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Rumba is a family of percussive rhythms, song and dance that originated in Cuba as a combination of the musical traditions of Africans brought to Cuba as slaves and Spanish colonizers. The name derives from the Cuban Spanish word rumbo which means "party" or "spree". It is secular, with no religious connections. Rhythmically, Afro-Cuban folkloric rumba is based on the five-stroke pattern called clave (rhythm) and the inherent structure it conveys. Carlos Vidal Bolado (better known simply as Carlos Vidal) was the first to commercially record authentic folkloric rumba (Ritmo Afro-Cubano SMC 2519-A and 2520-B, circa 1948).

The term is also used today for various styles of popular music from Spain, as part of the so-called Cantes de ida y vuelta, or music that developed between both sides of the atlantic. Flamenco rumba is a genre that is entirely different from Cuban rumba.