1946 to 2000
April 20, 1923 in Harlem
June 1, 2000
New York, New York, United States
Tito Puente (1923-2000) was a bandleader, percussionist, composer, and arranger from New York City. Born Ernesto Antonio Puente, Jr., on April 20, 1923, in el barrio Spanish harlem, New York, Puente was a musical pioneer for mixing musical styles with Latin sounds and for his experiments in fusing latin music with jazz. The son of Puerto Rican immigrants, Puente grew up in New York City's Spanish Harlem and took piano lessons as a child and then studied percussion. He became a professional musician at age 13.