Tito Puente

Born in 1923 in New York, Puerto Rican musician Tito Puente began arranging for and directing his own band since 1948. To draw attention to his spectacular playing, he moved the timbales to the front of the band, earning him the title "El Rey del Timbal"–The King of the Timbales. When he died in 2000, Puente was a towering figure in mambo, salsa and Latin jazz.