Monty’s birthplace of Kingston, Jamaica provided strong stimulus for his musical development. Besides becoming known as one of the top piano players to emerge from the Caribbean, Monty has also excelled in the straight-ahead jazz field, with influences ranging from Wynton Kelly and Art Tatum to Gene Harris and Ahmad Jamal. At the age of 14, Alexander had already studied classical music for ten years. At that point, he became interested in jazz. After he moved to New York in 1961, he continued a career playing in clubs and on recording sessions that he had begun in Jamaica, working with Milt Jackson, Dizzy Gillespie, Benny Golson, Ernestine Anderson, Ray Brown and many others. His most recent release is a tribute to Bob Marley, his second such salute to the reggae legend. Equally at home in all styles of jazz and popular music, Monty enjoys worldwide acclaim.
Tenor Saxophone. Born and raised in Puerto Rico, David attended the renowned Escuela Libre de Musica, where he began his classical studies before turning to jazz. He began touring with Eddie Palmieri in the 1980’s. With influences ranging from John Coltrane and Dexter Gordon to Sonny Rollins and Joe Henderson, David has carved out his own recognizable, highly rhythmic sound on tenor. His release of 2005, Coral, won the Latin Grammy. David’s interest in the combining of classical music, both in orchestral and string ensembles, has extended his visibility beyond the fields of jazz and Latin jazz. His workshops and master classes at the Peabody Conservatory, the University of Indiana, Georgia State and other institutions are in great demand by students of all backgrounds.
Joe began performing and recording with some of the legends of jazz while he was still in high school, is multi-talented on the vibes and marimba. His many contributions in the fields of jazz, Latin jazz and world music performance and recordings are well known world-wide, with over 20 CDs released under his own name. His recent tribute album to the music of Henry Mancini, “Moment to Moment,” won instant critical acclaim. He is also a bandleader and prolific composer. His participation on the session for Caliente! Latin Jazz with Eddie Palmieri, showcases the piano/vibes sound pioneered by Eddie Cano, George Shearing and others, and featured in the Eddie Palmieri/Cal Tjader collaboration of 1966, El Sonido Nuevo.
Trumpeter extraordinaire, Brian has been performing with Eddie for over fifteen years. A jazz and Latin jazz bandleader in his own right, Brian has recorded numerous records under his own name and as a sideman. Brian cites his experience with Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers as a formative experience, both personally and artistically. In 2005, he launched the Eddie Palmieri/Brian Lynch Project, with the CD they made together scheduled for release in July of 2006. Lynch refers to Eddie Palmieri as his other large influence, both musically and in the area of becoming a jazz bandleader. Brian’s time is more and more dedicated to the field of music education, with residencies and workshops at Stanford, North Texas University, Dartmouth and other institutions.
Called by Eddie Palmieri “The best trombonist on the planet,” Conrad began his professional career in 1980 with the Clark Terry Big Band. His music, both in the large band context and with small groups, both as a leader and a sideman, has brought him work performing and recording with the likes of Mario Bauza, Miles Davis, Quincy Jones, Danilo Perez and Max Roach, to name just a few. Conrad has recorded 16 albums as a leader, with the Grammy-nominated pair of recordings, “Another Kind of Blue – the Latin Side of Miles Davis,” and “The Latin Side of John Coltrane” receiving both critical and popular success. He is also a prominent jazz educator, currently on the faculty of the School of Music at Rutgers University.
Widely considered as the top conga drum player in the world, Giovanni was introduced to the instrument by his father, a professional conguero with one of Puerto Rico’s all-time great Salsa orchestras, the Richie Ray and Bobby Cruz band. By featuring the conga as a solo instrument, he has extended its range and worldwide popularity. His interests in drums, their history as an instrument of communication beginning in Africa and the current evolution of drumming, have made him quite visible in the music world. By his teaching at the Berkley College of Music in Boston and other institutions, he has focused on the similarities and the differences between percussion in places as far apart as Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica and the US, both in the jazz and folkloric veins. He currently leads a large Latin jazz band, with a new recording scheduled for 2006.
Watch Giovanni here!