His Latin-infused jazz tunes are one of a kind, and this New Yorker of Puerto Rican roots has fans all over the world.
Having worked in the business for over 50 years, Latin Jazz legend & pianist Eddie Palmieri is a master at his craft. Although he turned 80 in December, "El Gran Maestro" will continue the party by celebrating his 80th birthday again on March 3-4 at the world-famous Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City.
"It's the most important music presentation of my career," Palmieri told NBC Latino. "I'm with a large orchestra, three saxists, three trumpets and two trombones… so I'm just elated."
Palmieri said greats who have influenced him include Thelonious Monk, McCoy Tyner, and of course his older brother, Charlie. Palmieri said his late brother Charlie, who was also a pianist, had the biggest influence on him and the direction he decided to take his life in.
"He was the king of the black and the white notes… he was the greatest," Palmieri said of his brother.
With ten Grammys already, Palmieri said he's looking to make it 12, because "they are cheaper by the dozen."
Palmieri told NBC Latino that he sees himself more of a universal student of music than an ambassador, and he emphasized that "preparation" is the most important skill young musicians need.
"You gotta have the right teacher, you gotta dedicate yourself to it," said the renowned musician. "It's a wonderful life, but it's a hard life too," he said.
Palmieri will perform Friday, March 3 and Saturday, March 4 at the Jazz Lincoln Center. Tickets are available for purchase at www.jazz.org.
To learn more about Palmieri, here's his website.