A multifaceted portrait of "El Rey", the king of Latin music, this is the first in-depth historical, musical, and cultural study to trace the career and influence of Tito Puente. 57 photos.
Born in 1923, Ernest Anthony "Tito" Puente grew up in the polyglot world of New York's East Harlem. Displaying an affinity for music from an early age, he was a fan of Benny Goodman's drummer Gene Krupa in particular, once winning a contest with a note-for-note performance of Krupa's solo on Goodman's "Sing, Sing, Sing." His precocious percussive abilities got him gigs in many notable Latin bands of the period, but his first big break came when he started performing with the legendary bandleader Machito, who featured him as a soloist. His rise to fame came soon after World War 2, with his formation of Tito Puente and His Orchestra. Steven Loza's comprehensive and well-researched portrait of Puente's life and work, TITO PUENTE AND THE MAKING OF LATIN MUSIC, provides a wealth of useful detail and commentary on the bandleader's career and importance to the postwar Latin music scene. With the aid of informative interviews with such major Latin musicians as Ray Santos, Poncho Sanchez, and Hilton Ruiz, Loza constructs a vivid portrayal of one of the towering figures of 20th-century Latin music.
- Music, Biography + Autobiography
- Composers + Musicians, Ethnomusicology, General
- May 1, 1999
- May 1, 1999
- Steven Loza, Steven Joseph Loza