Debuting in 1990, the all-Japanese Orquesta De La Luz (Orchestra of the Light) is almost undoubtedly Japan's premier salsa band. Although it has gone through various member changes down through the years, the effervescent Nora still fronts the band as its sonera/guarachera (lead singer).
Japanese fans know their salsa music. Listen to them in video clips below clap in unison the "clave," the 3-2/2-3 Afro-Cuban rhythmic pattern which is the heartbeat of salsa music. Salsa primarily developed in New York City from Cuban musical forms like the son afrocubano and the Afro-Cuban rumba, heavily influenced by American jazz.
Although its roots are Cuban music and American jazz with the late Cuban-born, naturalized American singer Celia Cruz known in Spanish as "la reina de la salsa" ("the Queen of Salsa") and "la guarachera del mundo" ("the Salsa Singer of the World"), many if not most of salsa creators have been of Puerto Rican lineage. From Tito Puente to Willie Colón to Ray Barretto to the Palmieri brothers (Eddie and Charlie), Nuyoricans (New Yorkers of Puerto Rican heritage) have played vital roles in the development of salsa music. Bandleader Johnny Pacheco and other musicians of Dominican background have also played important roles in the development of salsa music. Add in Rubén Blades of Panamá, Oscar D'León of Venezuela and so on, salsa has pretty much become the de facto representative music of Latin America excluding Portuguese-speaking Brazil, which has its own rich music and dance traditions of samba, batucada, bossa nova, capoeira, etc.
And with the help of Orquesta De La Luz, salsa has become a popular music and dance form on the Asian island nation of Japan, with its very diverse and eclectic tastes in music and dance.
Orquesta De La Luz / Amame
Next, Orchestra De La Luz perform a couple of salsa songs strongly influenced by the Afro-Puerto Rican music and dance forms known as plena and bomba:
Orquesta De La Luz / El Cumbanchero
Orquesta De La Luz / Cuero Sonó
And here are the authentic items themselves direct from Puerto Rico:
PLENA FROM PUERTO RICO
Bomba in Loíza, Puerto Rico #1
Finally, Orquesta De La Luz perform their signature tune, " Salsa Caliente del Japón" ("Hot Salsa of Japan"):
Orquesta De La Luz / Salsa Caliente del Japón