Salsa captures a unique moment in time for this most exuberant and socially dynamic music. Filmed entirely on location in New York and the Caribbean in 1979, a momentous year for the genre, Salsa presents some of Latin music's greatest exponents, framed within a broader canvas of the music's history, growth and importance. Tito Puente and his band play in the Bronx; Celoa Cruz rehearses Cuban dance songs in a New York studio; Ruben Blades plays Puerto Rican ballads and records with Willie Colon and his band; Ray Barretto plays percussion at a Latin wedding while Charlie Palmieri plays keyboards and describes the rhythms of Cuba and Puerto Rico. The film also features Santeria cults, rare Cuban archive footage, and music of the 'barrios', from the dance floors of the South Bronx to the streets of La Perla, Puerto Rico. Tying it all together is Felipe Luciano, poet and former leader of the Young Lords Gang.