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Tribute Concert To Ray Barretto Set For October 7
Published September 19, 2006

Orchestras, artists and even Barretto's saxophonist son are gearing up for their tribute to the legend, "the godfather of Latin jazz," who passed away in February at the age of 76.

A pioneer of Latin music and a leading force in Latin jazz for half a century, conguero and Grammy-winning bandleader Ray Barretto passed away in February, leaving a rich musical legacy and the distinction of being the first US-born percussionist to integrate the African-based conga drum into jazz music.

On Saturday, October 7, 2006, at 8pm, Lehman Center for the Performing Arts will honor this great musical innovator with a one-time-only event: “A Tribute to Ray Barretto” featuring the Ray Barretto Orchestra and the Machito Orchestra, led by Mario Grillo.

Latin music greats who played on Barretto’s original recording sessions in the ‘60s and ‘70s will come to Lehman Center to pay tribute to this music icon. Performing with the Ray Barretto Orchestra will be vocalists Adalberto Santiago, Tito Allen, and Ray De La Paz; bassist Andy Gonzalez; timbalero Orestes Vilato; percussionists Giovanni Hidalgo and Johnny “Dandy” Rodriguez, Jr.; and pianist/arrangers Luis Cruz, Gil Lopez, and Oscar Hernandez, the musical director for the evening. Also performing will be Barretto’s son, saxophonist Chris Barretto.

Conga virtuoso Ray Barretto was one of the first Latino artists to record and perform with mainstream jazz musicians. As a master percussionist, he can be heard on over 100 albums, including more than 30 under his own name, in a career spanning five decades.

Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is on the campus of Lehman College at 250 Bedford Park Boulevard West, Bronx, NY 10468. Tickets can be purchased by calling the Lehman Center box office at (718) 960-8833, or through 24-hour online access at