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Born in New York City to Puerto Rican parents, Carlos "Carlito" Soto was raised in Newark, New Jersey where he began his lifelong relationship with percussion. Influences such as Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez and Mongo Santamaria contributed to his own brand of fast hands and aggressive playing. Percussionist Ralph Irizarry recommended Carlito to Ray Barretto where he performed with groups like Típica 73 and Eddie Palmieri. Some of his most notable recordings (including some Grammy award winners) are with Celia Cruz, Ray Barretto, Reynoldo Jorge, Adalberto Santiago, Willie Rosario, Cindy Lauper, Luis "Perico" Ortiz, Santiago Cerón, Juan Luis Guerra, and Barry Manilow. Carlito worked in Marc Anthony’s band and continues to travel worldwide as musical director for the legendary Willie Colon. Carlito has appeared on The Cosby Show and Good Day NY and recently worked on the film "El Cantante," a music-based movie of Puerto Rican singer Hector Lavoe directed by Leon Ichaso (“Bitter Sugar,” “Pinero”). An established percussionist and passionate performer, Carlito also provides musical entertainment and event management for businesses, corporations and law enforcement agencies. He is a savvy veteran of the music business, a respected artist, and delivers the highest professionalism in the business and craft of music. Carlito’s profound passion and genuine love for music are evident in his electrifying performances and have paved the way for him as mentor and role model to many of the now top percussionists.
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