The Best of Latin Instrumental Music

This article is a collaborative effort, crafted and edited by a team of dedicated professionals.

Contributors: Andranick Tanguiane, Fred Lerdahl,


The Best of Latin Instrumental Music. This blog contains a compilation of the best Latin instrumental music tracks for your enjoyment.

The Best of Latin Instrumental Music

For many people, instrumental music is the best way to relax and unwind. It can be enjoyed in any setting and can provide a much-needed reprieve from the hustle and bustle of daily life. Latin instrumental music, in particular, is known for its soothing and melodic qualities. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at some of the best Latin instrumental music out there.


Afro-Cuban music is a must for any music lover. The rhythms are infectious and the melodies are unforgettable. This genre has produced some of the most iconic Latin songs of all time.

The best Afro-Cuban instrumentalists are a who’s who of Latin music legends. From the legendary Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo to the flamboyant bandleader Pancho Sanchez, these artists have shaped the sound of Afro-Cuban music for generations.

Whether you’re a fan of Cuban son or Afro-Cuban jazz, there’s something for everyone in this list of the best Afro-Cuban instrumentalists.


Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style that originated in the Afro-Brazilian communities of Rio de Janeiro in the late 19th century. The term “samba” is thought to be derived from a West African musical culture and means “to invigorate” or “to excite”. Samba is characterized by its unique rhythm, which is complex and often contains syncopated patterns. It is also known for its lively, sensual dance style.

Samba music first gained international attention in the 1930s, when it was popularized by Brazilian singer and actress Carmen Miranda. Miranda’s performances of samba tunes with English lyrics helped to spread the popularity of the genre worldwide. In the 1950s and 1960s, samba became increasingly popular in the United States and Europe, as well as in Latin America. Bossa nova, a musical style that emerged in Brazil in the 1950s, also incorporated elements of samba into its sound.

Today, samba remains an important part of Brazilian culture and is enjoyed by people of all ages. It is frequently performed at Carnival, Brazil’s annual pre-Lenten festival, and has also been adopted by other cultures around the world.

Bossa Nova

Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the late 1950s. The phrase bossa nova means “new trend” or “new wave”. A lyrical fusion of samba and jazz, bossa nova acquired a large following in the 1960s, initially among young musicians and college students. Bossa nova shares some similarities with West Coast jazz, including the use of improvisation, melodic lines, and clarified harmonic structures. But unlike West Coast jazz, bossa nova has rhythms rooted in Brazilian samba and African rhythms.

The original bossa nova composition “Straighten Up and Fly Right” was written by naturalized-Brazilian guitarist-composer-singer Cole Porter in 1941.

Argentine Tango

The Argentine Tango is a music genre and accompanying social dance that originated in Buenos Aires, Argentina during the 1880s. It is traditionally danced in couples, with both partners standing upright and embracing one another. The music associated with tango is marked by a strong pulse or beat, dramatic pauses, and passionate lyrics. The Argentine Tango is recognized as an UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage.

The Best of Latin American Instrumental Music

Cuban Son

The Cuban son is a musical genre that originated in Cuba. It is a fusion of Spanish and African musical elements. The Cuban son is one of the most popular genres of music in Cuba and Latin America. It is often rhythmically syncopated and has been described as “the perfect marriage of Spanish and African music”. The Cuban son is typically played on guitars, pianos, trumpets, and other instruments.


Bolero is a genre of Latin American instrumental music that originated in Cuba in the late 19th century. It is usually slow-paced and played on guitars, violins, and other stringed instruments. The word bolero comes from the Spanish word for “ballad”. Bolero was originally danced as a couples’ dance, but it eventually became more popular as a form of musical entertainment.

Bolero reached the height of its popularity in the 1940s and 1950s, when it was often used in movies and television shows set in Latin America. Many famous bolero singers, such as Celia Cruz and Miguel Aceves Mejía, rose to fame during this period. In recent years, bolero has experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to crossover artists like Shakira and Ricky Martin who have introduced the genre to new audiences.


One of the most popular genres of Latin American music is cha-chacha. This style of music originated in Cuba in the 1940s, and it quickly spread to other parts of Latin America. Cha-chacha is characterized by a fast tempo and a strong rhythmic beat. It is often danced to by couples, and the steps are fairly simple. The music is often accompanied by guitars, drums, and horns.

Paso Doble

Paso Doble is a style of music that originated in Spain and is typically associated with the country’s bullfighting culture. The music is fast-paced and often includes Spanish guitar, castanets, and accordion. It is typically played in duple time (two beats per measure).

The Best of Brazilian Instrumental Music

The best of Latin instrumental music can be found in the albums of many Brazilian artists. Artists such as Sergio Mendes, Astrud Gilberto, and Stan Getz all have great albums that feature Latin instrumental music. This music is perfect for dancing, relaxing, or just enjoy a good Latin groove.


Samba is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, with its roots in Africa via the West African slave trade and African religious traditions, particularly of Angola and the Congo. Samba is recognized around the world as a symbol of Brazil and the Brazilian Carnival. Considered one of the oldest continuously practiced musical styles in the world, samba has its origins in Brazil’s Bahia state. Though samba schools are located throughout Brazil, most trace their origins to Rio de Janeiro’s working-class neighborhoods of Salvador and Olinda.

Bossa Nova

Bossa nova is a style of Brazilian music, which was developed and popularized in the 1950s and 1960s. It combines elements of samba and jazz, and is characterized by a laid-back, mellow sound. Bossa nova’s popularity peaked in the 1960s, with artists such as Antonio Carlos Jobim, João Gilberto, and Stan Getz.


Baiao is a Brazilian musical genre and dance style, which originated in the state of Bahia in the northeast of Brazil. It is characterized by a 6/8 or 12/8 rhythm played on drums and percussion, with guitars and other instruments joining in for accompaniment. The baiao first became popular in the early 20th century, and it remains an important part of Brazilian culture today.


Forro is a type of Brazilian instrumental music that is popular in the northeast of the country. It is characterized by a fast, syncopated rhythm played on the drums and guitar. Forro is often played at parties and other social gatherings, and is a great way to get people up and dancing!

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