Ernest "Tito" Anthony Puente was the eldest son of Puerto Rican parents. His mother called him "Ernestito" which means "Little Ernest", which was later shortened to "Tito". His mother saw his musical potential and enrolled him in piano classes. Eventually he attended the Juilliard School of Music from 1945-47 on the GI bill...See full bio »
He was the timbalero (timbales player) who began playing the instrument while standing in front of an orchestra. Before Puente, timbales had always been played from a seated postion in the rear of the orchestra.
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