- Mario Rey
American salsa band. It was co-founded by American percussionist Manny Oquendo (b 1931) in 1974. The nine-piece ensemble (later renamed Libre), featuring New York-based Latino musicians, preserved the traditional típico sound characterized by an expanded trombone line, trumpet, and bass, but emphasized Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms. The name “Libre” alluded to the improvisational aspect that musical director Oquendo underscored, encouraging his musicians to “freely” develop their musical ideas and explore alternative influences such as American jazz, Afro-Cuban drumming, Puerto Rican plena, and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms. Although the band performed traditional mambo, rumba-...