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Puente, Tito Jr.

Son of the internationally reknown timbales artist, Tito Puente, Tito Puente, Jr was born in New York City on 2 June 1953.

His first love was percussion. Puente learned to play the timbales, but interestingly, not from his father. He attended school in Long Island where he learned the instrument and further developed his skills as a musician while studying piano and composition at home.

When he was old enough, Puente began playing the New York City club scene with other well-known Latin artists from the area, developing a style that fuses pop, Latin jazz and dance, laced with influences of mambo, cha-cha-cha and merengue, with rap and hip-hop rhythms. Puente calls it “Latin Dance; a new explosion of authentic music created from the streets”
In addition to his father, Puente was influenced by various well known artists, such as Marc Anthony, Ray Barretto, Nestor Torres, Dave Valentín and the great Cuban artists Mongo Santamaría and Patoto Valdés, as well as United States’ bands such as Boston, Bon Jovi, Metallica and the Back Street Boys

Known in his own right as “The Prince of Latin Dance”, Puente has begun leaving a mark as an artist of distinction. With two record albums and three videos to his credit, plus a many concert tours.

Puente’s 1996 debut album, Guarachando, which he co-produced for the EMI-Latin label, featured the hit single “Oye Como Va”, a well known cover of his father’s signature standard. The song reached number 7 on Billboard’s Dance chart and earned him a Latin Music Award for “Best Video of the Year.”

Puente’s second album, Siéntelo was released in 1999. It featured a mix of musical styles from club music to salsa, such as the hit song, Caliente, which was a tribute to and arranged by his father and released as a single.

Puente has performed in many parts of the world, but mostly in North and South America. He has been featured in magazines, newspapers and television programs such as Urban Latino, Latin Style, American Way, Reggae Report, People En Español, Radio & Musica, Billboard, The Miami Herald, and several others. He also appeared in an HBO television special.

In his current band, Puente is the lead signer and percussionist. Although he still plays the piano but uses it mainly for writing songs. Moreover, living in a city culturally diverse Miami, his current residence, has had a most positive effect on Puente’s creativity and innovative approach to music.

“I’m thrilled with the many faces and sounds of Miami. The opportunity to listen to music from Mexico, South America, the Caribbean and other parts of the world has allowed me to expand my own musical horizons, so my music can reach more people."

Thrilled with the support he has gotten from his father who has also been known to sit in with his son’s band on occasion - Puente plans to follow in his father’s footsteps, creating for his generation what his father did for his own over the past fifty years.

I think it’s very important that the youth of today understand the music of my father, la música de ayer, la música del Palladium. It’s timeless music, and it always makes you dance.

Discography

Siéntelo (1999)

Guarachando (1996)

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