Tito Puente


I was born in Spanish Harlem. My parents were Puerto Ricans. They were one of the first pioneers coming here from Puerto Rico, to Atlanta, then Brooklyn

Tito Puente and the making of Latin Music by Steven Loza, 1 April 1999

Ernesto Antonio “Tito” Puente (April 20, 1923 – June 1, 2000) was an American salsa musician and Latin jazz composer. The son of native Puerto Ricans, Ernest and Ercilia Puente, Ernesto grew up in New York City’s Spanish Harlem community. Puente is often credited as “The Musical Pope”, “El Rey de los Timbales” (The King of the Timbales) and “The King of Latin Music”. He is best known for dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions that endured over a 50 year career. He and his music appear in many films such as The Mambo Kings and Fernando Trueba’s Calle 54.