Michel Camilo, piano
Other musicians, TBA
A pianist with a brilliant technique and a composer that flavors his tunes with Afro-Caribbean rhythms, Michel Camilo's musical language is an expressive combination of his Dominican Republic musical heritage and a rich, intelligent use of jazz harmonies and textures. Camilo composed his first piece at age five then studied at the National Conservatory for thirteen years. At age sixteen, he became a member of the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic.
In 1979, he moved to New York City where he furthered his education at Mannes and the Juilliard School of Music. Since his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut and his 1987 composer debut with the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic, Camilo has become a leading figure in jazz in the US, Europe, Japan, and the Caribbean. November of 1988 marked his debut on a major record label with the release of his self- titled album, Michel Camilo (Sony).
Camilo has also become a prominent figure at festivals throughout the world. In 1987, he became the musical director for the Heineken Jazz Festival in his native Dominican Republic, a post he held through 1992. 1998 saw him become the co-artistic director of the first Latin-Caribbean Music Festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC. He has also served as the president of the jury at the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano competition.
Mr. Camiloís recordings and compositions have earned him numerous awards including Grammy awards, Grammy nominations, and Emmy awards. His compositions have been performed by some of the top jazz and Latin jazz artists on the scene today including Manhattan Transfer and Paquito DíRivera.
As a performer, Camilo as appeared in settings as small as a solo act and as large as a symphony orchestra. He was featured in the award winning Latin jazz documentary film Calle 54 and has recorded for various film soundtracks. In addition, he has performed with several leading artists in Latin jazz like saxophonist Paquito DíRivera and guitarist Tomatito. Mr. Camilo also has performed with some of the leading symphony orchestras from around the world including the Cleveland Symphony, the Philharmonia Orchestra, and the aforementioned National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic.
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