And when the heavens open I saw
I heard her say "Asucar turn this on."
Tito Puente's dressed in white
Playing timbales while the angels
Sing with Selena
Ay Mamma. Is you carnival shoes on.
--Wyclef Jean, "Selena"
As a depression-era child in New York's Spanish Harlem, Ernesto Antonio (Tito) Puente enjoyed banging on pots and pans so much that the neighbors convinced his parents to give him music lessons.
His Puerto Rican immigrant parents obliged, with lessons for piano, percussion, saxophone, vibraphone and timbales, and Tito became a professional musician at 13. Following an apprenticeship in the Machito Orchestra, he served in the Navy during World War II.
I have no patience for TV awards shows, but I love the Latin GRAMMYs! And this year's performances and winners were no exception. Last night's event (November 15) showcased the fantastic variety that is Latin music and the winners reflected that diversity, too. We're fortunate to have the music of many of the winning artists and albums available for checkout in the Library.
Juanes won Album of the Year and Best Long Form Music Video for MTV Unplugged, his collaboration with Spanish composer Joaquín Sabines. Jesse & Joy won in multiple categories--Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Contemporary Pop Vocal Album and Best Short Form Music Video.