Latin Giant Ray Barretto Dies

Latin jazz percussionist Ray Barretto, known for blending the conga drum into jazz, died February 17th in Hackensack, N.J.

Barretto, 76, had undergone heart bypass surgery in January and suffered from pneumonia, said family spokesman George Rivera. His career included stints with Cannonball Adderley, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Tito Puente.

He won a Grammy for best tropical Latin performance in 1989, was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1990 and was named one of the 2006 National Endowment for the Arts’ Jazz Masters.