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Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso: A Man & His Music

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Latin music rejoices with the return of Tite Curet Alonso's music back on the airwaves after 14-year absence by Aurora Flores It was in Old San Juan’s “Bombonera” restaurant in 1977 when I spotted the traditional straw hat and signature daisheke on the man sitting at the counter. Catalino “Tite” Curet Alonso was holding a note pad and tape recorder when I sat beside him. He was reserved, diffident and guarded, until we began talking about Ismael "Maelo" Rivera’s, “Esto Si Es Lo Mio” that I was reviewing for Billboard Magazine. That’s when a glint appeared in his eyes, a smile crossed his face, and we bonded for that moment around talk of ‘Maelo, plena, bomba, poverty, race, politics, religion y música! Curet defined a revolutionary period in Latin music. His compositions brought out the best in the interpreter. Masterworks included Hector LaVoe’s “Periodico de Ayer” or “Juanito Alimaña,” Cheo Feliciano’s “Anacaona,” Pete El Conde’s “La Abolición,” Andy Montañez’ “El