Mambo is considered a Cuban dance, but the rhythms of it are from African slaves imported to the island of Cuba. The instruments that carry the beat of the music form an integral part of the speed of the dance. These sounds and the beat are African in origin. The percussion instruments control the speed of the steps as well as the basic rhythms of the dance. The dancers depend on the musical beats they hear to know what steps to do next.
This is a fine example of fusion music, but the Latino influence has always been in the forefront. Afro mambo is a newer style of mambo music that is danced to as a fast salsa. The melodic line is not quite as prominent as the rhythmic section of the music. This gives the music a much heavier African sound with its emphasis mainly on the rhythm. Dancers listening to this music move their feet and hips to the beat rather than the melodic line.