How do you possibly describe a multiple award-winner who changed the face of music? Who, by the way, just turned 80 in December?! CAREFULLY - yours truly doesn't want to mess this up ;)
To know Eddie Palmieri, know his parents - who moved from Puerto Rico to New York City in 1926. Born in Spanish Harlem and raised in the Bronx, Eddie gravitated to the piano early. At 13, he joined his Uncle's orchestra, playing timbales.
Our guest's pro career blossomed in the 50's - he honed his skills in various bands. In 1961, he formed his OWN: La Perfecta. Very different: he featured a front line of trombones as opposed to the customary Latin-focused trumpets. Bold and creative, Eddie infused his inspirations from American Jazz with Afro-Caribbean rhythms - and audiences took notice.
In 1970, "Harlem River Drive" made the neck hair curl of critics everywhere :) Eddie was perfecting his arrangements and sexy mixed marriage of music: Salsa, Funk, Soul & Jazz. In 1975, he won his first Grammy for Best Latin Recording. This man has TEN, all told.
The Smithsonian recorded two of Mr. Palmieri's performances for its archives in 1988 - and there is MORE appreciation. Eddie has won the Eubie Blake and Harlem Renaissance Awards - a Yale Chubb Fellowship that is usually reserved for heads of state - and a REALLY big honor that some of us treasure. The Library of Congress added "Azucar Pa' Ti" to the National Recording Registry. At 8 1/2 minutes long, it broke the 3 1/2 minute barrier previously imposed by the recording industry! This is why you now hear longer songs on Radio!
Our NEA Jazz Master celebrated 75 years in 2012 with a special documentary. IN it, he featured original music - some of those songs will be included in the NEW "Sabiduria!" Let's celebrate on 2//28/17 :)
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