History and Characteristics of Mambo
The fusion of Swing and Cuban music produced this fascinating rhythm and in turn created a new sensational dance. The Mambo could not have been conceived earlier since, up to that time, Cuban and American Jazz styles were still not joined. The “Mambo,” a dance attributed to Perez Prado was originally introduced at La Tropicana nightclub in Havana in 1943. Later on, other styles of dance, including the Cha Cha and Salsa were spun off of the Mambo. The Mambo is danced on the 2 beat of music and has a distinctly staccato feeling to it.
Mambo uses the rhythm 1 ah 3 4 – 1 2 ah 3 4. Listen for the distinct sound of conga drums playing a “heartbeat” rhythm on 4 and 1.