase their slaving power after they sieze the fort (off the coast of modern-day Ghana) from the Portugese.

1613. North America. Nieuw Nederland is established by the enterprising Dutch, with Nieuw Amsterdam as its capital.

1605. La Española. Spain loses its economic and religious grip on the island through neglect. In response, it orders a withdrawal of the population from the countryside to the capital of Santo Domingo leaving the north of the island open for pirates to establish bases of operations.

1550s. Europe. The Protestant movement Calvinism sees explosive growth due to its use of psalms, songs: that embraced both the literate and illiterate; could be easily memorised; were associated with well-known tunes; were hummed clandestinely in personal acts of subversion.

1533. Cartagena de Las Indias, Colombia. The first African slaves arrive in Colombia to work in agriculture on the Atlantic coast and mine gold on the Pacific coast.

1530. Central to Southern Africa. Between 4,000-5,000 Kongos and Angolans are slaved annually for export to Spanish territories in the New World.

1522. La Española. The first significant rebellion of slaves in the Spanish New World occurs at the sugar plantation of Cristobal Colón's grandson, Diego. This results in the ban of importation of Wolof slaves specifically, and of Muslim ones in general.

1519. Cuba. The port of Havana is established on a deepwater harbour at the end of a defensible channel.

1511. Spain. King Fernando is advised that one black African could do the work of four indians.

1492-October-27. Caribbean Sea. Cristobal Colón (Christopher Columbus) on his first voyage sights the island of Cuba and claims it for Spain.

 
 

 
1999 Salsa & Merengue Society
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