Puente in 1998
|Birth name||Ernesto Antonio Puente|
|Born||April 20, 1923|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||May 31, 2000 77) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Ernesto Antonio "Tito" Puente (April 20, 1923 – May 31, 2000)was an American musician, songwriter and record producer. The son of Ernest and Felicia Puente, native Puerto Ricans living in New York City's Spanish Harlem, Puente is often credited as "The Musical Pope", "El Rey de los Timbales" (The King of the Timbales) and "The King of Latin Music". He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that endured over a 50-year career. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba's Calle 54 . He guest-starred on several television shows, including Sesame Street and The Simpsons two-part episode "Who Shot Mr. Burns?". His most famous song is "Oye Como Va".
Tito Puente was born on April 20, 1923, at Harlem Hospital Center in the New York borough of Manhattan.His family moved frequently, but he spent the majority of his childhood in the Spanish Harlem area of the city. Puente's father was the foreman at a razorblade factory.
As a child, he was described as hyperactive, and after neighbors complained of hearing seven-year-old Puente beating on pots and window frames, his mother sent him to 25-cent piano lessons.He switched to percussion by the age of 10, drawing influence from jazz drummer Gene Krupa. He later created a song-and-dance duo with his sister Anna in the 1930s and intended to become a dancer, but an ankle tendon injury prevented him pursuing dance as a career. When the drummer in Machito's band was drafted to the army, Puente subsequently took his place.
Puente served in the Navy for three years during World War II after being drafted in 1942. He was discharged with a Presidential Unit Citation for serving in nine battles on the escort carrier USS Santee (CVE-29). The GI Bill allowed him to study music at Juilliard School of Music, where he completed a formal education in conducting, orchestration and theory.
During the 1950s, Puente was at the height of his popularity, and helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds like mambo, son, and cha-cha-chá, to mainstream audiences. Puente was so successful playing popular Afro-Cuban rhythms that many people mistakenly identify him as Cuban. Dance Mania , possibly Puente's most well known album, was released in 1958.
Among his most famous compositions are mambo "Oye como va" (1963),popularized by Latin rock musician Carlos Santana and later interpreted, among others, by Julio Iglesias, Irakere and Celia Cruz. In 1969, he received the key to the City of New York from former Mayor John Lindsay. In 1992, he was inducted into the National Congressional Record, and in 1993 he received the James Smithson Bicentennial Medal from the Smithsonian.
In early 2000, Tito Puente appeared in the music documentary Calle 54 .After a show in Puerto Rico on May 31, 2000, he suffered a massive heart attack and was flown to New York City for surgery to repair a heart valve, but complications developed and he died on May 31, 2000. He was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
Tito Puente's name is often mentioned in a television production called La Epoca,a film about the Palladium era in New York, Afro-Cuban music and rhythms, mambo and salsa as dances and music and much more. The film discusses many of Puente's, as well as Arsenio Rodríguez's, contributions, and features interviews with some of the musicians Puente recorded with Alfonso "El Panameno" Joseph.
Puente's son Richard "Richie" Puente was the percussionist in the 1970s funk band Foxy. Puente's youngest son, Tito Puente Jr., has continued his father's legacy by presenting many of the same songs in his performances and recordings, while daughter Audrey Puente is a television meteorologist for WNYW and WWOR-TV in New York City.
With Dizzy Gillespie
With Benny Golson
With Quincy Jones
With Sonny Stitt
Puente appeared in the two-part whodunit drama " Who Shot Mr. Burns? " in the sixth season finale and seventh season premiere of American comedy cartoon show "The Simpsons" in 1995. In the shows, Puente joins Springfield Elementary School as a music teacher after the school discovers it is located over an oil well. However, Mr. Burns manages to pump the oil first which makes him the legal owner of the well. This causes the school to fall into debt with budget cuts required to the music and maintenance departments, causing Puente to lose his job. When Burns is later shot, Puente becomes one of the prime suspects but manages to clear himself by performing one of his songs for Chief Wiggum. Seven alternative endings were filmed of various characters shooting Burns. Puente is one of the alternates. Although all endings were filmed, the ending of Maggie Simpson shooting Burns was the ending chosen to air.
The Emmy-nominated song "Señor Burns" from the episode is featured on the 1999 album, Go Simpsonic with The Simpsons .
Callen Radcliffe Tjader, Jr. was an American Latin jazz musician, known as the most successful non-Latino Latin musician. He explored other jazz idioms, even as he continued to perform the music of Cuba, the Caribbean, and Latin America for the rest of his life.
Boogaloo or bugalú is a genre of Latin music and dance which was popular in the United States in the 1960s. Boogaloo originated in New York City mainly among teenage Hispanic and Latino Americans. The style was a fusion of popular African American rhythm and blues (R&B) and soul music with mambo and son montuno, with songs in both English and Spanish. The American Bandstand television program introduced the dance and the music to the mainstream American audience. Pete Rodríguez's "I Like It like That" was a famous boogaloo song.
Ray Barretto was an American conga drummer and bandleader of Puerto Rican ancestry. Throughout his career as a percussionist, he played a wide variety of Latin music styles, as well as Latin jazz. His first hit, "El Watusi", was recorded by his Charanga Moderna in 1962, becoming the most successful pachanga song in the United States. In the late 1960s, Barretto became one of the leading exponents of boogaloo and what would later be known as salsa. Nonetheless, many of Barretto's recordings would remain rooted in more traditional genres such as son cubano. A master of the descarga, Barretto was a long-time member of the Fania All-Stars. His success continued into the 1970s with songs such as "Cocinando" and "Indestructible". His last album for Fania Records, Soy dichoso, was released in 1990. He then formed the New World Spirit jazz ensemble and continued to tour and record until his death in 2006.
Eddie Palmieri is a Grammy Award-winning pianist, bandleader, musician, and composer of Puerto Rican ancestry. He is the founder of the bands La Perfecta, La Perfecta II, and Harlem River Drive.
Pablo Rodríguez Lozada, better known as Tito Rodríguez, was a Puerto Rican singer and bandleader. He started his career singing under the tutelage of his brother, Johnny Rodríguez. In the 1940s, both moved to New York, where Tito worked as a percussionist in several popular rhumba ensembles, before directing his own group to great success during the 1950s. His most prolific years coincided with the peak of the mambo and cha-cha-cha dance craze. He also recorded boleros, sones, guarachas and pachangas.
A descarga is an improvised jam session consisting of variations on Cuban music themes, primarily son montuno, but also guajira, bolero, guaracha and rumba. The genre is strongly influenced by jazz and it was developed in Havana during the 1950s. Important figures in the emergence of the genre were Cachao, Julio Gutiérrez, Bebo Valdés, Peruchín and Niño Rivera in Cuba, and Tito Puente, Machito and Mario Bauzá in New York. Originally, descargas were promoted by record companies such as Panart, Maype and Gema under the label Cuban jam sessions. From the 1960s, the descarga format was usually adapted by large salsa ensembles, most notably the Fania All-Stars.
Cándido de Guerra Camero, also known simply as Cándido, is a Cuban conga and bongo player. He also plays the tres, drums, and acoustic bass. He has worked in many genres of popular music from pop, rock, R&B and disco to Afro-Cuban dance music and Latin jazz. He is the first player to develop techniques to play multiple conga drums, coordinated independence and the use of multiple percussion, one player playing a variety of percussion instruments simultaneously.
Johnny Pacheco is a Dominican musician, arranger, composer, producer, and bandleader of Salsa music. He is one of the most influential figures in Latin music, best known for being the creator of the Fania All-Stars and Fania Records, and for coining the term "Salsa" to denote the genre.
Poncho Sánchez is a Mexican American conguero, Latin jazz band leader, and salsa singer. In 2000, he and his ensemble won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for their work on the Concord Picante album Latin Soul. Sanchez has performed with artists including Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaría, Hugh Masekela, Clare Fischer, and Tower of Power.
Willie Bobo was the stage name of William Correa, a Latin and jazz percussionist of Puerto Rican ancestry.
Ángel Santos Vega Colon, aka Santitos Colón, was a Puerto Rican bolero and mambo singer, born in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico and raised in Mayagüez. He was also known by the moniker: "The Man with The Golden Voice".
The Palladium Ballroom was located at the northeast corner of 53rd Street and opened on Thursday, March 15, 1946.
Francisco Aguabella was an Afro-Cuban percussionist whose career spanned folk, jazz, and dance bands. He was a prolific session musician and recorded seven albums as a leader.
"Oye Como Va" is a 1962 cha-cha-chá by Tito Puente, originally released on El Rey Bravo. The song achieved worldwide popularity in 1970, when it was recorded by Mexican-American rock group Santana for their album Abraxas. This version was released as a single in 1971, reaching number 13 on the Billboard Hot 100, number 11 on the Billboard Easy Listening survey, and number 32 on the R&B chart. The block chord ostinato pattern that repeats throughout the song was most likely borrowed by Puente from Cachao's 1957 mambo "Chanchullo", which was recorded by Puente in 1959.
Alfonso "El Panameno" Joseph was born in the Republic of Panama, and immigrated to New York City at 11 years of age, where he studied music and became one of the forefront bassists of the Cuban bandleader Arsenio Rodríguez. Joseph is a featured guest in a major television production about the era of Afro-Cuban music at The Palladium in New York La Epoca.
Mario Rivera was a Latin jazz saxophonist from the Dominican Republic. Besides saxophone, Rivera played trumpet, flute, piano, vibraphone, congas, and drums.
Bobby Sanabria is an American drummer, percussionist, composer, arranger, producer, educator, radio host of Puerto Rican descent who specializes in jazz and Latin jazz. An 8X Grammy nominee as a leader, he is the musical director of Quarteto Aché, Sexteto Ibiano, Ascensión, and his Multiverse Big Band. He is on the faculty of The New School for Jazz and Contemporary Music, NYU and for 20 years was on the faculty of the Manhattan School of Music in New York City. Seven of Sanabria's albums have been nominated for a Grammy Award: Afro-Cuban Dream: Live & In Clave!!! (2000), 50 Years of Mambo - A Tribute To Damaso Prado (2003), Big Band Urban Folktales (2007) Kenya Revisited Live!!! (2009), Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! (2011), Multiverse - nominated for two Grammys (2012), West Side Story Reimagined (2018) which was also named Record of The Year by the Jazz Journalist's Association (2019). He has received numerous awards and accolades including the 2018 LeJENS of Latin Jazz Award Keepers of the Flame Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his leadership and innovation in Latin jazz and the 2019 New York International Salsa Congress David Melendez Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary contributions to Latin music as a musician, teacher, historian, radio host and dedication to preserving the art of Latin music and Latin jazz. He was named "Padrino (Godfather) of the 2019 National Puerto Rican Day in New York City.
Orlando Marin is an American band leader and timbales player. He formed his first band, Eddie Palmieri and his Orchestra, in 1951–52 with himself as director and Eddie Palmieri as musical director and later on the piano. He is of Puerto Rican descent.
Pupi Campo was a Cuban entertainer, dancer and bandleader who spent most of his life in the United States. As a bandleader in the 1940s and 50s, he made recordings for labels such as Seeco and Tico. His band featured percussionist and musical director Tito Puente and pianist Joe Loco.
Francisco Fellove Valdés, also known as El Gran Fellove, was a Cuban songwriter and singer. A prolific composer of the feeling generation, he is well known for his particular style of scat singing known as chua chua. He is the author of the famous guaracha-pregón "Mango mangüé", recorded by Machito and Celia Cruz among others. He was the cousin of conga drummer Carlos "Patato" Valdés.