WHEN: Saturday, May 21, 8 PM
WHERE: SOPAC, 1 SOPAC Way, South Orange (behind the train station)
TICKETS: $45-$59 and are available through SOPACnow.org/Eddie-Palmieri-2022.
Eddie Palmieri, the “Madman of Salsa,” will tickle the ivories with his Latin Jazz band. The 85-year-old ten-time Grammy winner and NEA Jazz Master has been playing the piano and composing electrifying music for over six decades.
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.
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, 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 perfected his arranging skills in the 1970s releasing several impressive recordings. His unconventional style would once again 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 Award for Best Latin Recording for The Sun of Latin Music (he’s won ten Grammy Awards to date), including two for his influential recording with Tito Puente, Obra Maestra/Masterpiece.
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.
In 2013, Eddie Palmieri was awarded the coveted Jazz Master award by the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in addition to a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.
At this time, all SOPAC patrons are required to show proof of vaccination, or a negative Covid-19 test and wear a mask. All current Covid-19 Precautions & Policies can be found at SOPACnow.org/Covid-19.
Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. For more information, visit SOPACnow.org.