Tite Curet Alonso

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About Tite Curet Alonso

One of the premier salsa songwriters of all time, Tite Curet Alonso wrote hundreds upon hundreds of songs, including classic material for some of the greatest salseros of the latter half of the 20th century. Born Catalino Curet Alonso on February 12, 1926, in Guayama, Puerto Rico, he was raised primarily by his grandmother as a result of the divorce of his parents, one of whom, his father, was a musician in the orchestra of Simón Madera. Alonso grew up in Barrio Obrero, an impoverished area within the Santurce district of San Juan. The often harsh realities of life in the barrio shaped his world-view from an early age and would later inform his songwriting, which was particularly celebrated for its social consciousness. Upon completing high school, Alonso studied at the University of Puerto Rico and later found work as a journalist in New York City during the 1960s. While living in New York City, he also found work as a songwriter, initially collaborating with Joe Quijano in 1965. Over the next several decades -- indeed, for the remainder of the century -- Alonso penned songs for the greatest salseros of his time, reportedly over 2,000 songs in total. Among the more notable performers of his songs are Celia Cruz, Willie Colón, Héctor Lavoe, Ismael Miranda, Rubén Blades, Tito Puente, Cheo Feliciano, La Lupe, Bobby Valentín, Willie Rosario, Andy Montañez, and Ray Barretto. Some of the greatest performances of his songs were compiled for release in 2009 on the double-disc compilation Alma de Poeta on the rejuvenated New York salsa label Fania. Alonso died on August 5, 2003, in Baltimore, MD, and was buried in Puerto Rico. ~ Jason Birchmeier

Barrio Hoyo Inglés, Guayama, Puer
Feb 12, 1926

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