Latino music legend and nine-time Grammy winner Eddie Palmieri performing "Oyelo Que Te Conviene."
Eddie Palmieri was born on December 15, 1936, his parents had migrated to New York from Ponce, Puerto Rico, in 1926, and settled down in the South Bronx, a largely Hispanic neighborhood. Both he and his older brother, the late Charlie Palmieri, were born in New York. When he was only 8 years old, he would musically accompany Charlie and together they entered and participated in many talent contests.
Palmieri continued his education in the city's public school system where he was constantly exposed to music, specifically jazz. He took piano lessons and performed at Carnegie Hall when he was 11 years old. His main influences were Thelonious Monk and McCoy Tyner. He was inspired by his older brother and was determined to someday form his own band - something he achieved in 1950, when he was just 14. During the 1950s, Palmieri played in various bands, including Tito Rodríguez's.
In 1961, Palmieri formed the band Conjunto La Perfecta, featuring legendary singer Ismael Quintana. Apart from the big bands, at the beginning of the decade the Charanga was the Latin dance craze. Essential to the Charanga style is the Cuban (really French) five key wooden flute and at least two violins. But Palmieri decided to replace the violins with two trombones for a heavier sound.
Two key elements to the 'Palmieri' sound were trombonists Barry Rogers (who was very influential to the fourth chords sound that Eddie is known for) and Brazilian born, Jose Rodriguez. Together they were responsible for many of the 'head' arrangements, mambos and monas that the band recorded. George Castro(flute), Manny Oquendo(bongo), Tommy Lopez(conga) and Andy Gonzalez / Dave Perez (bass) rounded out the group. To this day, the group is known as one of the swingingest, danceable, innovative and influential groups of that period.
Eddie Palmieri continues to be actively involved with music. He formed a new band, La Perfecta II, with whom he recorded the CD Ritmo Caliente (Hot Rhythm). On April 30, 2005, "Mi Día Bonito", a tribute to Eddie Palmieri celebrating his 50 years in the world of music, took place at the Rubén Rodríguez Coliseum in Bayamón, Puerto Rico. The event included the participation of Lalo Rodriguez, Ismael Quintana, Cheo Feliciano, La India, Hermán Olivera, Jerry Medina, Luis Vergara and Wichy Camacho.