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Known as one of the finest pianists of the past 50 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, and 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's, 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. Recognizing Palmieri as an American icon, the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History in Washington, DC, recorded two of Palmieri's performances for its archives in 1988. Because of Palmieri's proclivity for creating music in funk Latin style, Little Louie Vega invited him to record on "Nuyorican Soul" (1997), a release that became very popular in the house and underground music scenes.
Venue: Blue Note
131 W 3rd St
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