Eddie Palmieri on NPR’s JazzSet; ‘Miles Davis of Latin jazz’ at Macky April 5
Eddie Palmieri has been a force for Latin jazz since the 1950s, when he hosted the legendary mambo shows at New York’s Palladium Ballroom. His groups, including the renowned La Perfecta, revolutionized Latin music in the 1960s and ’70s. His records number more than 30 as a leader, and he’s won nine Grammy Awards. At 76, Palmieri is still a foremost ambassador for the music he loves.
Palmieri was born in New York City, in Spanish Harlem. Music from a variety of cultures—Puerto Rican, Cuban, African-American—was right on his doorstep. His first professional work came playing timbales as a teenager in brother Charlie Palmieri’s band. Eddie says he’s still a drummer at heart, but realized the piano—which he’d studied in this youth—was the instrument for him. Palmieri is a pianist in the grand manner: He plays the whole keyboard, and he’s not shy about throwing an elbow or forearm to get the effect he needs. He also plays some of the most beautiful romantic music you can imagine, as heard on this installment of JazzSet.
—Mark Schramm and Becca Pulliam, National Public Radio