It is widely believed that salsa music originated in Cuba. But to confess, I do not enjoy Cuban salsa music much, at least the modern ones – the endlessly cheerful tone wears out my emotional energy reserve within an hour. In contrast, I enjoy Colombian salsa songs – sometimes they may lack musical sophistication but they are rich with common human emotions, although a lot of them are romantic love-related.

Back in the US, I saw salsa Cali performances and the style seemed to focus on very rapid movements, especially with feet, and I doubted whether they can maintain an organic connection with the music at that speed. So as I was approaching Cali, I was excited to check it out in its hometown but at the same time, I was nervous because I wasn’t sure whether I’d end up appreciating the style.

Unlucky for me, the options were limited when I was there because it was Semana Santa. But one of the biggest clubs, La Topa Tolondra, was open one night. I think about 30% of the population were travelers. All things considered, I had a good time until very late at night.

@La Topa Tolondra, Cali, Colombia, March 29, 2018