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    Jimmy Sabater

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    Jimmy Sabater feat. Joe Cuba

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    Jimmy Sabater (April 11, 1936 – February 8, 2012) was a Latin musician of Puerto Rican ancestry, who was a three-time winner of the ACE Awards. He was a singer and timbales player, who primarily worked with The Joe Cuba Sextet. His son, Jimmy Sabater Jr., is a trumpeter and bandleader.Sabater was the son of Néstor Sabater and Teresa González of Ponce, Puerto Rico. Born Jaime Sabater in Harlem Hospital, New York City, he grew up in East Harlem, the Spanish Quarter of New York City known as "El Barrio". Like most teenagers in the neighborhood, he played stickball, flew kites, and harmonized the tunes of the popular R&B groups and vocalists of the day such as Nat King Cole.

    He was inspired by percussionists such as Willie Bobo, Uba Nieto, Papi Pagani, Monchito Muñoz, and Willie Rodríguez. With encouragement from many of these same drummers who were from "El Barrio", Sabater practiced playing the timbales, the standing drum kit made famous by the "Rey del Timbal", Tito Puente. It was during a 1951 stickball game between the Devils and the 112th Street Viceroys that Sabater's life would make a historic turn. A young man named Gilberto Calderón of the Devils met Sabater and invited him to a party. The two became fast friends. They had a lot in common. Both wanted to be musicians after being influenced by the music of Machito, Marcelino Guerra, Noro Morales, Tito Puente and Tito Rodríguez.

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