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Tito Puente

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NEWS
September 13, 1990 | CLAUDIA PUIG, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Four years ago, New York-born Latino band leader and percussionist Tito Puente announced that he planned to cut back on touring and performing and would, instead, begin to take it easy. After all, at 63, Puente's sensible side argued, how could he keep up the pace that he had set in the late 1940s, the era in which fans dubbed him "El Rey" (The King)? But his sensible side didn't prevail: Slowing down doesn't seem to be part of the ever-energetic Puente's repertoire.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 | McClatchy Newspapers
Jose Curbelo, a Latin jazz bandleader, agent and promoter who helped popularize the cha-cha in the United States and made Tito Puente a star, has died. He was 95. A resident of North Miami Beach, Curbelo died Friday of heart failure at a hospital in Aventura, Fla. Curbelo was born Feb. 18, 1917, in Havana to a Cuban mother and a Cuban American father who played violin with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra. He began formal musical training at age 8 and by 16 was playing with the orchestras of Los Hermanos Lebartard and flutist-composer Gilberto Valdes, and he co-founded Orquesta Havana Riverside.
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ENTERTAINMENT
July 5, 1997 | ERNESTO LECHNER
One of the rare multi-CD collections by a U.S. label dedicated to an Afro-Caribbean artist, "50 Years of Swing" features one of the most seminal and prolific figures ever in Latin popular music. Because Tito Puente has generally lacked the creative daring to make him the equal of such artists as Machito and Eddie Palmieri, it's easy to think of him as the "meat and potatoes" of Latin music. But that missing spark doesn't mean he isn't a towering figure.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 9, 2010 | By Keith Thursby, Los Angeles Times
Francisco Aguabella, an Afro-Cuban percussionist considered a master sacred drummer who also had a wide-ranging career in jazz and salsa, has died. He was 84. Aguabella died Friday of cancer at his Los Angeles home, said his daughter Menina Givens. His career "bears testimony to the existence and continuity of a sacred tradition in dancing and music that has been present throughout the development of popular music in the Afro-Cuban style," UC Irvine professor Raul Fernandez said in his 2006 book "From Afro-Cuban Rhythms to Latin Jazz."
ENTERTAINMENT
May 2, 1988 | ZAN STEWART
You'd think a Latin/jazz band headed by a timbales player might be a tad rhythm-heavy. But when Tito Puente's New York-based octet played JC Fandango Latin Restaurant in Anaheim on Friday, the renowned leader-composer offered an agreeable mix of melody and pulse that kept dancers on the floor and listeners smiling in their seats.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 3, 1994 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Though it was the day after, it seemed that the year-end celebrations of the night before had never ended. New Year's Day at the Anaheim Marriott hotel found a quartet of Latin bands, including one led by timbale master Tito Puente, playing to a pair of packed dance floors during a rhythm-rich evening of salsa, mambo and cha-cha sounds. Credit the insatiable beats for keeping most of the estimated crowd of 2,000 up and moving to the music.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 16, 1989 | BILL KOHLHAASE
When will Latin jazz get the respect it deserves? Most mainstream jazz fans have little knowledge of the form, probably because it is largely relegated to the Sunday midnight time slot on college FM stations. The most recent jazz dictionary, the hefty, two-volume, 30-pound "Grove," carries only a small entry on the form and lists almost no contemporary practitioners of the art.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 14, 1994 | ENRIQUE LOPETEGUI, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Few stars in the world of Latin music are better known and loved than Tito Puente. The 71-year-old New York-born percussionist, bandleader and composer has recorded 104 albums since the late 1940s, ranging from simple salsa to complex Latin jazz and covering virtually all the many Afro-Cuban rhythms.
NEWS
June 2, 2000 | ALISA VALDES-RODRIGUEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente, a legendary innovative figure in Latin music and jazz for more than six decades, died Wednesday night. He was 77. Puente was hospitalized for heart trouble last month while on tour in his parents' native Puerto Rico. Janet Armand, tour manager for Puente's son Tito Puente Jr., said Thursday that the elder Puente had undergone heart surgery at New York University Medical Center early Wednesday morning, fell into a coma and died there that night.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2000 | ERNESTO LECHNER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A question for fans of Latin music: Why has veteran timbalero Tito Puente released two live albums in a row? Cynics might argue that at 76, Puente is trying to capitalize on his past. After all, there can't be that much left to say after recording more than 110 albums, right? Wrong. A tireless experimentalist, Puente is recording new material with legendary keyboardist Eddie Palmieri, for which he composed new material.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 20, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Joe Cuba, 78, dubbed the "Father of Latin Boogaloo" for weaving a fluid, bilingual mix of musical influences, died Sunday at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City of complications from a persistent bacterial infection, the Associated Press reported. "He had a dynamic group," with a signature vibraphone-fronted sound that "caused a craze because it was different," Cheo Feliciano, a longtime friend and singer in Cuba's band, told the AP. Cuba was born Gilberto Miguel Calderon in New York City to parents from Puerto Rico.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 6, 2000 | Agustin Gurza
In Hollywood, 7 a.m. is far too early for vigils. Even for the King of Latin Music. On Sunday morning outside Mann's Chinese Theatre, there is only a worker hosing down the sidewalk, wiping away the night's grime and desperation. The bright sun glints off the gold stars on this stretch of Hollywood Boulevard. Soon, an enormous van parks. Three men emerge and unload a battery of percussion instruments--congas, bongos, maracas and clave sticks.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 2, 2000 | ERNESTO LECHNER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
As far as the pop mainstream goes, Tito Puente was a misunderstood man. Chances are that most casual music fans saw the bandleader and percussionist, who died Wednesday at age 77, as the stereotypic Latin entertainer--a flamboyant performer who would dazzle you with his eccentric grimaces, hyperactive stage presence and pyrotechnic timbale solos. And it's true that Puente aimed to be a consummate entertainer. But he was also much more.
NEWS
June 2, 2000 | ALISA VALDES-RODRIGUEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Percussionist and bandleader Tito Puente, a legendary innovative figure in Latin music and jazz for more than six decades, died Wednesday night. He was 77. Puente was hospitalized for heart trouble last month while on tour in his parents' native Puerto Rico. Janet Armand, tour manager for Puente's son Tito Puente Jr., said Thursday that the elder Puente had undergone heart surgery at New York University Medical Center early Wednesday morning, fell into a coma and died there that night.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 3, 2000 | ELAINE DUTKA
POP/ROCK Deja Vu: Seattle-based Pearl Jam ended its boycott of Los Angeles in 1997 when it played the Great Western Forum--returning to the city it had avoided in part because of a high-profile feud with Ticketmaster, which controlled ticket sales at all the city's key venues. The band is again bypassing L.A. on its upcoming 39-date tour--but this time it's a matter of logistics.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 20, 2000 | ERNESTO LECHNER, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
A question for fans of Latin music: Why has veteran timbalero Tito Puente released two live albums in a row? Cynics might argue that at 76, Puente is trying to capitalize on his past. After all, there can't be that much left to say after recording more than 110 albums, right? Wrong. A tireless experimentalist, Puente is recording new material with legendary keyboardist Eddie Palmieri, for which he composed new material.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 22, 1992 | BILL KOHLHAASE, SPECIAL TO THE TIMES
Talk about "The King," and most people think of Elvis. But mention El Rey, and there's no doubt you're referring to Tito Puente. These are heady times for the 68-year-old bandleader, percussionist and arranger whose jazzy mix of Caribbean dance rhythms has been lifting audiences from their seats since the 1940s. Puente will soon be on view, playing himself, in the movie "The Mambo Kings," an adaptation of Oscar Hijuelos' Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, "The Mambo Kings Play Songs of Love."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 24, 2012 | McClatchy Newspapers
Jose Curbelo, a Latin jazz bandleader, agent and promoter who helped popularize the cha-cha in the United States and made Tito Puente a star, has died. He was 95. A resident of North Miami Beach, Curbelo died Friday of heart failure at a hospital in Aventura, Fla. Curbelo was born Feb. 18, 1917, in Havana to a Cuban mother and a Cuban American father who played violin with the Havana Philharmonic Orchestra. He began formal musical training at age 8 and by 16 was playing with the orchestras of Los Hermanos Lebartard and flutist-composer Gilberto Valdes, and he co-founded Orquesta Havana Riverside.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 20, 1999 | ERNESTO LECHNER
The idea that Tito Puente's music is not what it used to be has circulated within salsa circles for a decade--a glorifying of the percussionist's golden days, while minimizing his latest musical contributions. That view was shattered Thursday at the Conga Room, where Puente demonstrated that he remains, at 75, one of the most vital and energetic performers in the field. Yes, maybe the timbale solos aren't as technically ambitious as in the percussionist's experimental days of the '50s and '60s.
ENTERTAINMENT
July 5, 1997 | ERNESTO LECHNER
One of the rare multi-CD collections by a U.S. label dedicated to an Afro-Caribbean artist, "50 Years of Swing" features one of the most seminal and prolific figures ever in Latin popular music. Because Tito Puente has generally lacked the creative daring to make him the equal of such artists as Machito and Eddie Palmieri, it's easy to think of him as the "meat and potatoes" of Latin music. But that missing spark doesn't mean he isn't a towering figure.
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