How We Lived on It (19) – Joe Cuba

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From the New York Daily News Obituary, February 16, 2009 — Salsa pioneer Joe Cuba, who was born the son of a Harlem candy-store owner and grew up to become the “Father of Latin Boogaloo,” died Sunday. He was 78. Cuba died at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan from complications of a bacterial infection, said Cheo Feliciano, a friend and member of the Joe Cuba Sextet. His death came a day after doctors disconnected him from life support, Feliciano said. A conga player and band leader, Cuba was a protege of Tito Puente. He and his band made a splash during the “boogaloo” craze of the 1960s with a string of hits including “Bang Bang” and “El Pito.” Cuba described his music, inspired by life in East Harlem‘s El Barrio, as having an “R&B feel with Latin rhythms.” “I still play the old stuff because the public asks for it,” Cuba told the Daily News in a 1995 interview. “People are coming to see Joe Cuba, the guy who brought all these tunes into their lives.” In April 1999, Cuba was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.


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