Tito Puente, The Biggest Name In Salsa, Hated Calling It That Saying The Term “Salsa” Is For Spaghetti

El Rey de Latin Jazz, Tito Puente, will be honored this year in a three-day-tribute kicking off on his birthday. You wish you could have a three-day birthday celebration. Shoot, Abraham Lincoln only gets one day.

Tito Puente will be honored this year in the Bronx with a three-day retrospective on his 50-year career.

Credit: Platinum Music Group / Youtube

The tribute will be part conference, part musical festival and part panel discussion on the life, and illustrious 50-year career, of the man who notoriously hated the word “salsa” to describe his music, saying salsa is what you put on spaghetti.

In the book “Tito Puente and the Making of Latin Music” by Steven Loza, there’s a large discussion of what to call his music. On the term “salsa” Puente said:

“…Yes, what does it mean? There’s no salsa music. They just put that word to the music that we were all doing all the time, the mambo, the cha-cha, the merengue: they called it “salsa.” Salsa is a condiment of food. You eat salsa. You don’t listen to it. You don’t dance to it, you know? It became a popular word and all American people… “Tito could you play me a salsa?” …Now I’ve joined them. I’m not going to fight it anymore, you know? the mambo, call it whatever you want! … Salsa is actually the condiment that you put on food. Salsa tomate, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce. The Mexicans have been using the word salsa for centuries.”

Immortalized in film, tv and most importantly as a character on “The Simpsons,” Puente made a huge mark in music and pop culture.

Drums GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Credit: JPeterBane / Reddit / Giphy / The Simpsons / Fox

There’s nothing like seeing your heroes portrayed on your favorite cartoon. Also, he released over 100 albums and won several Grammys awards, among other awards and accolades, no big deal.

When I arrived in L.A. as a tourist in my senior year of college, I did the walk of fame and took a photo with only ONE star.

Credit: Andrew Santiago

Besides the fact that there are only some, but not many Puerto Rican stars on the walk of fame (side-eye), my heart swelled seeing his name among the most famous people in all the world.

Puente is a source of pride for Puerto Ricans and Latinos everywhere, even Oscar the Grouch was feeling him. And he hated everyone.

Credit: Sesame Street / Youtube

Once you get to Sesame Street, you live in our hearts forever.

You can check the retrospective starting April 21st at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in the Bronx.

[H/T] Three-Day Tribute to Tito Puente to Kick Off on El Rey’s Birthday

READ: Shocked That Not Everyone In Puerto Rico Looks Like J.Lo, She Created An Account To Open Everyone Else’s Eyes

Recommend this story to a friend by clicking on the share button below.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Things That Matter

UPS Delivery Man Is Fired After Video Surfaces of His Anti-Latino Racist Rant

Photo courtesy Forward Latino

An unnamed UPS delivery driver has been fired after being caught using racist language when delivering a package to a Latino household. The incident occurred on December 17th.

The video, which was caught on a doorbell camera’s security footage, shows a white UPS driver appearing to be angry when delivering a package.

“Now you don’t get f—–g nothing…You can’t read and write and speak the f—–g English language,” he says while writing a “failed to deliver” notice and pasting it on the house’s front door.

The Aviles family says that the footage shows that the UPS worker never even attempted to deliver the package in the first place. He never rang the doorbell or knocked on the door. Based on that, the family has come to the conclusion that the driver intentionally withheld the package from the family out of prejudice and spite

They believe that the only way the driver could’ve known that the family was Latino was by making assumptions based off the name on the package.

“The only information this driver had that could serve as a trigger for this deep-seated hate was the name on the package,” said Forward Latino President Darryl Morin at a press conference addressing the incident.

“So what we have here is a very intentional act to ruin Christmas for somebody, for someone to spew this hateful rhetoric, and quite honestly to deceive their employer,” Morin continued.

Per UPS, the employee has now been fired. “There is no place in any community for racism, bigotry or hate. This is very serious and we promptly took action, terminating the driver’s employment. UPS is wholeheartedly committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” UPS said in a statement. They also said they contacted the family to apologize.

But the Aviles family is still rattled that such bigoted people are out and about, letting their petty prejudices effect other people’s lives.

“The package was a Christmas gift that we eventually received after Christmas Day, but what if it happened to have time-sensitive content like an epipen or a book I needed to take a final,” said Shirley Aviles, the mother of the man who lives at the address, told NBC News. “I don’t get it. It’s just sad.”

Aviles seemed disturbed about what this incident says about human nature. “This is about the things people do when they think no one is watching them. That’s important because that’s when you see people’s true colors and that’s what’s scary,”

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America


Here Are Some Christmas Traditions From Around Latin America

Henry Sadura / Getty Images

Christmas is a special time of year. Families have their traditions to mark the festive year and some of those traditions are rooted in culture. Here are some of the ways various countries in Latin America celebrate Christmas.

El Pase Del Niño Viajero – Ecuador

El Pase del Niño Viajero is a pageant that happens in Ecuador that lasts weeks. The parade is meant to represent the journey of Mary and Joseph. The parade highlights the religious importance of Christmas in Ecuador and is most common in the Andean region of the country.

The biggest and most important parade is in Cuenca, a deeply religious city. Citizens near the city have all day to see the parade as it starts in the early morning and runs through the late afternoon. This gives people a lot of time to make it to the city to witness the parade.

La Gritería – Nicaragua

La Gritería comes after La Purisma. La Purisma is celebrated at the end of November and is meant to celebrate the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary. La Gritería is celebrated in early December and involves literal yelling. Someone would shout “Que causa tanta alegria?” (“What causes so much happiness?”) People respond “La Concepción de María.” (“Mary’s Conception.”)

Las Posadas – Mexico

Mexican posadas are the most recognizable. Posadas take place in Mexico from Dec. 16-24, though this year they are most likely to be virtual. The posada begins with a procession in the neighborhood filled with people singing and sometimes led by two people dressed as Mary and Joseph.

Another part is the posada party. Before guests can enter, there is a song exchange with the people outside playing Joseph looking for shelter. The hosts sing the side of the innkeeper saying there is no room. Eventually, the guests are welcomed into the home to celebrate Christmas.

Aguinaldos – Colombia

Aguinaldos are a series of games played by people in Colombia leading up to Christmas. There are certain games that are common among people in Colombia. One is pajita en boca, which requires holding a straw in your mouth the entire time of a social event. Another is dar y no recibir, which is about getting people to take something you are giving to score a point.

El Quema Del Diablo – Guatemala

El quema del diablo is celebrated in early December and is a way of letting go of the previous year. People burn piñatas and effigies of the devil to let go of all negative feelings and moments from the previous year. If there was every to try a new tradition, this would be the year. Burn an effigy and banish 2020 to the past, where it belongs.

READ: These Seriously Sad Christmas Presents Were Worse Than Actual Coal

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com