Spanish Harlem born Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente raised out of el barrio to become credited as “The King of Latin Music” (El Rey de los Timbales). From banging pots and pans to taking 25 cent piano lessons as a young boy, his interest in music continued when completing formal education in conducting, orchestration and theory at the Julliard School of Music; allowed by the GI Bill after serving nine battles in the Navy.
Tito Puente helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds to the mainstream, mistakenly being identified as Cuban descent. Later in his career, Tito began working with other genres that eventually fused Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz termed as “salsa music”. Tito is a 5-time Grammy Award winner, and in 1990 he received a Star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame. On May 31st of 2000, Tito Puente suffered from a massive heart attack after a performance in Puerto Rico, and passed away later that evening due to unfortunate complications. He was awarded the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2003.
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GENRES: Afro-Cuban Jazz, Latin Jazz, Mambo, Salsa
MOODS: Cheerful, Dramatic, Energetic, Excited, Fun, Lively, Playful, Seductive, Spicy
SIMILAR ARTISTS: Cachao, Eddie Palmieri, Machito, Mongo Santamaria, Pancho Sanchez, Ray Barretto,
KEY ELEMENTS: Timbales, Vibraphone, Drums, Sax, Piano, Bass, Congas, Bongos