Ralph Mercado, a promoter who took his passion for Latin music and built an empire around it, not only staging concerts but creating a recording and publishing label, a film and video company, and nightclubs and restaurants, died on Tuesday in Hackensack, N.J. He was 67.
The cause was cancer, said Blanca Lasalle, a spokeswoman, who gave no other details.
Mr. Mercado managed stars like Tito Puente and Celia Cruz, and discovered and helped shape the careers of others like Marc Anthony and La India. He organized concerts of salsa music — that lively hybrid of Cuban rhythms, big bands and American harmonies — in large halls like Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl.
For more of his obituary go to: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/12/arts/music/12mercado.html