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Ray Barretto

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From AP:

LATIN JAZZ PERCUSSIONIST RAY BARRETTO MAY FACE FURTHER SURGERY

RIDGEWOOD, N.J. (AP) _ Grammy-winning Latin jazz percussionist Ray Barretto, who had open-heart surgery last week, may face another operation after complaining of chest pains, a family spokesman said Monday.

Doctors suspect the pain may be caused by internal bleeding from an artery that was operated on, said the spokesman, Fidel Estrada, contacted in Puerto Rico.

Barretto, 76, was at Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, Estrada said.

The drummer's wife, Annette, said the prospect of further surgery was a "minor setback," according to a statement released by the hospital. It said Barretto is in stable condition.

"Recovery is expected, prayers are appreciated," his wife said.

The Brooklyn-born Barretto, who is known for integrating the conga drum into jazz, won a Grammy award for best Tropical Latin performance in 1989 for the song "Ritmo en el Corazon" with Celia Cruz. He was nominated last year for the album "Time Was - Time Is."

Earlier this month, Barretto attended a special concert at a New York hotel during which he was honored as one of the National Endowment for the Arts' Jazz Masters of 2006, the nation's highest jazz honor.

Barretto grew up listening to the music of Puerto Rico and to the jazz of Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. He credits Dizzy Gillespie's recording of "Manteca" featuring congo drummer Chano Pozo with influencing him to become a professional musician.

After playing in Tito Puente's band in the late '50s, he became a much in demand percussionist on the New York music scene, recording with such jazz artists as Cannonball Adderley, Freddie Hubbard, Cal Tjader and Dizzy Gillespie for leading jazz labels.

As a bandleader, he had a Billboard Top-20s hit in 1963 with "El Watusi." And his 1979 album for Fania, "Ricanstruction" is considered one of the classic salsa recordings. He was inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame in 1999.

Get well soon, Ray!

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Best wishes to Ray for a full and speedy recovery.

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Yes, best wishes!

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Que Viva la Musica!

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All the best Ray.

I saw him live on a double bill. He was playing the Blue Note with Horace Silver. He was great.

Get well soon.

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Saw him once in LA with Kenny Burrell. He was excellent ! Best wishes to get well soon.

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Ray Barretto will be missed. Such a strong all around player ...front man or sideman He always came to give .... Ritmo Sabroso

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:D Brilliant percussionist, just love it when he drives on Wild Rice, with Eddie LockjawDavis.

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