Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer, and bandleader Eddie Palmieri, dubbed the “Sun of Latin Jazz,” was honored by the University April 11-14. Presented by the Office for the Arts at Harvard (OfA) and the Harvard Jazz Bands, Palmieri’s residency continued the OfA’s yearlong Afro-Cuban music celebration; Latin percussionist Bobby Sanabria was in residence last December. Palmieri’s collaborator, trumpeter Brian Lynch, also participated in the residency, which followed Lynch’s performance with Sanabria and the Harvard Jazz Bands in December.
Highlights of the maestro’s stay included a lunch seminar with Ingrid Monson, chair of the Music Department; interviews with Robin Young of WBUR-FM’s “Here and Now” and Christopher Lydon of WGBH-FM’s “Open Source”; and an assembly at Cambridge Rindge & Latin School with over 150 high-school students attending.
On Friday the 13th, Palmieri spoke and performed in a Learning from Performers session moderated by José Massó, host of WBUR-FM’s “¡Con Salsa!” Open to the public, this event gave the audience a chance to learn about the artist’s career and creative process.
Harvard University Band director Tom Everett said of the great innovator, “Eddie Palmieri has expanded the traditional Cuban piano vocabulary to include elements of modal jazz.”