Tito Puente was a Puerto Rican-American musician, songwriter, and record producer who was born on April 20, 1923, in Harlem Hospital in New York City.
At an early age, Tito’s mother enrolled him in piano lessons, but he soon switched to timbales, which then became his signature instrument. His career spanned over sixty years, which earned him five Grammy Awards, over 100 albums, a television show called The World of Tito Puente, and guest appearances on Sesame Street and The Simpsons.
Tito died on May 31, 2000, in New York City after suffering a massive heart attack. Upon his death, The New York Times stated that he was “the most important musician of the last half-century”.