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  • Broadcast in Women
Lorna Owens

Lorna Owens


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Eddie Palmieri Grammy Award-winning Puerto Rican pianist Eddie Palmieri is known for his charismatic power and bold innovative drive. Nicknamed "the sun of latin music," he has played a key role in Latin music's Afro-Caribbean jazz movement and in drum-based improvisational salsa music. Palmieri’s musical career spans over 50 years as a bandleader of latin salsa and jazz orchestras. Born in Spanish Harlem, Eddie Palmieri began piano studies at an early age, and at age 11, Palmieri auditioned at Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall. He began his professional career as a pianist in the early 1950s with Eddie Forrester’s Orchestra and also played with various bands such as the Tito Rodriguez Orchestra before forming his own band. In 1961, Palmieri formed the legendary band, La Perfecta, which distinguished itself by featuring a trombone section and a flute in place of trumpets, demonstrating his unconventional style of orchestration. The band reigned supreme until 1968, and became known as one of the most influential and imitated bands in Latin music history. With a discography that includes 36 titles, Palmieri has been awarded nine Grammy Awards. He received a Latin Grammy and a traditional Grammy for his release with Tito Puente entitled Obra Maestra/Masterpiece, Listen Here! in 2006, and Simpatico in 2007 for Best Latin Jazz Recording, which was a collaborative effort with trumpet master Brian Lynch. The Smithsonian Institute recorded two of Palmieri’s performances for its catalog of the National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., a rare public honor. His numerous awards include the Eubie Blake Award by Dr. Billy Taylor, the Alice Tully African Heritage Award, the Harlem Renaissance Award, and the Lifetime Achievement Award from Urban Latino magazine. In 2005, his 50 years in the music world.

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