Tito Puente donned the “King of Latin Jazz,” and was a pioneering force in Latin music, known for fusing styles and putting a big-band spin on traditional Latin music. In 1948, Puente formed a band that would become known as the Tito Puente Orchestra. A decade later, he released his best-selling album, Dance Mania (1958). His most notable songs include “Babarabatiri,” “Ran Kan Kan” and “Oye Como Va.” By the end of his decades-long career, Puente was deemed a musical legend in Latin music and jazz circles.
Eary Life: Famed jazz composer and bandleader Tito Puente was born Ernesto Antonio Puente Jr. in New York City on April 20, 1923. Puente grew up in New York City’s Spanish Harlem and became a professional musician at age 13. He learned to play a number of instruments as a child, beginning with the piano and then moving to percussion, saxophone, vibraphone, and timbales (paired high-pitched drums). Bio Source
Born: April 20, 1923, Harlem Hospitals, New York, NY Died: 2000, NYU Langone Health, New York, NY