“Cuban Louis Armstrong” was a Latin jazz and salsa pioneer whose talent was matched by his zest for life
Trumpeter Alfredo “Chocolate” Armenteros, often called the “Cuban Louis Armstrong,” died Wednesday (Jan. 6) at age 87.
Armenteros began his long career performing in his native Cuba with the great Arsenio Rodríguez and forming a band with Cuban music icon Benny Moré, his cousin. He joined Machito’s orchestra at the height of New York’s Latin dance music scene, and laid the groundwork for the salsa sound in East Harlem, where he lived since 1957.
“I want to be remembered as the trumpet player who played the longest and who had the best time doing it,” Armenteros told a writer for Colombia’s El Tiempo in a 2008 interview.