TITO PUENTE seemed superhuman to me. He was the founding father of Latin music as we know it, the master of masters. He took all the hits in the beginning. Without Tito, who would have carried it on this long? Who would have helped generations make Latin music their own? He and I came from the same neighborhood in Spanish Harlem, and, knowing that, I felt nothing was impossible. The day I met him, he said I reminded him of his son, and thereafter he treated me as a son, always telling me, "Keep it up. You're on the right track."...

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