Known as one of the finest pianists of the past 60 years, Eddie Palmieri is a bandleader, arranger and composer of salsa and Latin jazz.
His playing skillfully fuses the rhythm of his Puerto Rican heritage with the complexity of his jazz influences: Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, McCoy Tyner as well as his older brother, Charlie Palmieri.
Palmieri’s parents emigrated from Ponce, Puerto Rico to New York City in 1926. Born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Palmieri learned to play the piano at an early age, and at 13, he joined his uncle’s orchestra, playing timbales.
Palmieri’s professional career as a pianist took off with various bands in the early 1950s including Eddie Forrester, Johnny Segui’s, and the popular Tito Rodriguez Orchestra. In 1961, Palmieri formed his own band, La Perfecta, which featured an unconventional front line of trombones rather than the trumpets customary in Latin orchestras. This created an innovative sound that mixed American jazz into Afro-Caribbean rhythms, surprising critics and fans alike. Palmieri disbanded La Perfecta in 1968 to pursue different musical endeavors, though he would return to the band’s music in the 2000s.
Eddie Palmieri’s influence on the world of modern music is often celebrated, but just as often underestimated. In his 81st year, his energy and commitment seem to be increasing, as if to fully emphasize the power of not just the music but also the cross-cultural importance of the process. With no sign of slowing, Mr. Palmieri is the elder of a global culture of musicians, actively teaching young students and leading the way for the next generation. And now Mr. Palmieri brings to the world his first project since his back to back Grammy wins in 2005/2006 - SABIDURÍA. Sabiduría is the Spanish word for WISDOM, and the message is clear from the outset that wisdom is the exalted value that should guide us all. His intent with Sabiduría, as it has been with all of his recordings, is to create art that will be analyzed and understood well beyond his time.