Puerto Rico and music lovers around the world are mourning the death of Raphy Leavitt, composer and founder of the salsa orquesta La Selecta.  The iconic musician, who was born on September 17th, 1948 in San Juan, Puerto Rico, passed away on August 5th at his home in Miami, Fla. two days after undergoing hip surgery. He was 66 years old.

"I stay with the memories of a great human being, a father my whole life and a colleague forever," said band member Sammy Marrero in an interview with Wapa. The vocalist also mentioned that Leavitt's family has yet to release details on the funeral arrangement. Most probably, the salsa artist will be laid to rest in his native island. 

Two days before his passing, Leavitt had surgery due to complications triggered by a bacteria detected in May around the hip replacement he had had since a car accident in 1972. The automobile accident that occurred 43 years ago ---when La Selecta was traveling from New York to Connecticut--- caused the death of the chauffer and trumpet player Luisito Maisonet

Leavitt founded La Selecta in 1971, who are responsible for hits such as "Payaso," "Amor & Paz" and "Jibaro Soy." The composer, pianist and arranger is survived by his wife and children.