Puerto Rico’s Centennial Celebration of Tito Puente
— Exhibits, dedications, concerts, artistic mural, and salsa dance competition to honor Tito Puente during Hispanic Heritage Month —
PUERTO RICO — September 19, 2023 — (NOTICIAS NEWSWIRE) — “Celebrate Tito Puente,” sponsored by the PRCDA (Puerto Rico Convention District Authority) and produced by 21 Events, is a series of events in Puerto Rico taking place during Hispanic Heritage Month between September 25 and October 8, 2023, recognizing the 100th anniversary of Puente’s birth and his legacy.
Born on April 20, 1923, in New York City's Spanish Harlem to Puerto Rican parents Ernest and Felicia Puente, Tito Puente embraced music early, transitioning to percussion at 10, inspired by jazz drummer Gene Krupa. His drumming prowess led him to replace a band member in Machito's band. In the 1950s, Puente brought Afro-Cuban beats like mambo, son, and cha-cha-chá to the forefront. His album "Dance Mania" marked this era in 1958. He composed "Oye como va" (1963), embraced by Carlos Santana and others. Recognitions followed, including New York City's key in 1969, induction into the National Congressional Record in 1992, and the Smithsonian's James Smithson Bicentennial Medal in 1993. Notable awards include the Billboard Latin Music Lifetime Achievement Award (1995) and a dedicated Puerto Rico Senate session. His legacy lives through landmarks, like an amphitheater in Puerto Rico and a post office in Spanish Harlem. He earned a Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music (1995), performed at the Atlanta Summer Olympics' closing, and received the National Medal of Arts (1997). His influence echoed through a Hollywood Walk Of Fame star, International Latin Music Hall of Fame induction, and a Google Doodle tribute (2022) during Hispanic Heritage Month.
Kicking off the celebration on Monday, September 25th will be a 10:00 a.m. reveal of the new Tito Puente Suite at José Miguel Agrelot Coliseum (“El Coliseo de Puerto Rico”). The suite features an artistic mural of Puente outside the entrance entitled “El Rey del Timbal” by artist Celso González, as well as memorabilia and photos of the famous musician inside. Immediately following the reveal will be a VIP opening reception for the adjacent Tito Puente Photo Exhibit being displayed in El Coliseo for two weeks. The photo exhibit includes a curated collection of photographs from the Puente family’s personal album.
Highlighting Tito’s music, there will be a “Tito Puente Latin Jazz Night” on Tuesday evening, September 26th at the Distrito T-Mobile at 8:00 pm, free to the public. The concert will feature Tito Puente Jr., as well as Producer and Musical Director Isidro Infante, alongside special guests, such as top jazz trumpeter Humberto Ramirez, all coming together to pay tribute to the “King of the Timbales.”
Adding more energy to the event lineup, there will be the “Tito Puente Ran Kan Kan Dance Competition” at Distrito T-Mobile on September 28th from 8:30-10:00 p.m. Attendees can participate in some dance lessons from 7:00-8:00 p.m. before they take to the stage. The competition offers a first place prize of $1,000. Up to 50 couples may participate and there is no entry fee. Enter at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Then, the Puerto Rico Philharmonic is lending its support to the celebration with a performance on Sunday, October 8th at 5 p.m. at the Centro de Bellas Artes Luis A. Ferré, featuring Tito Puente Jr. on timbales.
Tito Puente Jr. expressed, “We are delighted we can celebrate the centennial of the legendary Tito Puente in Puerto Rico. This week-long celebration will honor my father’s legacy with music and dance, but also celebrating his iconic stature in pop culture, including special musical presentations thanks to PRCDA and 21 Events. These events are not to be missed!”
“Puerto Rico celebrates and honors the musical legacy of Tito Puente. Music is part of our identity and our musicians and artists like Tito Puente, highlight the Island as an important place of art and culture in the world. Capturing that musical heritage with this week-long recognition in Puerto Rico gives us all true honor and great pride,” stated Mariela Vallines, Executive Director of the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority.
“We are truly honored to be a part of celebrating the remarkable legacy of Tito Puente, a cultural icon whose music and influence have transcended generations. We now embark on a journey to honor his incredible contributions to our music and culture. This week-long series of events will not only pay tribute to his extraordinary talents but also celebrate Puerto Rico's vibrant musical heritage. We are excited to join hands with the PRCDA once again to create unforgettable experiences that showcases Puerto Rico's rich cultural and artistic excellence,” remarked Ralph Paniagua, Managing Director of 21 Events.
Sponsors for the various activities include the Puerto Rico Convention District Authority and the Puerto Rico Tourism Company.
Strategic partners, producers, and media allies for these events include Miranda-Cortese-Sphere, HypeSmack, Talented Art Pro, Zaida Colón Media Planner, Juliana Ortiz, Celso Gonzalez, and Isidro Infante.
Puerto Rico Convention District Authority (PRCDA) is a public corporation created under Law Number 351 of September 2nd of 2000, as amended. Its mission is to develop and operate the Convention District, positioning Puerto Rico as a world-class business, tourism, and entertainment destination. PRCDA's objectives include efficiently managing prominent venues, revitalizing urban areas, promoting job creation and business opportunities, and acting as a facilitator in partnership with the private sector.
About 21 Events, Inc.
21 Events is a corporation based in Puerto Rico, responsible for creating and producing events that celebrate the culture and people of Puerto Rico. Founded by Ralph and Joseph Paniagua, 21 Events utilizes the experience and relationships they’ve developed over the past 37 years in the marketing and activation space.
EPK- CelebrateTitoPuente.com (Available 9/25/23)