Tito Puente

From Academic Kids

Tito Puente (April 20, 1923May 31, 2000) was an influential Latin jazz and mambo musician. The Puerto Rican native of Spanish Harlem in New York City is often credited as the " El Rey" (the King) of the timbales, and is known for dance-oriented, mambo and latin jazz compositions that helped keep his career going for some fifty years. He has also done some acting, including in the 1992 film The Mambo Kings and a series of guest appearances on the popular 1980s television show The Cosby Show. He also guest starred on The Simpsons were he was a suspect in the murder of Montgomery Burns after Mr. Burns stole the school's oil well which led to the cancellation of the school's music budget.

During the 1950s, Puente was at the height of his mass popularity, and helped to bring Afro-Cuban and Caribbean sounds, like mambo, son, and cha-cha-cha, to mainstream audiences. Later, he moved into still more diverse sounds, including pop music, bossa nova and others, eventually settling down with a fusion of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz genres that became known as "salsa". In 1990, Puente was awarded the "James Smithson Bicentennial Medal". He died in 2000 and was awarded a Grammy at the first Latin Grammy Awards, winning Best Traditional Tropical Album for Mambo Birdland.

His daughter, Audrey Puente, is a meteorologist with WCBS-TV.

Also see

es:Tito Puente fr:Tito Puente ja:ティト・プエンテ

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