In the heyday of the Latin big-band era, the undisputed titans—known as "The Big Three"—provided some of the most inspiring sounds ever heard this side of Havana. Machito, Tito Rodríguez and Tito Puente made their mark by forging new musical territory. For many, the most entertaining band was Puente's. As musical eras came and went, Puente stayed at the top of his game until his passing in 2000. His collaborations with many vocalists over the years proved he could maintain his signature sound and charismatic personality while providing expert accompaniment to some of the great female Latin vocalists of the day, from Celia Cruz to La Lupe.
On Many Moods, Dominican vocalist Yolanda Duke, who sang with Puente during the mid to late 1990s, joins many members of the legend's powerhouse big-band. Together they craft a mix of classic jazz standards—e.g., "What Is This Thing Called Love?," "Misty"—done Latin, along with lesser known but equally appealing tunes by Cuban and Puerto Rican composers. Those under-recognized gems include the standout track, "La Peleona" by Marcelino Guerra, which features guest vocalist José Alberto "El Canario."
The expert arranging by José Madera, Ray Santos, Gilbert López and others reminds us why Latin big-band music is so infectious. Although the majority of the album features English lyrics on standards by Cole Porter, the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart and Harold Arlen, it is the trio of Spanish tracks that seem the most on point for Duke's style and delivery.
Yolanda duke accompanied by The Tito Puente Orchestra have performed nationally in over seventy-five cities & internationally in more than 35 countries for Festivals, Weddings, Corporate Events, Universities, & Night Clubs. They have performed many times for venues such as the House of Blues, festivals like the North Sea Jazz, Marciac Jazz, JVC Jazz Roma, JVC Jazz Torino, Newport JVC Jazz, Lugano Jazz, Paleo jazz, Umbria Jazz and corporations such as BET, but have also covered complete private events like the Aretha Franklin's birthday bash and the Valentino 40th Anniversary Galai including the Ceremony, Cocktail Hour, Dinner, & Dancing portion.
The Band's size and instrumentation can be modified to perfectly match your entertainment needs, making Yolanda Duke and The Tito Puente Orchestra the ideal band for any event!
Some of the comments received:
"She was the central source of energy fueling the craze that took the Belvoir Theater by storm!"
"WHAT A SINGER... WHAT A BAND! WHAT A CONCERT."
"The audience was responding to Yolanda with a flock of hands. Dancing, participating..."
Yolanda Duke (Lead Vocals)