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Ray Barretto

While Ray Barretto's congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time, he has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. His records often have a more tense, more adventurously eclectic edge than those of most conventional salsa groups, unafraid to use electronics and novel instrumental or structural combinations, driven hard by his rocksteady, endlessly flexible percussion work. This no doubt reflects Barretto's wide range of musical interests and also the fact that he came to Latin music from jazz, rather than the usual vice versa route for Latin-descended musicians. Indeed, he has said that he learned how to play swing-style before he came to master Latin grooves. Puerto Rican by extraction, Barretto took up the congas while stationed in Germany during an Army hitch. He began working with American jazz musicians upon his return to New York, eventually replacing Mongo Santamaria in the Tito Puente band for four years, beginning in the late '50s. Barretto made his debut as a leader for Riverside in 1962 and scored a crossover hit (number 17 on the pop charts) the following year on Tico with "El Watusi" (in tandem with a dance craze of the time). He tried to modernize the charanga sound with injections of brass, covering rock and pop tunes of the time as several Latin artists did then. However, Barretto made his main mark in the '60s as a super session player, playing on albums by Gene Ammons, Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Lou Donaldson, Red Garland, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, Wes Montgomery, Cal Tjader, and several other jazz and pop albums. In moving over to the Fania label in 1967, Barretto began to achieve recognition as one of the leading Latin jazz artists of the day, eventually becoming music director of the Fania All-Stars. In the '70s, he was incorporating rock and funk influences into his music -- with only limited success -- while recording for Atlantic, and in 1981, he made a highly regarded album for CTI La Cuna, with Puente, Joe Farrell, and Charlie Palmieri as guest players. He became music director of the Bravisimo television program and took part in the multi-idiom, all-star, anti-apartheid Sun City recording and video in 1985. In 1992, he unveiled a new Latin jazz sextet, New World Spirit, which made some absorbingly unpredictable albums for Concord Picante. ~ Richard S. Ginell, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

The 70's were the best.
esto es musica
Ray Barretto ♡ salsa
Mi orquesta favorita en mi juventud
dont read this because it actually works. You will
get kissed on the nearest possible friday by the
love of your life. tommorrow will be the best day of
your life. however if you do not post this comment
to at least 3 songs you will die in 2 days. now
youve started reading this so dont stop. this is so
scary put this on at least 5 songs in at least 143
minutes when if done press f6 and your lovers
name will appear on the screen in big letters this is
scary cuz it actually work
Pa' Gozar !
Creci con esta salsa mi gente. ....1970s
Damas y Cabelloros d Ray Barretto
Wow que Mostró
I dance to this artist and music in West Africa..... and NY love it!
summitstreet
weeeepaaaa too!!
Wepaaaaaaaa
cano-144
Esto.si.es.p u r a . s a l s a . . p a . . q u e . g o z e . p a p a
I dedicate this to Tootsi,e ,Lillian,Ton e y Gorilla myself and all those who danced this number @the Round Table back in the day
mtorres_33
Me encanta la salsa de los 60,70,80 naci en la era ekivokada me ubiese encantado vivir esa era viva la salsa
Sergio Andujar/Grac i a s Ray/Manos Dura Para Siempre
oscara50
Romantica
Growing up in NY in the 60's,, and 70's that was my band.
My last name is barre to too from aguadilla Puerto rico
This music lives 4ever, thank u Ray Barretto
Ray growing up I love your music thank you for the memories you were great!
El unlco como el nadie. Susfamosas Manos. Duras
eqrecov.ew
Love the Bio, info. On Pandora, about these great Latin artist and the great comments.
eqrecov.ew
Thank u Ray WOW!!!!!!!!! ! ! ! ! ! ! !
Damas y Caballeros Y ahora las manos duras de Ray Barretto les va a mover los pies! Gracias Dios por esta abilidad...
MY FEET HURT!!!!! :O
Do I care???
NOOOOOOOOOOO O O O .
Gonna boogie ANYway.
¡¡¡ Muchas gracias, Sr. Barreto !!! :-D
(& thank God 4 Aleve....... . . )
God bless our race. I love salsa
PR. For life
El Superman!!!
Para que se salgan De Vieques los Grigos.
.........."E L WATUSI"..... . . . . . . . . & every other piece of music he blessed us with........ . . . w i l l stay in my mind,heart, & soul ( & my FEET!!!) 4EVER!!! :-D :-D :-D :-D =-O =-O =-O :'(B-)!!!!!
I still feel a great level of pride having performed w/ Ray for 10 years seated next to him and learning in the process. I will forever miss you!
My very first Ray Barretto. Tape still have it and still listen to it....
arnold.grata c o s
Barretto's congas will forever talk to those who care to listen .. while.his rhythms will forever leave us dancing....t h a n k you brother...qu e via la music!!!
Lmao I know a DJ named ray Barret, I know that no one cares about that but I just wanted to let everyone know about him he's a pretty sick dj too and I love him to death and back I doubt that any of you guys can say that about any of your friends because I literally died and came back to life you all should check out some of his stuff it's pretty good if I do say so myself but hey who am I to say that besides being the grandson of the biggest techno signing company in the USA;X
Romantic. .... great
RAY BARRETO!!! The whole world DANCES!!! Nuff sed.
My man Ray Barretto, u r the best, luvvvvv u, luvvvvvv my people to death, wepaaaa!!!
This music lives 4ever, wepaaaaaa!!!
Ray Barretto lived for ever
Rayyyyyyyyy! ! ! Da men
Salsa gets my blood boiling, luving it!!
lobomarcox
Ray Barretto Mr. Hard Hands...Inde s t r u c t i b l e ! The best of the best I'm so proud have all he's collection and see my idol in concert....
Ray...R.I.P
Ray Barretto music is awesome, wepaaa...


lastima de esta nueva generacion salsera. De lo que se estan perdiendo. La mejor y mas completa musica universal la salsa monga. Que vivaaaaaaaaa a a a . . . . / / / / / /
gatropman
Ray your legacy of conga playing style will live in future congueros. Viva Songuasa.
nancyweissbe i n
Our music is great and so is our people! You know we are:)
Nice n wonderful duo; Ray Barretto n Adalberto Santiago.
feels good to hear this again...been too long...
Ray Hard-Hands Barretto!!!
WHETHER IT WAS SALSA, LATIN-JAZZ OR STRAIGHT AHEAD JAZZ, MASTER CONGUERO RAY BARRETTO COULD DO IT ALL.
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