June 15, 2024


Website about Jazz and Blues

Why a legendary pianist says Bach was the first jazz great: Video

Eight-time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri turned 81 last month, but the legendary pianist and salsa pioneer refuses to slow down.

Following last year’s acclaimed album “Sabiduria” (wisdom), he has several projects in the works, including “Harlem River Drive Revisited” (a rerecording of his seminal, socially conscious 1971 album) and “Mi Luz Mayor,” a musical eulogy for his late wife, Iraida. Now living in Hackensack, NJ, the East Harlem-born, Bronx-raised Palmieri tells RAQUEL LANERI how he spends his weekends.

Music is my life. Even on days when I don’t have a rehearsal or recording session, I practice mentally. I’ll just sit down and I’ll start to meditate about … different [chord] extensions or thinking of improvisations I can come up with.

I like to read. I’ll read a little philosophy, and about the great composers. My favorite is Johann Sebastian Bach — he was really the first jazz player, with his inventions and what he did for the keyboard in the 1600s and 1700s. He’s a genius!

I’m a member of the Club Macanudo, at 63rd Street and Madison Avenue. It’s a cigar lounge: You can smoke cigars and enjoy the food and ambience. I have my own locker — my own humidifier for my cigars and all of that. Al Sharpton goes there.

‘Music is my life. Even on days when I don’t have a rehearsal or recording session, I practice mentally.’
I have another favorite place called Uncle Jack’s on 440 Ninth Ave., because they have clams on the half shell. And when I get into the Bronx, I’m in Joe’s Place. It’s on 1841 Westchester Ave., and they have the folkloric Spanish food. There I talk international and domestic problems on the planet with my friends.

For live music, I go to the Blue Note and the Rose Theater, at Jazz [at] Lincoln Center, where [trumpet player] Wynton Marsalis is musical director. I’ve played the Rose Room a few times.

And then I’m always in bed by 8 o’clock or 9 o’clock at night!

When my wife passed away four years ago, I moved to Hackensack with my son Eddie Palmieri II, who’s my manager. I live only a mile away from one of my daughters, so I’m fine. Every day I just thank the Lord that I’m still alive and I can perform!

I study yoga and I take care of my spine. Everything is just taking care of me, so I can have longevity and keep producing music. I teach at Rutgers University and my goal is to bring our Symphonic Orchestra there to Carnegie Hall, because I studied in the Carnegie Hall building when I was 11 years old — my piano teacher had a studio in the top floor. So I want to come back. See, the great composers didn’t know anything about African rhythms, but I do and I’m going to bring [them] to Carnegie Hall.

Related image

Verified by MonsterInsights