Michel Camilo: The Don of Latin Jazz is Back on the Road
There are Jazz pianists and there is Michel Camilo. This guy is one of a kind. He definitely is the Don of Latin Jazz on the piano, since his playing is simply breathtaking. For the first time ever, that word is truly appropriate. Michael Camilo will stun every single person in his audience.
Camilo is from the Dominican Republic, where he first saw the light of the world in 1954 in Santo Domingo. Early on, his parents gave him an accordion. But what he was even more interested in was a piano, which he got a little later, when he was 10.
In Santo Domingo, Michael Camilo was educated well. As a teenager, he was already part of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic. And he loved listening to old Jazz recordings by Art Tatum and Scott Joplin.
An American college Jazz band came to Santo Domingo one day. When the band leader heard Michael Camilo jam one night, he walked up to him and told him to come to the United States. The rest is history.
Camilo came to New York City, where he studied at both Mannes College and Julliard.
A few years later, saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera, a Cuban genius who had been a member of the stunning group Irakere before he fled the communist Island, offered Camilo a place in his band. More collaborations followed.
Then Michel Camilo started recording his own albums, lots of them. In 2000, a recording he released with flamenco guitarist Tomatito got him a well-deserved Grammy Award.
Apart from releasing countless solo albums, the Dominican piano God played with the most brilliant fellow artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Tito Puente, George Benson, the two former Irakere members Arturo Sandoval and Chucho Valdés, Herbie Hancock, and the entire phone book of Los Angeles.
Michel Camilo, the Don of Latin Jazz, the master himself, the brilliant genius will tour Europe in the fall of 2018. Most dates have not been added to his official schedule yet.
Camilo will also appear in Japan again. The Blue Note Tokyo will be his four nights in a row.