The Bronx-born Latino artist Manny Vega is the painter, illustrator, printmaker, muralist, mosaicist, and designer, who has finally been chosen to create Tito Puente's tribute. Tito could be called The Father of Salsa and he is also a Mambo King.
NYC Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito's office has spearheaded the funding of this long-awaited project. In Way back in August pf 2000, just three months after Puente’s death, East 110th Street from Fifth to First Avenue was named Tito Puente Way.
It has taken much longer for a statue of the marimba, timbale and xylophone artist to be realized. The finished memorial will be placed on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 110th Street, near where Puente lived in the 1930s. The iconic Latin artist would have been 93 years old now. His daughter is an NYC meteorologist.
Younger people know of Tito Puente's song trough Santana, but it was Tito who wrote and memorialized these:
Para Los Rumberos - TITO PUENTE https://youtu.be/a7Vy-OE92Z4?list=RDa7Vy-OE92Z4
Mambo Kings - Tito Puente Latin Salsa Band w/ Armand Assante https://youtu.be/GadbFPUKx6A
Tito Puente - Oye Como Va https://youtu.be/ZFpCALtVUcE?list=RDZFpCALtVUcE
TITO PUENTE JR. & THE LATIN RHYTHM "OYE COMO VA" https://youtu.be/txv_IYfJo_E
PHOTO: GILLES PETARD/REDFERNS