Joe Bataan was born in 1942 to a Filipino father and an African-American mother, grew up in Nuyorican East Harlem and was culturally Nuyorican, even leading a Puerto Rican gang as a young man. His music would always have a primarily Latino audience. Like many of his peers, he was influenced by doo-wop and, later, boogaloo, as can be seen in his 1967 boogaloo cover of "Gypsy Woman" by the (Jewish Mambo influenced) African-American R&B/doo-wop group The Impressions (where Curtis Mayfield got his start). He signed with Fania records and did a number of R&B influenced Latin recordings in English and Spanish (like "Para Puerto Rico Voy.") In the 1970s his work on the SalSoul record label was primarily influenced by funk and disco (which was popularized by Italian-American, Puerto Rican, and some African-American dancers), with musicians who were fluent in both those forms and salsa.
A new, more youthful kind of salsa also came out of the freestyle scene in the '90s, with artists like La India and Marc Anthony.