Eddie Palmieri and his Salsa Orchestra
Palmieri's professional career as a pianist took off in the early 1950s when he played with various bands: Eddie Forrester's Orchestra, Johnny Segui's band, 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 the Latin performances, surprising critics and fans alike. Palmieri disbanded La Perfecta in 1968, though he would return to the band's music in the 2000s.
In addition to the Grammy Awards, Palmieri has received numerous other honors, including the Eubie Blake Award (1991); the Award for Most Exciting Latin Performance, presented by the BBC in London (2002); Yale University's Chubb Fellowship for Palmieri's work building communities through music (2002); the Harlem Renaissance Award (2005); the Jay McShann Lifetime Achievement Award (2008); along with Palmieri's induction into the Oklahoma Jazz Hall of Fame. In 2009 the Library of Congress added Palmieri's composition "Azucar Pa' Ti" to the National Recording Registry, recognized as the exemplary new Latin sound that he and his eight^piece "La Perfecta" band were playing nightly in New York nightclubs and ballrooms in the early 1960s, and it set trends for years to come. In 2013 Palmieri was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Grammy’s, as well as the honor of NEA Jazz Master. The National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Masters Fellowships are the highest honors that the United States bestows upon jazz musicians.
Palmieri shows no signs of slowing down, in 2012 he created his ,irst original score for the documentary Doin' It in the Park, which explores the cultural in,luence of playground basketball on sports and music. Eddie Palmieri, a restless, yet instinctive artist, embraces the future of his music by unapologetically blazing a distinctive musical path to the delight of fans across the globe. A true powerhouse of brilliance, known for his astute arranging skills and historic compositions, Mr. Palmieri has shown that time is in,inite with respect to his repertoire as he continues to thrill audiences throughout the world with his legendary style.