Arts & EventsHighlights

Musicians Palmieri and Madera dazzle audience with Latin jazz rhythms

Schneebeck Concert Hall hosted yet another magnificent performance on Thursday, Nov. 1 as the spectacular University of Puget Sound jazz band played with the legendary Eddie Palmieri and Jose Madera.
Palmieri has won multiple Grammy awards as a jazz artist known for combining jazz piano with Latin rhythms.
He swept the audience away only moments after he walked on to the stage, sat casually at the piano and played beautiful jazz melodies with no accompaniment: simply him and the piano. He became so immersed in the music that he began singing along to his playing with his scratchy, gruff voice.
Palmieri grew up in the Latin Bronx and excelled musically from a young age, playing the iconic Carnegie Hall in New York City at the age of 11.
He allows his Puerto Rican roots to influence his musical style, making him one of the pioneers of Latin jazz. Palmieri was a humble performer, simply taking the stage and speaking little during the performance. It was clear he was present to play wonderful music for our audience, and he did just that with very little added bravado.
Jose Madera, another jazz legend, greeted the audience happily after the introduction from our own jazz band. Receiving much applause upon entering the stage, Madera jokingly asked the audience, “Who just walked in?” He then took his place behind a set of drums and counted the band off, and the whole group launched into a stunning show.
Puget Sound’s jazz band director, Tracy Knoop, passionately gushed about what an honor it was to have these jazz legends on our campus, and they expressed equal appreciation to us for hosting them. They complimented the skills of our jazz ensemble and even mentioned several of our student soloists by name, congratulating them on their performances.
The show consisted of Latin jazz rhythms, often involving Madera or Palmieri singing or hollering, and even the jazz band themselves happily singing along.
The entire audience could be seen nodding their heads or tapping their feet in rhythm during the entire show, as everyone was swept away by the charisma of the performance. Both the guests and our resident jazz band were visibly passionate about the music they played, and that passion was certainly felt by the audience.
Madera interjected between each song to let the audience know what was coming next—its origins, composer and usually a word or two on its feel or the connection either he or Palmieri had to it. This made the entire concert a very personal and educational experience, allowing previously inexperienced listeners of jazz to be able to keep up with the significance of the show and the differences in each song. As the audience left the show, much buzz could be heard about individuals desiring more exposure to jazz and their interest in learning more about the genre.
This exposure to new experiences is a result of ASUPS Cultural Events led by senior Maddy Garcia.
This department works to bring experiences to campus that students and community members may not otherwise be exposed to, and the jazz mastery of Palmieri certainly fit the bill.
There was not a foot present that was not tapping, nor an audience member that didn’t leave buzzing about the excitement of the show.
Keep an eye open for upcoming ASUPS Cultural Events programs, such as iconic comedian Bill Cosby performing in our very own Memorial Fieldhouse this coming February. Please visit: