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.
His unconventional style would prove to surprise critics and fans with the 1970 release entitled Harlem River Drive. This recording was the first to merge what were categorized as “Black” and “Latin” music into a free-form sound that encompassed elements of salsa, funk, soul and jazz. In 1975, Palmieri won the first-ever GRAMMY for Best Latin Recording for The Sun of Latin Music (he’s won ten GRAMMY awards altogether to date, including two for his influential recording with Tito Puente, Obra Maestra/Masterpiece). In addition to the GRAMMYs, Palmieri has received numerous honors: Eubie Blake Award (1991); Most Exciting Latin Performance, presented by the BBC in London (2002); Yale University’s Chubb Fellowship, usually reserved for international heads of state, but given to Palmieri in recognition of his work building communities through music (2002); Harlem Renaissance Award (2005); Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame (2008)