Eddie Palmieri & Giovanni Hidalgo reunite
updated on October 21, 2008
Latin Jazz was front and center at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts. Bronx, New York on Saturday, October 11, 2008. Under the spotlight was Puerto Rico American pianist and bandleader Eddie Palmieri. The occasion was a grand reunion of Palmieri and orchestra with compatriot conguero Giovanni Hidalgo.
A nine-time Grammy winner, the ‘Sun of Latin Music’ played his old favourites from a forty-year old songbook that included his 1975 album for which he earned the ‘Sun’ title. That album earned Palmieri his first Grammy.
Giovanni Hidalgo, considered to be one of the greatest ever Puerto Rican percussionists, played with Palmieri for years.
Hidalgo also toured extensively with the now departed Tito Puente. So it was fitting, I suppose, that Puente’s tribute band, The Latin Giants of Jazz, were on the playbill that night. The Latin Giants of Jazz was formed by the alumni of the Tito Puente Orchestra after his passing in 2000. It is led by Johnny ‘Dandy’ Rodriguez, Puente’s bongo player for 27 years and Jose ‘Pin’ Madero, Puente’s conguero for 30 years and the master’s Musical Director for 10.
Hidalgo has since gone on to appear on Mickey Hart’s latest Global Drum Project in a live gig at O’Shaughnessy Auditorium, College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, MN, on Friday, October 17, 2008. Also performing with Hidalgo and Hart was the Indian tabla master Zakir Hussain.