Yuri Buenaventura is hands-down one of the most exciting salseros currently on the scene. Born and raised in Colombia and now living in Paris, Buenaventura originally studied marine science and economics. But when he found himself serving french fries in a fast food joint in Paris, he knew something had gone terribly wrong. Within months he was busking in the Metro and hooking up with Paris-based bigwigs of the Latin music scene. Within a few years he'd raised enough money to record an album, 2000's Yo Soy. Both Yo Soy and 2004's Vagabundo were experiments in African rhythms, jazz and politics, and they hit the scene hard. (Buenaventura's social conscience and support for the underdog -- including Cuba -- are well known.) The man's also a consummate genre-crosser, collaborating with Rai artist Faudel, Cuban rappers Orishas, Cheo Feliciano and more.