Tito Puente

Oral History Information

Interview Date
Birth Date
Deceased Date
Job Title
Musician, Percussionist

This audio only interview was conducted for a radio program by Dan Del Fiorentino and donated to the NAMM Oral History program: Tito Puente helped revolutionize Latin music, in particular Latin jazz, during a career that spanned over fifty years. He helped introduce Afro Cuban and Caribbean music to audiences around the world. His influence inspired musicians and songwriters alike. In 1963, he wrote the now famous mambo hit "Oye Como Va," which was made popular by Carlos Santana, Celia Cruz, and his own orchestra. His use of instrumentation was a source of great inspiration for music manufacturers such as Latin Percussion (LP), among others. Tito what is the proud recipient of the 1997 National Medal of Arts given in recognition for his contributions to music and music making.