|Tito Puente Jr.|
Tito Puente Jr. will pay tribute to his famous father's Latin music legacy when he brings his high-voltage show to Eastern Illinois University's Doudna Fine Arts Center.
Tito Puente Jr. and His Latin Big Band will perform at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 24, in Dvorak Concert Hall. Tickets are $15 for the general public, $12 for seniors and EIU employees, and $7 for students.
The younger Puente is passionate about not only his own rhythm-filled Latin jazz and mambo music, but also about carrying on the musical legacy left by his late father.
"He was just too vibrant, too exciting," Puente Jr. said. "There was magic in the music my father made. It made people happy, all over the world. My goal is to keep it alive, and in doing so, expose it to a whole new generation."
Puente Jr., who provided a tribute to his father's music in the NBC special "The Apollo at 70: A Hot Night in Harlem," reveres his father's lasting musical contributions.
"People who don't know anything about Latin music know my father and people always, always smile when they say his name," he said. "That is a very special gift, and it inspires and motivates me to bring his music to the world."
His 2004 album, "In My Father’s Shoes," featured classic Puente titles. It led to a BET Jazz television special of the same name.
His new CD, "Got Mambo?" is a mixture of the old and the new. It features several guest artists, including Bobby Cruz and Hansel & Raul.
Puente Jr. was the premiere act opening The Latin Quarter of the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, and the demand for tickets kept him there for 10 weeks. He's played to sell-out audiences at numerous Harrah's Resort Casinos, including those in San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas.
The concert is being presented in partnership with the EIU Latin American Heritage Month Committee.
Tickets may be purchased in person at Doudna Fine Arts Center Box Office, by telephone at 217-581-3110, or online at http://www.doudnatix.com.
The Doudna Fine Arts Center is a division of the EIU College of Arts and Humanities. For more information on the facility and scheduled events, please see http://www.eiu.edu/doudna.