Photo of Celia CRUZ and Tito PUENTE
Credit: Getty Images / Richard E. Aaron / Contributor

It’s no surprise that Lin-Manuel Miranda is a music lover. We can witness his meticulous care and respect for music oscillating from his Broadway-musical hits to singing and writing songs for movies. Now, Lin Manuel has elegantly curated a star-studded mixtape on his Spotify account. He calls it “I relish your wit! I SALSA YOUR FACE.” The mixtape features classics from salsa legends such as Celia Cruz and Willie Colón. Lin-Manuel Miranda proudly accentuates the beauty of salsa and the culture it is derived from.

More than music, Lin-Manuel is offering us a history lesson. Music is a portrait of culture, and it falls within the framework of oral tradition. Songs provide us with a socio-political landscape of society. Hence, music is an educational tool; it may be used to create awareness, provide knowledge of the past, and a map of where we are heading.

Lin-Manuel Miranda showcases a wide selection of salsa songs. More than percussions and rhythm sections – it’s the importance behind salsa and its identity. Salsa is beautifully anchored in voices of immigrants, the sound of the combined stories and miles travelled from home. Beyond a genre or rhythm, salsa is the quintessential sum of latinx experiences.

Salsa was born in New York during the late 50’s, as a result of migration and the lack of musical representation of the many cultures within the city. When people migrate, their culture and sounds migrate, too. In an interview to the Herald de Paris, Willie Colon, salsa pioneer and legend explains:

Credit: Getty Images / GV Cruz

Lin-Manuel and the cast of his Broadway musicals have respectfully delivered unwavering support and efforts to highlight the identity and culture of immigrants. No doubt, music is a way to get people to start thinking, feeling, and dancing. His mixtape ranges from Fania Records legends to the barrio feminist anthem “Ese Hombre” by La India.

No doubt, Lin-Manuel is asking us out to dance, and we say yes!