Boasting an extraordinarily diverse population, the varied musical traditions of the Caribbean originally emerged from the colonial legacy left upon the region's West Africans, East Indians, and Europeans, as well as Caribbean natives. In the period since, these ethnic groups have produced a cultural medley that has been responsible for some of the world's most renowned musicians and genres -- from Salsa and Merengue to Soca and Zouk, the Caribbean's thriving musical traditions have continually captured the world's ear. Celia Cruz, Cuba's reigning Queen of Salsa, continues to pack concert halls around the world, dazzling audiences with her phenomenal energy and powerful, caressing vocal style. Merengue clubs continue to pop up all around the world, featuring the likes of Juan Luis Guerra's outfit 4:40. Driven by sharp, stuttered rhythms and whooping vocals, Merengue has proven to be a hot, infectious dance music quite removed from its melancholy roots in Martinique. Meanwhile, Cuba is inciting a new musical revolution, assisted in no small part by one-man American juggernaut Ry Cooder: Buena Vista Social Club, re-formed with Cooder's help, have taken other continents by storm with their eponymous debut album and host of follow-ups from several of its individual members. Steeped in African rhythms and raised with European notions of song, the cross-pollinating Caribbean promises to offer innovative, provocative, and vibrant music for decades to come.