Tune in for Salsa Con Jazz, as Arturo Gómez celebrates Tito’s Centennial!
Tito Puente was a legendary musician and composer who became known as the King of Latin Music. Born in New York City in 1923 to Puerto Rican parents, Tito showed a natural talent for music from a young age, playing various instruments including the piano, saxophone, and timbales.
Tito’s passion for music led him to pursue a career as a musician, and he quickly gained a reputation as a skilled percussionist and bandleader. He played in various bands throughout the 1940s and 1950s, but it was his own band, the Tito Puente Orchestra, that would bring him worldwide acclaim.
Tito’s music was a fusion of different Latin styles, including mambo, cha-cha, and salsa. His catchy melodies and infectious rhythms soon became a favorite of dancers and music lovers everywhere, and he toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.
In the 1960s, Tito’s music began to gain popularity beyond the Latin music scene, and he started collaborating with other musicians from different genres. He worked with jazz legends like Dizzy Gillespie and Quincy Jones, as well as rock stars like Carlos Santana and Bon Jovi.
Tito continued to perform and record music well into his later years, and his influence can still be felt in modern Latin music today. He won numerous awards and accolades throughout his career, including five Grammy Awards, and he was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1992.
Tito Puente passed away in 2000 at the age of 77, but his music continues to inspire new generations of musicians and fans around the world. He will always be remembered as a true icon of Latin music and a pioneer of modern salsa music.