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Tito Puente - Living Legends

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Awarded: April 2000
(April 20, 1923 - May 31, 2000)

As one of the world’s leading Latin jazz musicians, Tito Puente worked continuously since 1937 and recorded more than 100 albums. He began his career as a drummer in Noro Morales’ orchestra and played briefly with Machito’s Afro-Cubans before he was drafted into the U.S. Navy. He played in a band led by the famed swing bandleader, Charlie Barnet. After his discharge, on the G.I. Bill, he studied at the Julliard School of Music while working with a variety of Latin bands in New York. In the early 1980s, he moved into more traditional Latin jazz, earning a Grammy award for “Tito Puente and His Latin Ensemble on Broadway.”

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