His family came from Puerto Rico but Jimmy grew up in East Harlem where he was exposed to lots of different styles of music. In 1962 he joined Joe Cuba?s group as a vocalist and sang on their massive 1966 hit ?Bang Bang?, a song which heralded the arrival of the Bugalu. In the late 60s Jimmy?s albums were mixing Salsa, soul, Bugalu, funk and Jazz, even African music, as can be heard on ?Yroco? available on Soul Jazz Records? Barrio Nuevo compilation.