Definitions

Puente

Puente

[lah pwen-tee, -tey]
Puente, Tito (Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.), 1923-2000, American musician, b. New York City. One of the premier composers and players of Latin music, he was a bandleader, pianist, and virtuoso percussionist. He began playing in the 1930s and performed in various bands while studying at the Juilliard School of Music (1945-47). In 1947 he formed his own group, the Piccadilly Boys, which shortly afterward became the Tito Puente Orchestra. During the 1950s, Puente became renowned for his Big Band renditions, in person and on recordings, of such Latin dance-craze styles as the mambo and cha-cha; in the 1960s he also turned to pachenga music. Puente played in and led many other bands. Also beginning in the 1960s he collaborated with several jazz musicians and thereafter customarily worked in either a Latin or jazz style, or a combination of the two, becoming an important figure in salsa music. During his long career, Puente won five Grammys and recorded 118 albums.
orig. Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.

Tito Puente, 1998.

(born April 20, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 31, 2000, New York City) U.S. bandleader, percussionist, and composer. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Puente served in the Navy during World War II and later studied at Juilliard. In the late 1940s he formed his own band and rose to prominence with the salsa, mambo, merengue, and cha-cha-cha fads of the 1950s. Always experimenting, he became a pioneer of Latin-jazz fusion. His compositions include “Pare Cochero” and “Oye Como Va.” He performed with many artists, especially Celia Cruz, and he recorded more than 100 albums. He also performed in several films, including Radio Days (1987) and The Mambo Kings (1992).

Learn more about Puente, Tito with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr.

Tito Puente, 1998.

(born April 20, 1923, New York, N.Y., U.S.—died May 31, 2000, New York City) U.S. bandleader, percussionist, and composer. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Puente served in the Navy during World War II and later studied at Juilliard. In the late 1940s he formed his own band and rose to prominence with the salsa, mambo, merengue, and cha-cha-cha fads of the 1950s. Always experimenting, he became a pioneer of Latin-jazz fusion. His compositions include “Pare Cochero” and “Oye Como Va.” He performed with many artists, especially Celia Cruz, and he recorded more than 100 albums. He also performed in several films, including Radio Days (1987) and The Mambo Kings (1992).

Learn more about Puente, Tito with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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