The cause of death was a heart attack.
Espino was appointed principal timpanist in 1967 by then-music director Max Rudolf, and remained in the post until his retirement in 2004. He performed in the world premieres of Gen Parchman's Concerto for Timpani and Orchestra and Stephen Gerber's Celebration Suite for Timpani and Orchestra.
He had studied with Roland Kohloff, principal timpanist with the San Francisco Symphony, at the University of California, Berkeley, and then with Saul Goodman, former timpanist with the New York Philharmonic, at the Juilliard School.
Before joining the Cincinnati Orchestra, Espino was principal timpanist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, and also performed with the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and San Francisco Symphony Orchestra.