Listen to Latin
boogaloo classic “Bang Bang,” below.
By Fred Mills
The “velvet voice” of Latin soul and pioneer of mid/late ‘60s
Latin boogaloo craze Jimmy Sabater passed away Wednesday (Feb. 8) at the age of
75 in NYC. According to an NPR report his son Jimmy Sabater Jr. indicated it
was from natural causes. A gifted vocalist and percussionist, Sabater, the son
of Puerto Rican immigrants, grew up in Harlen and, after joining fellow Latin
musician Joe Cuba’s band in the mid-fifties, became a star on the local music
Among Sabater’s hits with the Joe Cuba Sextet: 1962 ballad “To
Be With You” and 1967’s “Bang Bang” – the latter’s hi-nrg R&B/Afro-Cuban blast
becoming a huge hit internationally and a key track for the emerging Latin
boogaloo movement. Sabater late worked as a solo performer as well as with salsa artists such as Ray Barretto, Eddie
Palmieri and Charlie Palmieri.