|Birth name||Ernest Anthony Puente Jr.|
|Born||April 20, 1923|
New York City, U.S.
|Died||June 1, 2000 77) (aged|
New York City, U.S.
Ernest AnthonyPuente Jr. (April 20, 1923 – June 1, 2000),commonly known as TitoPuente, was an American musician, songwriter, bandleader, and record producer of Puerto Rican descent. He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that endured over a 50-year career. His most famous song is "Oye Como Va".
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?".
Tito Puente was born on April 20, 1923, at Harlem Hospital Center in the New York borough of Manhattan, the son of Ernest and Felicia Puente, stateside Puerto Ricans residing in New York City's Spanish Harlem area.His family moved frequently, but he spent the majority of his childhood in Spanish Harlem. Puente's father was the foreman at a razorblade factory. Tito's racial identity was very important to him and he maintained a heavy accent until his death despite being born in the United States.
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 from 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 is the cha-cha "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, Puente appeared in the music documentary Calle 54 .
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.
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 June 1, 2000, at 2:27am.He was posthumously awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
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 animated, 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, Mexico and Latin America.
Ray Barretto was an American percussionist 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.
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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.
Juan Pablo Pacheco Knipping, known as Johnny Pacheco, was a Dominican musician, arranger, composer, bandleader, and record producer who in the 1970s became one of the leading exponents of salsa as well in the late 1950s called the pachanga, a blend of Cuban rhythms and Dominican merengue, which propelled him to worldwide fame and had an important role in the evolution of Latin music.
Poncho Sánchez is an 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.
William Correa, better known by his stage name Willie Bobo, was an American Latin jazz percussionist of Puerto Rican descent. Bobo rejected the stereotypical expectations of Latino music and was noted for combining elements of jazz, Latin and rhythm and blues music.
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 a New York City night club. The US mambo craze that started in 1948 began at the Palladium Ballroom. On March 15, 1946 it opened at the northeast corner of Broadway and 53rd Street.
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 Cómo 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 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.
Sonny Bravo, born Elio Osacar, is an Afro-Cuban jazz and Latin jazz pianist. He was once a very good baseball player with many prospects born in New York, New York, though due to an injury in 1956 he sought out a career in music. It was then he started performing with Many Campo, El Casino de Miami, José Fajardo and many others. He also recorded with Tito Puente and Bobby Paunetto.
Mario Rivera was a Latin jazz saxophonist from the Dominican Republic. Besides saxophone, Rivera played trumpet, flute, piano, vibraphone, congas, and drums.
Carlos Valdés Galán, better known as Patato, was a Cuban conga player. In 1954, he emigrated from La Habana to New York City where he continued his prolific career as a sideman for several jazz and Latin music ensembles, and occasionally as a bandleader. He contributed to the development of the tunable conga drum which revolutionized the use of the instrument in the US. His experimental descarga albums recorded for Latin Percussion are considered the counterpart to the commercial salsa boom of the 1970s. Tito Puente once called him "the greatest conguero alive today".
Rebeca Mauleón is an American pianist, composer, arranger and writer, specializing in salsa and other Latin American and Afro-Caribbean music.
Michael Philip Mossman is an American jazz trumpeter.
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.
"Chanchullo" is a danzón-mambo composed by Cuban bassist Israel "Cachao" López. It was first released as a single in 1957 by Arcaño y sus Maravillas. It was the third single released on Cuban independent record label Gema and has been covered by multiple artists including Tito Puente, Típica '73 and Rubén González. Puente himself reworked the song as the successful "Oye cómo va", later recorded by Santana, for which Cachao received no credit. Instrumental versions of the song have been recorded variously under the titles "Mambolandia" and "Mambología", often credited to Peruchín.
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