|Birth name||Ernest Anthony Puente Jr.|
|Born||April 20, 1923|
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Died||June 1, 2000 77) (aged|
New York City, New York, U.S.
Ernest Anthony "Tito" Puente, Jr. (April 20, 1923 – June 1, 2000)was an American musician of Puerto-Rican descent, songwriter, record producer and bandleader. 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. 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.
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 June 1, 2000 at 2:27am. 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 .
Salsa music is a popular style of Latin American music. Because most of the basic musical componentes predates the labeling of salsa, there have been many controversies regarding its origin. Most songs considered as salsa are primarily based on son montuno, with elements of mambo, Latin jazz, bomba, plena and guaracha. All of these elements are adapted to fit the basic son montuno template when performed within the context of salsa.
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.
Eddie Palmieri is an American 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.
Juan Pablo Pacheco Knipping, known as Johnny Pacheco, was a Dominican-American musician, arranger, composer, bandleader, and record producer. He became one of the leading exponents of a new dance in the late 1950s called the pachanga, a blend of Cuban rhythms and merengue, which propelled him to worldwide notoriety, 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.
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 Broadway and 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.
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.
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.
El Rey is a 1984 Latin jazz album by 6-time Grammy Award-winning musician, band and orchestra leader, Tito Puente. Puente's move towards jazz came at the same time as Eddie Palmieri's albums. It includes performances by Tito Puente not only on timbales, but on vibraharp playing a medley of "Stella by Starlight" and "(Tu, Mi) Delirio", as well as "Autumn Leaves" and "Rainfall". There are also excellent, inventive, driving performances of two works by John Coltrane: "Giant Steps" and "Equinox", as well as Puente's own hit songs "Oye Como Va" and "Linda Chicana". Concord Picante records, Concord Jazz, Inc. Produced by Tito Puente.
"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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