Ten Best Salsa Acts in the World, According to Melina Almodovar

La Muñeca De La Salsa
La Muñeca De La Salsa
via Melina ALmodovar on Facebook

Salsa is the sultry, hot, and heavy beat of life on the dance floor. It is the joy and the pain, the intimacy and lust, the freedom of spontaneous invention, and the emotional turmoil of love, loss, and all that's great in being human.

Melina Almodovar aka La Muñeca De La Salsa is a Miami recording artist and entertainer who has dedicated her life to it. She was born in San Juan Puerto Rico, her mom was a flamenco dancer, her dad sang boleros, and her grandpa had his own radio show.

She has recorded with Ruben Blades, performed with Gilberto Santa Rosa, and she has her own orquesta too. And these are her top 10 salsa bands in the world today.

10. Mario Ortiz Jr All Star Band

"Mario lives here in Miami and is the son of a really famous Puerto Rican family with a big band from the 1960's. This man is a teacher and he's incredible. I've performed with him and he's just great. His music is like a danceable 60's big band. Every time I listen to him I travel to Puerto Rico in the 60s dancing with a little bonnet hat. I have this crazy imagination. The horn lines are so old school, big band, tropical music that you can really dance to. He just put out an amazing record on the 50th anniversary of his father's music. It's the recognition of this wonderful period of music in Puerto Rico that's amazing....this beautifully rich period of Latin big band. Amazing."

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9. Bio Ritmo

"They're from Richmond, Virginia and they're an incredible fusion of the South and salsa. They have a very definitive taste to their music. Their band has people from Peru, a Puerto Rican singer named Rei Alvarez. They just put out a record called Puerta Del Sur, everybody has to hear it. They're not a straight ahead salsa band. They're very bluesy sounding, with synthesizers. You can tell they're from the South. It's a different thing from what's going on in Latin America, a very soulful, different sound. They're so spontaneous, it's kind of like a jam band. Their live sets are really long and people dance, and it's very bluesy. It feels like you're on Beale Street actually."

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