Yomo Toro, 78, a force in New York's Latin music scene since the 1950s and a virtuosic lefthanded player of the cuatro, a mandolinlike Puerto Rican instrument, died in the Bronx on Saturday.
The cause was kidney failure, said his friend Aurora Flores, a writer, publicist, and musician.
On records with Willie Colon, Hector Lavoe, Larry Harlow, and the supergroup known as the Fania All-Stars, Mr. Toro's sound was instantly recognizable.
Mr. Toro was born Victor Guillermo Toro Vega Ramos Rodriguez Acosta in July 1933 in Ensenada, near the southwestern corner of Puerto Rico. His father drove a truck for cane mills and played cuatro in a band with Mr. Toro's uncles.