Tito Puente | KNKX

Tito Puente

Photo by Luz Mendoza on Unsplash

For Jazz Appreciation Month, Robin Lloyd focuses on three influential Latin Jazz musicians and composers who shaped their creative talents to lead others in new directions as bandleaders.

Mongo Santamaría plays the conga drums at the Super Jazz Concert at the Apollo Theater in New York, 1988.
William I. Ballinger / AP

Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría Rodríguez is probably the most recognized of the Cuban-born conga drum players associated with American jazz and R&B.  To many, Mongo represented the pinnacle of Afro-Cuban percussion.

Jim Levitt

Bob Mintzer, Grammy-Award winning saxophonist and co-founder of the Yellowjackets, was featured arranger at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend for 2015.  He conducted a special all-star big band at the Saturday matinee concert at the McCurdy Pavilion at Fort Worden State Park.  

The concert was recorded for radio and will be broadcast Sunday, October 12 at 2 p.m. Pacific Standard Time on KPLU’s Jazz Northwest. It will also be streamed live on KPLU.org.