Musician Fito Olivares dies at the age of 75

Fito Olivares performs at the Cinco de Mayo celebration in Rosedale Park, San Antono, Texas, May 5, 2002. Saxophonist Fito Olivares, known for his wedding and quinceanera party songs such as the hit “Juana la Cubana,” has deceased. (Edward A. Ornelas/AP)

HOUSTON (AP) — Saxophonist Fito Olivares, known for his wedding songs and quinceañeras such as the hit “Juana la cubana,” died Friday. He was 75 years old.

The musician died in the morning at his home in Houston, said his wife, Griselda Olivares. Last year he was diagnosed with cancer.

Born Rodolfo Olivares in the Mexican state of Tamaulipas on April 19, 1947, Fito Olivares began playing professionally in his teens. In 1980, he and his brothers formed Olivares y su Grupo La Pura Sabrosura and moved to Houston.

Other songs for which he is known are “Agüita de melon”, “El chicle” and “El cholesterol”. In addition to playing the saxophone, he also played the accordion, wrote songs and occasionally sang, his wife said.

Griselda Olivares commented that the family was receiving a lot of support from their supporters on social networks. “They were playing (Olivares’) music all over the world,” she said.

Among those who posted tributes was Ed Gonzalez, the sheriff of Harris County, where Houston is located.

“Rest in peace a legend we all grew up with, Fito Olivares,” Gonzalez tweeted. “Thanks for the music”.

This article was first published in the Los Angeles Times in Spanish.