Percussionist Ray Barretto Faces Second Heart Surgery

Classic Arts News   Percussionist Ray Barretto Faces Second Heart Surgery
Jazz percussionist Ray Barretto underwent open-heart surgery last week and may need additional surgery, Newsday reports.

According to the paper, doctors believe that the 76-year-old may have internal bleeding resulting from the original surgery. He has been feeling chest pain.

Barretto's wife Annette said that the second surgery would be a "minor setback"

"Recovery is expected, prayers are appreciated," she said.

Barretto, a master of the conga drum, performed both with mambo groups and with bebop jazz groups in the 1950s. He recorded with Cannonball Adderley, Kenny Burrell, Dizzy Gillespie, Freddie Hubbard, and Wes Montgomery, other leading players, and is often credited with introducing the conga to mainstream jazz. In 1962, he scored a crossover hit with the song El Watusi.

From the 1960s through the 1980s, he directed the Fania All-Stars, an all-star salsa group. Since 1992, he has led New World Spirit, a jazz group. In September 2005, he was won the National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master Award, the nation's highest honor for jazz musicians.

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