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Puerto Rican musician Raphy Leavitt dies from post-surgical complications

- 18:54 - 5/08/2015
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    San Juan, Aug 5 (EFE).- Veteran Puerto Rican musician Raphy Leavitt, the founder of the La Selecta salsa band, died Wednesday in a Miami hospital from complications of hip surgery, his representative confirmed to EFE. He was 66.

    Angel Ilarraza said that Leavitt died after undergoing surgery in the area of the artificial hip he had had implanted after a 1972 automobile accident in the United States.

    In an interview with EFE last February, Leavitt recalled that incident, in which Luisito Caisonet, the former trumpet player for La Selecta, died and as a result of which Leavitt composed the song "La cuna blanca," one of the band's most popular numbers.

    Leavitt said that he was sitting beside Maisonet in the car when chauffer Jesus Ruiz lost control of the vehicle while they were driving from Connecticut to New York after giving a performance in Boston.

    Leavitt was in a hospital in Connecticut for six months with a broken hip.

    "La cuna blanca" has since become a very popular song to have played at funerals and it will surely be heard in the coming days during Leavitt's wake and burial.

    It is still not known when Leavitt's remains will be returned to Puerto Rico or when the funeral services will be held.

    One of the last performances by Leavitt and La Selecta in Puerto Rico was on the most recent National Salsa Day - March 15, 2015 - when he and the band took the stage with singer Tony Vega to perform "Cosquillita" and "Sheila Taina."

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