Ray Barretto Day

April 29, 1929 – February 17, 2006

Nadie Se Salva de la Rumba

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Drummer/percussionist Ray Barretto was born on April 29, 1929 in New York City.

Barretto’s family moved to Spanish Harlem section of Manhattan from Puerto Rico.

His first exposure to jazz came from his mother’s love of the music of Duke Ellington and Count Baise.

Hearing Dizzie Gillespie and Chano Pozo’s “Manteca” focused his attention on the congas. Charlie Parker heard his self-taught/street-taught playing and invited him to join his band.

In 1960, Barretto was a house musician for the Prestige, Blue Note, and Riverside labels. He also recorded on Columbia Records with Jazz flautist Herbie Mann. New York had become the center of Latin music in the United States and a musical genre called “pachanga” was the Latin music craze of the time.

After recording a number of albums for the United Artists label, Barretto joined the Fania record label in 1967, and his first recording for the new label was the 1968 album Acid, an experiment joining rhythm and blues with Latin music.

During this period, Adalberto Santiago was the band’s lead vocalist.


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