Puerto Ricans remember Ray Barretto

Full story: Sacticket.com

Thousands of Puerto Ricans danced to the beat of conga drums on Friday at a memorial for Ray Barretto, a world-famous percussionist known for integrating the conga drum into jazz.
Comments
1 - 8 of 8 Comments Last updated Jan 3, 2013
George Perez

Las Vegas, NV

#1 Feb 25, 2006
Ray Barretto has done more for me than you know. We will miss him tremendously. He is joined in spirit with others how's past before him. Celia, Tito, Louie Ramirez, etc. God will bless their souls. Imagine the spiritual jam session the angels will experience.... WOW... Our Love and Prayers to The Barretto family....

As He Stated: Que Viva La Musica

LAS VEGAS, NV

victor roman nay

Bristol, TN

#2 Jun 22, 2006
I want this file to be save
HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#3 Jul 10, 2012
" GUARARE "

- RAY BARRETO

&fe ature=related
HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#4 Jul 10, 2012
" Cocinando "

(HQ Audio)

-Ray Barretto

&fe ature=related
HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#5 Jul 10, 2012
" Manos Duras "

(HQ Audio)

-Ray Barretto

&fe ature=relmfu
HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#6 Jul 10, 2012
" MI FAMILIA "

- Ray Barretto.

&fe ature=related
HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#7 Jan 3, 2013
Ray Baretto Y Orchesta.

" Ritmo En El Corazon " canta Celia Cruz.
" Eras "

HairyGuy

Anaheim, CA

#8 Jan 3, 2013
BIO:

Ray Barretto [April 29, 1929 February 17, 2006],(whose surname is really "Barreto"; a mistake at the time Ray's birth certificate was filed gave his last name its formal spelling) was born in New York City of Puerto Rican descent. His parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico in the early 1920s, looking for a better life. He was raised in Spanish Harlem and at a very young age was influenced by his mother's love of music and by the jazz music of musicians such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie.

In 1946, when Barretto was 17 years old, he joined the Army. While stationed in Germany, Barretto met Belgium vibist Fats Sadi, who was working there. However, it was when he heard Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" with Cuban percussionist, Chano Pozo, that he realized his true calling in life.

Began playing the conga drums while stationed in Europe with the U.S. Army, late 1940s; returned to New York, played congas for free in local clubs until eventually landing a job with Eddie Bonemere's Latin jazz combo; later worked with Jose Curbelo's band; made recordings with such jazz notables as Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, Wes Montgomery, and Red Garland; replaced Mongo Santamaria in Tito Puente's band, late 1950s; formed own band, 1962; recorded actively, 1960s-1980s; formed New World Spirit, a Latin jazz sextet, 1992.

In 1962 Barretto put together his first band, calling it Charanga la Moderna. Later that same year the fledgling group released a single entitled "El Watusi," which quickly became a nationwide hit. It was around this time that Barretto established what would be a longtime relationship with Fania Records, a New York-based label specializing in Latin music that Barretto once described as the Latin version of Motown. Barretto eventually became the music director of the label's Fania All-Stars, a coalition that over the years included such notable Latino musicians as singers Ruben Blades and Hector Lavoe, trombonist Willie Colon, and pianist Larry Harlow. Looking back on his years as the leader of Charanga la Moderna, Barretto told the Austin Chronicle: "Many great years of salsa followed. Though [we were] not always commercially successful, the level of music was generally good and sometimes creative and great."

Barretto and his band kept busy during the 1960s, recording dozens of albums before the decade ended. Some of the more memorable titles from this period included Viva Watusi!, Acid, Fiesta en El Barrio, Alma Alegre, Hard Hands, Soul Drummer, and Encendido Otra Vez. Among the singers who worked with Barretto over the years were Ray de la Paz, Ruben Blades, Adalberto Santiago, and Tito Gomez.

Barreto died on February 17, 2006 at the Hackensack University Hospital of heart failure and multiple health complications. His body was flown to Puerto Rico, where Barretto was given formal honors by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; his remains were eventually cremated.

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