Puerto Rican singer and bandleader Gilberto Santa Rosa says that salsa has traveled successfully from the Caribbean to different parts of the world, but that the future of the rhythm is in Central and South America.

"Salsa has gained ground in Latin America that it never had before. Really, the hope for modern salsa musicians is in the south - Peru, Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia. That's where young people are responding to it right now," the artist said in an interview with Efe.

Santa Rosa is appearing Tuesday at New York's Lincoln Center with a 1950s style big band, and afterwards will continue on to Venezuela, Colombia and Guatemala for a concert appearance with the show "Damas y Caballeros."

The so-called "Caballero de la salsa" (Gentleman of Salsa) said that thanks to the support of Central and South American salsa fans, modern salsa has crossed the Atlantic.

Which doesn't mean that fans in the United States and the Caribbean have lost interest in the rhythm - the problem at the moment, he said, is that it's not reaching new audiences.

"Salsa is always evolving, building bridges. It's not a question of tastes or quality. The problem is reaching new audiences. We have good young salsa musicians, so I don't understand why it isn't spreading," he said.

At the moment Santa Rosa is preparing two discs, one of salsa and another of boleros, both as yet untitled and with no announced dates when they will go on sale.

He said that while he does like other kinds of music, he'll die a "salsa man."