29 April 1929, Brooklyn, New York City, New York, USA, d. 17 February 2006, Hackensack, New Jersey, USA. Born to Puerto Rican parents, Barretto was raised in East Harlem and the Bronx and was a prominent Latin band leader for many decades. However, he started his professional career as a jazz recording session conga player. To escape the ghetto he joined the army at 17. Influenced by a record of Dizzy Gillespie with conguero Chano Pozo, Barretto started to sit in on jam sessions held at the Orlando, a GI jazz club in Munich, Germany. After military service he returned to Harlem and attended more jam sessions, studied percussion and rediscovered his Latin roots. From then on he retained a foot in both the jazz and Latin camps. Barretto jammed with Charlie Parker, Max Roach, Art Blakey and other jazz giants and recorded with Gillespie, Lou Donaldson, Gene Ammons, Red Garland, Eddie Lockjaw Davis, Cannonball Adderley, Freddie Hubbard, Cal Tjader, Sonny...
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