Bandleader Tito Puente dies at 77

Thursday June 01 by Claudia bourneusatoday
Bandleader and percussionist Tito Puente, who rode to fame on the heels of the 1950s mambo craze and for the next five decades helped define Latin jazz, has died. He was 77. Puente, who was recently treated for a heart problem, died Wednesday at NYU Medical Center, his agent said. Puente recorded more than 100 albums in his six decades in the business. In February, he won his fifth Grammy for best traditional tropical Latin performance for Mambo Birdland. Artists who collaborated with him included Carlos Santana, whose early hits include Puente's Oye Como Va.

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