”What is it like to be the son of the King of Latin music himself, Tito Puente?"
There’s truly no other way to start an interview with Tito Puente Jr. except by just asking the big question everyone wants to know the answer to….”What is it like to be the son of the King of Latin music himself, Tito Puente? “
Tito Jr. knows he is blessed to be the son of such a legend and icon.
Tito Jr. tells us that his father never pushed him to follow in his musical footsteps but with both his mother and father’s wishes to have him join along at performances, he has great memories of traveling with his father and with the constant exposure to the music scene, he learned about the hard work, dedication, discipline, talent, and ins and outs of the business.
Tito Puente jr. and Tina Trevino, Latin Business Today partner and editor in chief
Tito Jr. has taken the reins of Latin music and been able to blend his own quirky unique approach with the authenticity of his father’s music, create his own music too and manage to keep it all relevant and accessible to today’s audiences here in the U.S and all over the world from Nepal to Japan.
Tito Puente Jr.’s father, was born in 1923 in NYC and was a musical prodigy. As he grew up in the Spanish Harlem neighborhood, he was influenced by acts at the Apollo and musicians with plenty of soul like Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, and Count Basie. He then brought his own “cool cat” big band style to Latin music. He would become an important part of the NYC music scene during a legendary period referred to as the Palladium Ballroom Era. This kind of exposure made Latin music more popular. Tito Jr. says his dad’s music was just “so hot, so good, so fresh”—and being able to play that same swinging beat still gets today’s crowds excited and ready to dance.
In Part 1 of this 2 part series, Tito Jr. talks about growing up Puente, music influences, education and work ethic, the proudest moments in his life, balancing his work and family, and keeping the Tito Puente brand relevant.
About the author
Tina Trevino is the Senior Design Director of KBL Group Intl. Ltd. in NYC and manages their large creative design team. Partner and Director Community Relations for Latin Business Today. She shares all of her insight on upcoming fashion trends for the season with her team to start the collaborative design process. The company specializes in sweaters, knits and wovens. It provides product for ladies, men, contemporary, jr, and children. Tina specializes in coordinating directly with large US retailers to design exactly into their targeted customer needs. With many years under her belt in the industry, she has also gained the ability to go beyond the fashion component and help to work through sourcing, fitting, production and merchandising issues as well.