Q-Z

Rafael Cortijo

Rafael Cortijo
Rafael Cortijo (January 11, 1928 – October 3, 1982), was a Puerto Rican musician, orchestra leader, and composer. As a child, Cortijo became interested in Caribbean music and enjoyed the works of some of the era's most successful Plena music musicians. Throughout his life, he had a chance to meet and work with some of...

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Ray Barretto

Ray Barretto
Ray Barretto (whose surname is really "Barreto"; a mistake at the time Ray's birth certificate was filed gave his last name its formal spelling) was born in New York City. His parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico in the early 1920s, looking for a better life. He was raised in Spanish Harlem and...

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Ray Maldonado

Ray Maldonado
Trumpeter and percussionist Ray Maldonado was born January 20, 1946, in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in a bilingual household. His guitarist father gave him a set of bongos and a full trap kit when Maldonado was five, and a couple of years later Ray became fascinated with the trumpet, becoming proficient enough on the instrument...

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Richard Egües

Richard Egües
Richard Egües passed away this past September 1st. Richard was, in my opinion, Cuba's greatest charanga flutist of all time. His greatest career accomplishment was his long tenure with Orquesta Aragón from the spring of 1955 through the fall of 1984. Eduardo Richard Egües was born in the town of Cruces, in the central Cuban...

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Roberto Rodriguez

Roberto Rodriguez
Roberto Rodriguez began his musical career at the age of 12 in the Province of Cienfuegos, Cuba; home to the world famous Orquesta Aragón. As a teenager, Roberto participated in “Las Comparsas de Cuba”, later performing with “La Orquesta Union Fraternal de Cienfuegos”. In 1955, Roberto migrated to the United States and in 1957 he married his childhood...

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Santos Colón

Santos Colón
Angel Santos Colón Vega (November 1, 1922 – February 21, 1998), aka Santitos Colón, was a Puerto Rican bolero and mamboóóó singer, born in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico and raised in Mayagüez. He was also known by the moniker: "The Man with The Golden Voice". Colón was born in Sabana Grande, Puerto Rico, but moved...

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Symphony Sid

Symphony Sid
Sid Torin (born Sidney Tarnopol, December 14, 1909 – September 14, 1984), known professionally as "Symphony Sid", was a long-time jazz disk jockey in the United States. Many critics have credited him with introducing bebop to the mass audience. Sidney Tarnopol was born in New York City into a Jewish family.[According to the 1920 U.S....

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Tata Güines

Tata Güines
Tata Güines (June 30, 1930 – February 4, 2008), born Federico Arístides Soto y Alejoá, was a Cuban percussionist on the tumbadora, or conga drum, as well as a composer. He was important in the first generation of Afro-Cuban jazz. Güines was born in Güines, a poor town east of La Habana in the province...

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Tite Curet Alonso

Tite Curet Alonso
Tite Curet Alonso (February 26, 1926 - August 5, 2003) was a Puerto Rican composer of over 2,000 salsa songs. Early years Curet Alonso (birth name: Catalino Curet Alonso) was born in Guayama, a town located in the southern region of Puerto Rico. Curet Alonso's mother was a seamtress and his father a Spanish language...

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Tito Gomez

Tito Gomez
Tito Gómez (born Luis Alberto Gómez April 9, 1948 in Juana Díaz, Puerto Rico – died June 11, 2007 in Cali, Colombia)was a well-known Puerto Rican salsa singer. His musical career started at the age of 15 singing with the Conjunto Antoanetti before joining the renowned Sonora Ponceña as co-lead vocalist in 1967. In 1973...

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Tito Puente

Tito Puente
Name:                     Ernest Anthony Puente, Jr. Date of Birth:        April 20, 1923. Birthplace:             Spanish Harlem, New York City. Breakthrough:      In the early-1950s when his band took up residence at the Palladium, a dance venue on Broadway. Tito Puente is internationally recognized for his seminal contributions to Latin music as a bandleader, composer, arranger, and percussionist. Known...

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Tito Rodríguez

Tito Rodríguez
Tito Rodríguez (January 4, 1923 – February 28, 1973) was a popular 1950s and 1960s Puerto Rican singer and bandleader. He is known by many fans as "El Inolvidable" (The Unforgettable One), a moniker based on his most popular interpretation, a song written by Cuban composer Julio Gutiérrez. Rodríguez (birth name: Pablo Rodríguez Lozada )...

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Tommy Olivencia

Tommy Olivencia
Tommy Olivencia (May 15, 1938 - September 22, 2006) was a renowned bandleader of salsa music.  Early years Olivencia (birth name: Ángel Tomás Olivencia Pagán was born in the Villa Palmeras section of Santurce, Puerto Rico. His family moved to the city of Arecibo when he was just a child. There received his primary and...

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Tony Pabon

Tony Pabon
Trumpeter, composer, bandleader, singer, TV host & Latin music distributor Tony Pabón was born in Puerto Rico but grew up and spent most of his life in New York City. He began playing with the Pete Rodriguez band in the 1960s. He is often neglected or given credit / recognition for the huge impact he...

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Vicentico Valdes

Vicentico Valdes
Vicente Valdés Valdés (Havana, Cuba, January 10, 1921 - New York, United States, June 26, 1995) was a Cuban folk singer. Vicentico Valdés was also the younger brother of singer Alfredito Valdés, and beside him was a member of the National Septet Ignacio Piñeiro. Member of the orchestra "cosmopolitan" who ran Antonio María Romeu was...

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Willie Bobo

Willie Bobo
Willie Bobo was the stage name of William Correa (February 28, 1934 – September 15, 1983), a Latin and jazz percussionist of Puerto Rican ancestry. Biography William Correa grew up in Spanish Harlem, New York City. He made his name in Latin Jazz, specifically Afro-Cuban jazz, in the 1960s and '70s, with the timbales becoming...

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Xavier Cugat

Xavier Cugat
Xavier Cugat  1st  January 1900 – 27 October 1990) was a Catalan-American bandleader who spent his formative years in Havana, Cuba. A trained violinist and arranger, he was a personality in the spread of Latin music in United States popular music. He was also a cartoonist. In New York, he was the leader of the...

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Yomo Toro

Yomo Toro
Yomo Toro (July 26, 1933 - June 30, 2012) was a guitarist and one of Puerto Rico's most famous cuatro players. Known internationally as "The King of the Cuatro," Toro recorded over 150 albums throughout a 60-year career and worked extensively with Cuban legends Arsenio Rodríguez and Alfonso "El Panameño" Joseph; salsa artists Willie Colón,...

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