Mariachi is a traditional style of Mexican music. With its folk-like form, the music is played on violins, trumpets, an acoustic guitar and occasionally even a harp. Since the 18th century, Mariachi has been played on joyous occasions, such as weddings and a girl’s 15th birthday party.
Bomba comes from the island of Puerto Rico whose culture and traditions are infused with Spanish, African and Taino Indian influences. This fast paced dance music is played with a drum (made from a rum barrel), cuá (two wooden sticks that are beat together) and maracas. It originated in the 17th century and is primarily played at clubs and dance halls.
Charanga is a popular style of Cuban upbeat dance music played by bands composed of violins, flutes, timbales and other percussion instruments, piano, bass, and vocals. Charanga is influenced by the infusion of West African rhythms, European classical and the contributions of Haitian and French music.
Bachata’s origin is the Dominican Republic. Its blues-like musical themes are often of lost love, deception and heartache. Popular in the 1960s, the instruments in Bachata consist of guitars, bongos and Güira (a metal handheld percussion instrument).
Marimba is a unique style of music that originated in Guatemala, and is also the name of the nation’s national instrument. The Marimba is a xylophone made of rosewood that produces a rich folk like sound. This 17th century form of music is primarily played during celebrations and national holidays, and usually includes jazz and brass ensembles.