Art Works Blog

Art Works Podcast: Eddie Palmieri

In this week's podcast, we meet  pianist, composer, bandleader, and great raconteur, 2013 NEA Jazz Master, Eddie Palmieri. Palmieri, one of the finest Latin jazz pianists of the past 50 years, is a bandleader of both salsa and Latin jazz orchestras. He grew up during the golden age of Latin music, when musicians like Tito Puente, Tito Rodriguez, and Machito reigned supreme. His own playing and compositions blend the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage, the explosiveness of the Cuban music he heard as a kid in the Bronx, and the melody and complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, and most notably, his brother, the great Charlie Palmieri.

In 1961, Palmieri formed his own band, La Perfecta. Fusing American jazz with Afro-Cuban music, and coupled with a front line of trumpets, La Perfecta created an innovative sound that wowed critics and audiences. In 1975, Palmieri won the first Grammy Award ever given for Best Latin Recording for his album The Sun of Latin Music. In time, he would win nine, including two for his extraordinary recording with Tito Puente, Masterpiece.

Excerpt from "Los Cueros Me Llaman" is composed and performed by Eddie Palmieri and is from the album, Azucar Pa’ Ti. Used courtesy of Fania Records

You can listen to Eddie Palmieri play on January 14th at 7:30 p.m. Just tune in to our live webcast of the 2013 NEA Jazz Masters Awards Ceremony and Concert! The evening will feature performances by past NEA Jazz Masters such as Sheila Jordan, Ron Carter, Paquito D’Rivera, and Randy Weston, and will celebrate this year’s class of honorees: Lorraine Gordon, Mose Allison, Lou Donaldson, and Eddie Palmieri. Click here for more information.



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