Mambo-fied jazz great Tito Puente, who was the original Latin music explosion all by himself, died Wednesday in a New York hospital, it has been announced. He was a reported 77. Details on the death were not released. The five-time Grammy winner had been hospitalized briefly last month in Puerto Rico for an irregular heartbeat.
The Cuban-born Puente played with and inspired the likes of Carlos Santana, George Shearing and Woody Herman.
His 1946 hit said it all: “El Rey del Mambo,” or “The King of the Mambo.”