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Posts Tagged ‘Tito Puente’

Died On This Date (February 8. 2012) Jimmy Sabater Sr. / Latin Music Great

Posted by themusicsover on February 8, 2012

Jimmy Sabater
April 11, 1936 – February 8, 2012

Photo by Victoria Will

Born and raised in Spanish Harlem area of New York City, Jimmy Sabater, Sr. took a liking to the Latin music he constantly heard in and around the neighborhood.  As a teenager, he was particularly moved by the what he heard coming from Tito Puente, Machito, and Willie Bobo, so he took up the timbales.  He was also possessed one of the smoothest voices Latin music has ever known.  By the mid ’50s, Sabater was part of a collective called the Joe Cuba Sextet who quickly found appreciative fans throughout the clubs of Harlem as well at resorts in upstate New York.  The group recorded several landmark albums over the next three decades including 1966’s Wanted Dead or Alive (Bang! Bang! Push Push Push) which was the first boogaloo album to sell over 1 million copies.  Sabater left Cuba’s band in 1977 and went on to sing and play for  Al Levy and Eddie Palmieri, among others.  He also released a handful of his own albums on the legendary Fania Records.   Jimmy Sabater Sr. was 75 when he died of natural causes on February 8, 2012.

Thanks to Eric Foss at Secret Stash Records for the assist.

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Wanted Dead or Alive - Bang! Bang! Push, Push, Push - Joe Cuba



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Died On This Date (July 16, 2003) Celia Cruz / The Queen Of Salsa

Posted by themusicsover on July 16, 2010

Celia Cruz (Born Ursula Alfonzo)
October 21, 1925 – July 16, 2003

Celia Cruz was an internationally famous Cuban salsa singer who has been rightfully called the Queen of Salsa.  Over the course of a career that spanned 50 years, Cruz earned 23 gold albums, making her one of the most successful Cuban and salsa singers.  Born in Havana, Cruz was exposed to its beautiful music at a very young age, and by the time she was in her early 20s, she was making recordings for local radio stations, and by the time she was 25, she was fronting a popular Cuban orchestra.  In 1959, she and her husband moved to New York City and became U.S. citizens soon after.  Cruz recorded several albums with Tito Puente during the ’60s, but it wasn’t until her 1974 release, Celia y Johnny with Johnny Pacheco, did she hit her stride.  Big concert halls and television appearances soon followed, and Cruz became an international star.  She went on to win three Grammys and another four Latin Grammys.  On July 16, 2003, Celia Cruz died of a brain tumor at the age of 77.  While her body laid in state in downtown Miami, more than 200,000 people came by to pay their respects.

What You Should Own

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Celia Cruz


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Died On This Date (May 31, 2000) Tito Puente

Posted by themusicsover on May 31, 2010

Tito Puente
April 20, 1923 – May 31, 2000

Born in New York to Puerto Rican parents, Tito Puente became one of the most influential Latin Jazz and mambo musicians. His energetic albums and performances were revered the world over. After serving in the Navy during WWII, Puente returned to New York and used his GI Bill to study music at the Juilliard School Of Music, thus launching a career that would span 50 years. Over his career, he received five Grammys, the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award, the Key to New York City, an induction into the National Congressional Record, a Smithsonian Medal, but perhaps most important, he was immortalized appearing as “himself” in The Simpsons’ famous “Who Shot Mr. Burns” episode. Puente suffered a heart attack following a show in Puerto Rico and died during heart surgery back in New York City on May 31, 2000.

What You Should Own

The Best of the Concord Years - Tito Puente

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Died On This Date (May 8, 2010) Francisco Aguabella / Popular Afro-Cuban Percussionist

Posted by themusicsover on May 8, 2010

Francisco Aguabella
October 10, 1925 – May 8, 2010

Francisco Aguabella was a revered Afro-Cuban, jazz and Salsa percussionist who was also a sacred drummer of the Santeria religion.  Born and raised in Cuba, Aguabella picked up his first instrument at 12, and ultimately left home in his mid-20s to pursue his music career. He performed all over the world, appeared in the Shelley Winters film, Mambo, and played at the White House.    Over the course of his career, Aguabella performed with  Frank Sinatra, Tito Puente, Dizzy Gillespie, Carlos Santana, Cal Tjader, and the Doors to name a few.  In 1992, he was awarded a National Heritage Fellowship from the Endowment for the Arts.  Francisco Aguabella was 84 when he died of cancer on May 8, 2010.

Thanks to NAMM Historian, Dan Del Fiorentino for the assist.

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Died On This Date (March 22, 2008) Israel “Cachao” Lopez

Posted by themusicsover on March 22, 2010

Israel “Cachao” Lopez
September 14, 1918 – March 22, 2008

israel-cachao-lopez.jpg

Mambo pioneer and Grammy winning bassist Cachao Lopez passed away on March 22, 2010 after falling ill from complications from kidney failure. He was 89.  Growing up in Cuba, Lopez moved to Spain in 1962 and then settled in New York City where he made his living playing with the leading Latin bands. It was here in America that he collaborated with the likes Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Gloria Estefan. In the 70s, he moved to Las Vegas where he performed at the casinos. An affinity for gambling forced him to leave the city or he otherwise might have lost everything. The 80s weren’t very kind to Lopez as he found himself in Miami playing small clubs and weddings. As the 90s hit however, he was back in vogue even winning a Grammy for his 1994 album Ahora Si!. Lopez died in the company of his family in Coral Gables, Florida.

What You Should Own

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Ahora Si - Cachao

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