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Latin Jazz Great Ray Barretto Dies


A leading figure in Latin jazz music, Ray Barretto, has died.

The Grammy-winning percussionist, known as "Hard Hands" for his work on the conga drums, died Friday in the northeastern U.S. state of New Jersey. He was 76. His family did not give a cause of death, but he underwent heart bypass surgery earlier this year.

Barretto was raised in the United States by Puerto Rican immigrants.

In a career that spanned more than four decades, Barretto played with such jazz greats as Dizzy Gillespie and Tito Puente.

He won a Grammy with Cuban salsa singer Celia Cruz in 1990, for a single called Rhythm in the Heart. His latest album, Time Was - Time Is, was nominated for a Grammy this year for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.