Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente

Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente
Book Signing with Author, Joe Conzo
February 14, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

El Barrio/East Harlem – Harbor Conservatory and the Raices Latin Music Museum are pleased to host a book signing on February 14th a 7:00 pm celebrating the historic release of “Mambo Diablo My Journey with Tito Puente, written by Joe Conzo with David A. Perez.  The event will be held at the Harbor, the “Home of Latin Music” located at One East 104th Street and Fifth Avenue in Fifth Avenue, Third Floor Theater.  Here’s an opportunity to purchase this in depth look at the genius of East Harlem’s most famous son—Tito Puente, and have it signed by the man who knew the King best—Joe Conzo.

Adding to the excitement, will be the performance of several noted Puente tunes presented by the Harbor Latin Big Band under the direction of Louis Bauzo, one time member of the Tito Puente Orchestra.  In recognition of the Harbor Conservatory’s commitment to maintain Tito’s legacy through its Tito Puente Scholarship Fund, Latin Percussion will present the school with a set of Tito Puente signature timbales.

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  For additional information please contact Joe Conzo at 845/313-3621

Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts, a division of Boys & Girls Harbor is proud of its long-term history of celebrating the rich musical legacy of the Caribbean through individual and group instruction, special ensembles, public performances, master classes, and faculty and guest artist recitals. The goal of the Conservatory’s Latin Music Program is to foster the development of individuals to become well rounded, technically proficient, literate and creative musicians with an excellent understanding of basic Afro-Caribbean folkloric and popular rhythms and musical styles, and knowledge of the music’s history and seminal artists.  To learn more please visit us at For more information regarding Harbor Conservatory and its music, dance and theater programs, please call (212) 427-2244 ext. 573 or visit us on line at

The Raíces Latin Music Museum is dedicated to the musical, cultural, and historical preservation of Latin music, particularly the branch that evolved in New York City and is commonly referred to as salsa.  Born in 1979 out of Ramon Rodriguez and Louis Bauzo’s efforts to prevent valuable items from being discarded, Raíces now holds the country’s largest and most diverse collection of materials documenting the evolution and impact of the genre.  In recognition of its rarity and importance as a national artistic resource, and of its value to several areas of humanities research, The Raíces Latin Music Museum has been designated an Official Project of Save America’s Treasures and an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution.

Located in East Harlem, a primary birthplace of the music, The Raíces Music Museum established at Boy & Girls Harbor, serves as the foundation of public programming initiatives, which include exhibitions, historically re-created concerts, and lecture-demonstrations with living legends in the field.  It also serves as a primary resource for the Harbor Conservatory’s Latin Music program, considered the world’s foremost school for the study of Afro-Caribbean Latin music.

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