Guayama, Puerto Rico

Tite Curet Alonso (February 26, 1926 - August 5, 2003) was a renowned composer of over 2,000 salsa songs. Born Catalino Curet Alonso in the southern town of Guayama in Puerto Rico. Alonso's mother was a seamtress and his father a Spanish teacher and musician in the band of Simon Madera. He was two years old in 1928 when his parents divorced and he, his mother and sister moved to Barrio Obrero in Santurce with his grandmother. Barrio Obrero is a poor section of Santurce which is part of San Juan. Living in Barrio Obrero and his experiences there greatly influenced his music. He was raised by his grandmother and he received his primary and secondary education. In 1941 when he was 15 years old, he wrote his first song. Among his childhood friends were Rafael Cortijo, Ismael Rivera and Daniel Santos.