Music database


Ray Barretto

Ray Barretto

born on 29/4/1929 in Brooklyn, NY, United States

died on 18/2/2006 in Hackensack, NJ, United States

Ray Barretto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Ray Barretto (April 29, 1929 – February 17, 2006) was an American Grammy Award-winning Latin jazz percussionist.

Early years

Barretto (his real name,"Barreto", was misspelled on his birth certificate) was born in New York City. His parents moved to New York from Puerto Rico in the early 1920s, looking for a better life. He was raised in Spanish Harlem and at a young age was influenced by his mother's love of music and by the jazz of Duke Ellington and Count Basie.[1][2][3]

In 1946, when Barretto was 17 years old, he joined the Army. While stationed in Germany, he met Belgian vibraphonist Fats Sadi. However, it was when he heard Dizzy Gillespie's "Manteca" with Gil Fuller and Chano Pozo that he realized his calling.[1][2][3]

Barretto plays for Charlie Parker

In 1949, when Barretto returned home from military service, he started to visit clubs and participated in jam sessions, where he perfected his conga playing. On one occasion Charlie Parker heard Barretto play and invited him to play in his band. Later, he was asked to play for José Curbelo and Tito Puente, for whom he played for four years. Barretto developed a unique style of playing the conga and soon he was sought by other jazz band leaders. Latin percussionists started to appear in jazz groups with frequency as a consequence of Barretto's musical influence.[1][2][3]

Success with "El Watusi"

In 1960, Barretto was a house musician for the Prestige, Blue Note, and Riverside labels. He also recorded on Columbia Records with Jazz flautist Herbie Mann. New York had become the center of Latin music in the United States and a musical genre called "pachanga" was the Latin music craze of the time.

In 1961, Barretto recorded his first hit, "El Watusi." He was quite successful with the song and the genre, to the point of being typecast (something that he disliked).[1][2][3]

After recording a number of albums for the United Artists label, Barretto joined the Fania record label in 1967, and his first recording for the new label was the 1968 album Acid, an experiment joining rhythm and blues with Latin music. During this period, Adalberto Santiago was the band's lead vocalist. In 1972 Barretto's Que viva la musica was released. "Cocinando," a track from the album, opened the soundtrack of the Fania All Stars film Our Latin Thing in which Barretto had a role.

In 1973, Barretto recorded the album Indestructible, in which he played "La Familia", a song written by José Curbelo in 1953 and recorded by the sonero Carlos Argentino with the Cuban band Sonora Matancera; Tito Allen joined as new vocalist. After a number of successful albums, and just as his Afro-Cuban band had attained a remarkable following, most of its members left it to form Típica 73, a multinational "salsa" conglomerate. This left Barretto depressed and disappointed with salsa; he then redirected his efforts to jazz, while remaining as musical director of the Fania All Stars. In 1975 he released Barretto, also referred to as the Guarare album, with new vocalists Ruben Blades and Tito Gomez.[1][2][3]

Barretto played the conga in recording sessions for the Rolling Stones and the Bee Gees. In 1975, he was nominated for a Grammy Award for the song "Barretto". From 1976 to 1978, Barretto recorded three records for Atlantic Records, and was nominated for a Grammy for Barretto Live...Tomorrow. In 1979, he recorded La Cuna for CTI records and produced a salsa record for Fania, titled Ricanstruction, which was named 1980 "Best Album" by Latin N.Y. Magazine, with Barretto crowned as Conga Player of the Year.[1][2][3]

Later years

In 1990, Barretto won his first Grammy for the album Ritmo en el Corazón ("Rhythm in the Heart"), which featured the vocals of Celia Cruz.

The Acid album contained the song "A Deeper Shade Of Soul", which was sampled for the 1991 Billboard Hot 100 #21 hit "Deeper Shade of Soul" by Dutch band Urban Dance Squad.[1][2][3]

Also in the 1990s, a Latin agent, Chino Rodríguez, approached Barretto with a concept he also pitched to Larry Harlow. The idea was "The Latin Legends of Fania", and Barretto, Harlow, Yomo Toro, Pete "el Conde" Rodrguez, Junior González, Ismael Miranda, and Adalberto Santiago came together and formed "The Latin Legends of Fania", booked by Chino Rodríguez of Latin Music In 1999, Barretto was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame.[1][2][3]

Barretto lived in New York and was an active musical producer, as well as the leader of a touring band which embarked on tours of the United States, Africa, Europe, Israel and Latin America.[1][2][3]


Barretto died of heart failure and complications of multiple health issues on February 17, 2006 at the Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. His body was flown to Puerto Rico, where Barretto was given formal honors by the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture; his remains were cremated.[1][2][3]


As leader

  • Barretto para bailar (Riverside, 1960)
  • Latino! (Riverside, 1962)
  • Charanga Moderna (Tico, 1962)
  • Moderna de Siempre (Tico, 1963)
  • On Fire Again (Encendido otra vez) (Tico, 1963)
  • The Big Hits Latin Style (Tico, 1963)
  • Guajira y guaguancó (Tico, 1964)
  • Viva Watusi! (United Artists, 1965)
  • Señor 007 (United Artists, 1966)
  • El Ray Criollo (United Artists, 1966)
  • Latino con Soul (United Artists, 1966)
  • Fiesta En El Barrio (United Artists, 1967)
  • Acid (Fania, 1968)
  • Hard Hands (Fania, 1968)
  • Together (Fania, 1969)
  • Head Sounds (Fania, 1969)
  • Barretto Power (Fania, 1970)
  • The Message (Fania, 1971)
  • From the Beginning (Fania, 1971)
  • Que viva la música (Fania, 1972)
  • Indestructible (Fania, 1973)
  • The Other Road (Fania, 1973)
  • Barretto (Fania, 1975)
  • Tomorrow: Barretto Live (Atlantic, 1976)
  • Energy to Burn (Fania, 1977)
  • Eye of the Beholder (Atlantic, 1977)
  • Can You Feel It? (Atlantic, 1978)
  • Gracias (Fania, 1978)
  • La Cuna (CTI, 1979)
  • Rican/Struction (Fania, 1979)
  • Giant Force (Fania, 1980)
  • Rhythm of Life (Fania, 1982)
  • Todo se va poder (Fania, 1984)
  • Aquí se puede (Fania, 1987)
  • Irresistible (Fania, 1989)
  • Handprints (Concord Picante, 1991)
  • Soy Dichoso (Fania, 1992)
  • Live in New York (Messidor, 1992)
  • Salsa Caliente de Nu York (Universe, 2001)
  • Fuerza Gigante: Live in Puerto Rico April 27, 2001 (Universe, 2004)
  • Standards Rican-ditioned (Zoho Music, 2006)

With New World Spirit

  • Ancestral Messages (Concord Picante, 1992)
  • Taboo (Concord Picante, 1994)
  • My Summertime (Owl, 1995)
  • Contact! (Blue Note, 1997)
  • Portraits in Jazz and Clave (RCA, 2000)
  • Trancedance (Circular Moves, 2001)
  • Homage to Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers (Sunnyside, 2003)
  • Hot Hands (Concord Picante, 2003)
  • Time Was - Time Is (O+ Music, 2005)

As sideman

With Gene Ammons

  • Blue Gene (Prestige, 1958)
  • Boss Tenor (Prestige, 1960)
  • Up Tight! (Prestige, 1961)
  • Boss Soul! (Prestige, 1961)
  • Twisting the Jug (Prestige, 1961) with Joe Newman and Jack McDuff
  • Soul Summit Vol. 2 (Prestige, 1961 [1962])
  • Late Hour Special (Prestige, 1961 [1964])
  • Velvet Soul (Prestige, 1961 [1964])
  • Goodbye (Prestige, 1974)

With the Bee Gees

  • Main Course (RSO, 1975)

With Ray Bryant

With Kenny Burrell

With Arnett Cobb

  • Party Time (Prestige, 1959)

With Billy Cobham

  • Spectrum (Atlantic, 1973)

With Celia Cruz

  • Tremendo Trío! (Fania, 1983)
  • Ritmo en el Corazón (Fania, 1989)

With Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis

  • Bacalao (Prestige, 1959) with Shirley Scott
  • Misty (Moodsville, 1960 [1963]) with Shirley Scott
  • Afro-Jaws (Riverside, 1960)
  • Lock, the Fox (RCA Victor, 1966)

With Deodato

  • Prelude (CTI, 1972)

With Art Farmer

  • Listen to Art Farmer and the Orchestra (Mercury, 1962)

With Jimmy Forrest

  • Most Much! (Prestige, 1961)
  • Soul Street (New Jazz, 1962)

With the Red Garland Trio

  • Manteca (Prestige, 1958)

With Dizzy Gillespie

  • Carnegie Hall Concert (Verve, 1961)

With Al Grey

  • The Al Grey - Billy Mitchell Sextet (Argo, 1961) with Billy Mitchell

With Slide Hampton

  • Jazz with a Twist (Atlantic, 1962)

With Eddie Harris

  • Mean Greens (Atlantic, 1966)
  • The Electrifying Eddie Harris (Atlantic, 1967)

With Willis Jackson

  • Thunderbird (Prestige, 1962)

With Clifford Jordan

  • Soul Fountain (Vortex, 1966 [1970])

With Yusef Lateef

  • Yusef Lateef's Detroit (Atlantic, 1969)
  • In a Temple Garden (CTI, 1979)

With Johnny Lytle

With Junior Mance

  • I Believe to My Soul (Atlantic, 1968)

With Herbie Mann

  • Flute, Brass, Vibes and Percussion (Verve, 1959)
  • The Common Ground (Atlantic, 1960)
  • The Family of Mann (Atlantic, 1961)
  • Herbie Mann Returns to the Village Gate (Atlantic, 1961 [1963])
  • Our Mann Flute (Atlantic, 1966)
  • The Herbie Mann String Album (Atlantic, 1967)
  • Glory of Love (A&M/CTI, 1967)
  • Discothèque (Atlantic, 1975)
  • Waterbed (Atlantic, 1975)

With Jack McDuff

  • Somethin' Slick! (Prestige, 1963)'

With Wes Montgomery

  • SO Much Guitar! (Riverside, 1961)

With Oliver Nelson

  • Impressions of Phaedra (United Artists, 1962)

With Dave Pike

  • Limbo Carnival (New Jazz, 1962)

With Michel Sardaby

  • Michel Sardaby in New York (Sound Hills, 2002)

With Johnny "Hammond" Smith

  • Talk That Talk (New Jazz, 1960)
  • Open House! (Riverside, 1963)

With Sonny Stitt

  • Stitt Meets Brother Jack (Prestige, 1962) with Jack McDuff
  • The Matadors Meet the Bull (Roulette, 1965)

With Julius Watkins

  • French Horns for My Lady (Philips, 1962)

With Weather Report

  • Mysterious Traveller (Columbia, 1974)

With Frank Wess

  • Southern Comfort (Prestige, 1962)

With Charles Williams

  • Stickball (Mainstream, 1972)

See also

  • List of Puerto Ricans


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Guzman, Pablo (2006-02-21). "Ray Barretto, 1929–2006". Village Voice. Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Drummerworld: Ray Barretto". Retrieved 2017-05-12. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Ray Barretto discography at MusicBrainz
  • "Grammy-winning Latin-jazz drummer Ray Barretto dies at 76", Houston Chronicle, 17 February 2006

External links

This page was last modified 28.02.2018 19:33:47

This article uses material from the article Ray Barretto from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.