Opening the Retrospective on Thursday, April 20th at 7:30 PM in the Repertory Theater is the film Tito Puente – the King of Latin Music. This documentary includes rare footage of the legendary percussionist which was filmed just prior to his passing in 2000. In the film, “the King” discusses his 50-year career as a bandleader, the rise of Mambo and the development of Latin Jazz through the years. Following the screening, Puente’s longtime friends, Joe Conzo, Sr., author of Mambo Diablo: My Journey with Tito Puente and Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center Vice President and concert producer Robert Sancho, who appear in the film, share their insights and personal stories of “El Rey” on his 94th birthday. Admission is free but tickets are required.
Prior to the Friday evening and Saturday evening concerts, in the Longwood Art Gallery @ Hostos beginning at 6 PM, Conzo presents “The Listening Room,” one hour sessions that will include information and musical anecdotes about the concerts as well as never before heard recordings of Tito Puente from the different periods of his career. Conzo, who has lectured on Puente and Latin music for Hostos Community College’s Continuing Education division for the last four years, has more than 6,000 Puente recordings in his archive. Admission is free.
Opening Concert: Puente for a New Generation
For the opening concert, “Puente for a New Generation” on Friday, April 21, at 7:30 PM in the Main Theater, Bronx native Carlos Henriquez, who performed with Puente as a teenager and is the bassist for, and often leads, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, will premiere a 12-piece ensemble comprised of some of New York’s top young jazz musicians, for a fresh perspective on Puente’s music from 1967 to 2000. This was known as Puente’s “Latin Jazz era,” when the maestro moved away from the 17-piece band and embraced smaller ensembles. “Puente for a New Generation” artists include: Michael Rodríguez, Bruce Harris, Jonathan Powell and Kali Rodríguez, trumpets; Carl Maraghi, Ivan Renta, and Louis Fouche, saxophones; Robert Rodriguez, piano; Marcos López, timbales; Marcos Torres, congas; and Camilo Molina, bongos. Orchestra seating is $30 and Mezzanine seating is $25; $5 for students and under 18.
Lincoln Center Education Family Concert: “Who is the King of Latin Music?”
As part of Lincoln Center Education’s Boro-Linc, Carlos Henríquez leads a slightly smaller ensemble and introduces families to the music of Tito Puente on Saturday, April 22 at 11:30 AM in the Main Theater. Henríquez, who is on the music faculty of Northwestern University, led a similar program to great acclaim with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Rose Theater in 2014. Prior to the concert, children ages 5 to 10, and families, are invited to participate in a multi-disciplinary arts workshop that complements the concert, led by the performance artist Jadele McPherson at 10:30 AM. Admission to both the concert and the workshop are free, but tickets are required. The workshop has a limited capacity.
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