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Timbales, used by Tito Puente

Timbales, used by Tito Puente

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Description (Brief)

This drum set was made by Latin Percussion, Inc. in Garfield, New Jersey, around 1990-1996. This drum set consists of timbales, two cowbells, and stand. It was used by Tito Puente in the closing ceremonies of the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. The timbales were built and customized with the 1996 Olympic logo by Ray Gregales of Latin Percussion, Inc.

Ernesto Antonio "Tito" Puente, Jr. (1923–2000) was an American musician, songwriter and record producer. Born in New York City's Spanish Harlem to Puerto Rican parents, Tito Puente became one of the most important Latino bandleaders, composers, arrangers, and percussionists of his generation. He mastered both Afro-Caribbean music and jazz, contributing to the development of Latin Jazz, mambo, and salsa. In collaboration with other great Latin music and jazz artists, he brought a new Latin sound to American music.

The 1996 Summer Olympic Games were held in Atlanta, Georgia and marked the first time since 1984 that the United States topped the medal count. These Games saw over 10,000 athletes, from 197 countries, competing in 26 sports, including the debuts of beach volleyball, mountain biking, softball and women’s soccer. This was also the first Games in which American women, who had taken full advantage of Title IX legislation, competed and excelled in Olympic competition. The women’s gymnastics, soccer, softball and basketball teams all won gold, propelling the US women athletes into the global spotlight and beginning their dominance in Olympic competition. Atlanta benefitted from the Games as Centennial Olympic Park led to the revitalization of the downtown area and the Olympic Village became residence housing for area universities.
Object Name
drum set
Date made
1990 - 1996
Puente, Tito
Latin Percussion
Place Made
United States: New Jersey, Garfield
Physical Description
steel, chrome-plated (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
overall: 126 cm x 70 cm x 63 cm; 49 5/8 in x 27 9/16 in x 24 13/16 in
small drum (macho): 13 in; 33.02 cm
large drum (hembra): 14 in; 35.56 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Tito Puente
Olympic Summer Games: Atlanta, 1996
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Exhibition Location
National Museum of American History
Data Source
National Museum of American History
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What size timbales did Tito use? The sizes of approximately 50 inches 28 inches 37 inches don't correlate with standard timbale sizes. I would expect the sizes of his timbales to be the shell diameter and depth. ex... 10 12 13 14 15 etc Thank you. Michael
What are the Tito Puente timbales in your collection made of? Are they gold-leafed or gold plated? Please advise.
These timbales shells are made of stainless steel. The background color in the photograph makes the drum shells appear bronze or gold in color.

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