Tito Puente has been gone for more than 20 years, yet he is still alive in the hearts of millions of Latinos and Hispanics throughout the world. Google just created a special Doodle and a video to celebrate the musician, composer, bandleader, and record producer.
The late Puerto Rican singer, well-known for his dance-oriented mambo and Latin jazz compositions, including his most well-known tune, “Oye Como Va,” is being recognized by the Google Doodle in honor of Hispanic Heritage Month for his contributions to music. They selected October 11 because, according to Google, “the Tito Puente Monument was unveiled in East Harlem, New York City, on this day in 2021.”
Puerto Rican artist Carlos Aponte, who currently resides in New York, created the animated Google Doodle. Playing one of his favorite instruments, the drums, the artist made care to capture the essence of the “King of Latin music” and “El Rey de Los Timbales.”
“The topic was meaningful because Tito was part of my musical experience growing up in Puerto Rico. My aunt introduced me to Tito Puente via La Lupe, a famous singer in Puerto Rico and New York. Tito was like a Svengali for talents like Celia Cruz. He was a household name. So Tito was part of my Puerto Rican soundtrack,” said Aponte.
The artist said a special member of his family introduced him to Puente’s music. “My first thoughts were with my aunt, who introduced me to his music and Motown’s sound. She would have been delighted and proud, but unfortunately, she passed away last year,” he reveals.
For Aponte, this Doodle is more than an illustration, is art with a lesson. “I feel there are several messages. Love what you do, train, study, and be the best you can be. If you excel, everything else will fall into place. There are no shortcuts. Those who make it easily don’t last long. Tito was a perfect example; he was the best!” the artist concluded.