Skip Navigation
NPR News
Tito Puente on vibraphone at the Palladium. (Courtesy of the artist)

Happy Birthday, El Rey! 10 Fiery Tito Puente Cuts

Apr 20, 2014

See this

La Santa Cecilia performs a Tiny Desk Concert in November 2013.

Share this

Explore this

Reported by


Related Topics at

Celebrating the late Tito Puente's birthday gives us a chance to revel in his mid-1950s RCA years. Backed by major label money, the King of Latin Music was able to realize the sounds he heard in his head on bandstands and in recording studios.

This meant big band dance music, agile soneros whose improvised vocals complimented the bands and small-group percussion experiments.

We asked percussionist Miguel Ramirez of the Grammy-winning band La Santa Cecilia to pick 10 of his favorite tracks from that very fertile time for the bandleader, who was born on this day in 1923 and died in 2000.

For more great Latin music in all styles, head to NPR Music's Alt.Latino radio channel.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit

Missing some content? Check the source: NPR
Copyright(c) 2014, NPR

Visitor comments


NCPR is supported by:

This is a Visitor-Supported website.