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Michel Camilo

An exciting and high-powered virtuoso pianist, Michel Camilo came from a very musical family (all nine of his uncles were musicians). Originally playing accordion, he switched to piano when he was 16. After moving to New York in 1979, his song "Why Not?" became a hit for the Manhattan Transfer and caught on as a standard, and "Caribe" entered the repertoire of Dizzy Gillespie. Camilo, who worked with Paquito d'Rivera's band for three years (cutting an album with "Why Not?" as the title cut), recorded for Electric Bird (sessions reissued by Evidence) and Columbia, and worked as a leader beginning with his self-titled album in 1988; the album remained at the top of the jazz charts for ten weeks straight. Camilo had the attention of both critics and latin jazz fans alike. Another standout in his catalog was 1993's Rendezvous, with bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Dave Weckl. Camilo also added film composer to his résumé with two scores: Amo Tu Cama Rica in 1991 and Two Much in 1996. In 1997 he was percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo's collaborator on the stellar Hands of Rhythm.

In 2000, he was one of the featured artists in director Fernando Trueba's documentary Calle 54. That same year he and flamenco guitarist Tomatito won Best Latin Jazz Album at the first Latin Grammy Awards for their collaborative album Spain. (They issued a sequel entitled Spain Again in 2006.) In 2002, the pianist received acclaim for Triangulo, with Jackson on bass and Horatio "El Negro" Hernandez in the drummer's chair. Also in 2002, Camilo collaborated with Leonard Slatkin and the BBC Symphony Orchestra on his Piano Concerto; Suite for Piano, Strings & Harp; Caribe. In 2007, he released his final date for the Telarc label, the lauded Spirit of the Moment. In 2009, Caribe: Michel Camilo Big Band, an audio-video concert document, was released in Japan. In 2011, Camilo released the trio album Mano a Mano with Hidalgo and bassist Charles Flores for Emarcy before undertaking another world tour that included many festivals. He returned to the recording scene with What's Up? a solo piano offering, on the revived Okeh label in 2013. ~ Scott Yanow & Thom Jurek, Rovi
full bio

Comments

It was a treat meeting Michel and his wife, Sandra, back in the early '90s while I was working as music director for KNTU radio. Not only is he an amazing musician, he is also one of the nicest, most gracious persons I have ever met. Years later, when I encountered him in a NYC hotel lobby, he remembered me with a smile. His live performances are an event not soon forgotten. I am forever a Michel Camilo fan.
Musicians like Michel Camilo are the example to follow; but with consistency is the clue because; the easiest way will never give this amazing result of geniality.
I get goose bumps every time I hear him play In Love !
Since Pandora has ommitted it and other people are asking and I am not happy to see that Pandora does not talk about his origin, I would say it. I am very proud to say that Michel Camilo is from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. By age 16 he was playing with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. A truly Dominican gem.
gerald.r9
U have to be the best to play with him. He can play anything.
jose86657
Without any doubt: The best
Wow! I can't believe I'd never heard of this amazing pianist until I saw him at the 2013 Newport Jazz Festival. He blew me away. By far the best gig of the day. I gotta get some of his albums.
mesquiel_nic a s i o
Michel Camilo is amazing!
Why in his biography don't mention about where he came from?
rubenbongo
Michael, Anthony, Giovanni and el negro...now thats the dream team in the planet.
I saw Michael Camilo perform in Barcelona in 2007...he was fantastic... .
from within lo mejor de lo mejor con anthony jackson y el negro hernandez, the best for ever
es la pepa del queso, lo mejor
natantonio
I when to see perform Michel Camilo at Lincoln theater in Miami beach in 1991 with a group Trio after the concert He came out and chat with us , we were a group of Dominican fans proud to be in the concert
Un leon!
michael its the best
drfcc01
finally!!!is true what jose 9122 says about it.
I have been following Michel's music for years. He keeps getting better and better.
gmartinius
I have recently been listening to Michel Camilo and I though I had heard of his name before I am beginning to think of him as an all time great!
bluenotejoe2 0 0 2
wonderful touch and conception
charlesnagel 0
Thru My Eyes - great album that I don't see listed here in the above bio. Great album with songs: Poinciana - Perdido - Watermelon Man - A Night in Tunisia - Song for My Father - St. Thomas - Oye Como Va - My Little Suede Shoes - Afro Blue and more - well worht spending the money! Camilo is incredible beyond most jazz latin pianists. I could listen to this stuff straight up on any road trip.
jack keys says this cat swings!!!!
stork46
Nice blend of smooth and latin jazz.
yrsu
He listened,& learned, from Bill Evans...
jose9122
relaxing,goo d bottle of wine and camilo's music on the bose system.
alisagc1
LOVE Michel - if you've never seen him play live - do whatever it takes to do it!
carlyle.leac h
mellowly exciting
Michel camilo rocks
Michele Camillo is a genii .

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