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Percussionist Ray Barretto Dies

Percussionist and bandleader Ray Barretto died this morning at the Hackenstack University Medical Center in Hackenstack, N.J. at age 76. He had undergone heart bypass surgery in January and had since suffered from pneumonia.

Barretto is credited with bringing the conga into jazz and was recognized for his work with a 1989 Grammy for the song “Ritmo en el Corazon” with Celia Cruz. He was also inducted into the International Latin Music Hall of Fame the following year and became a 2006 NEA Jazz Master.

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