Mambo Diablo - My Journey with Tito Puente
(Published: December 22, 2010)
MAMBO DIABLO - MY JOURNEY WITH TITO PUENTE
By Joe Conzo with David A. Perez
Forward by noted journalist and author Pete Hamill
New York, NY -- Joe Conzo and David A. Perez luminously recreate the life of widely acclaimed Afro-Cuban and jazz musician Tito Puente in the biography "Mambo Diablo - My Journey with Tito Puente." The authors chronicle the life of the popular and combative New York Puerto Rican multi talented musician and entertainer who climbed from his poor environment in East Harlem (El Barrio), New York to international fame and recognition.
Countless stories have been written about Tito Puente's percussive musical abilities, but rarely has the talent, intuition, mishaps and controversies been presented in a vivid and personal biography. Joe Conzo was Tito's close friend, confidant and chronicler for nearly 40 years - no one was closer to Tito or knew him better, not even his family. Joe tells the story of a man and his music the way it has never been told. David A. Perez sets down Joe's personal recollections and fits them into the context of the social milieu and revolving world.
Joe Conzo was Tito Puente's publicist, confidant and archivist for close to 40 years. He maintains perhaps one of the largest recorded and non-recorded music collections that include works of Tito Puente and many others. From 1980 - 2002, he was the Chairman for the Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, producing numerous fundraising concerts and dances featuring such artists as Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Charlie and Eddie Palmieri, Art Blakely, Max Roach and others. He is a much in demand lecturer on the History of Latin Music and is considered the foremost expert on the life and music of Tito Puente, having spoken at Yale University, SUNY at Buffalo, New School for Social Research, among other institutions of Higher Learning. He served as a consultant on such projects as the Latin Tinge on WNET, with Beverly Sills, the naming of a US postage stamp honoring Tito Puente and served as compilation producer and writer of liner notes for countless recordings and CDs. He is currently the Director of the Tito Puente Legacy Project at Hostos Community College.
DAVID A. PEREZ - is a former political and sports writer of the San Juan STAR in Puerto Rico. He also worked as a journalist in Washington, DC. David is a retired lottery industry executive. He is a published author and is an historical researcher of Cuban charanga music (violins, flutes and rhythm) and the "habanera" the foundation of Cuban danzón, ragtime, Argentine tango, Puerto Rican danza and other South, Central American and Caribbean music. He has an extensive collection of music - Afro-Cuban, jazz, theater and classical. He plays the flute (including the wooden unadorned six-hole, five key flute used by authentic charanga orchestras).
Mambo Diablo - My Journey with Tito Puente is now available at Borders, Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.com.