With your help, here’s how we make a difference: Browse our website and stay connected!
INTERFAITH CENTER OF NEW YORK (ICNY): http://interfaithcenter.org/
INTERFAITH CENTER OF NEW YORK (ICNY): http://interfaithcenter.org/
MAESTRO EDDIE PALMIERI’S ENDURING VIRTUOSITY AT 80 AND BEYOND
By Babá António Mondesíre
On March 4, 2017, JAZZ AT LINCOLN CENTER (Frederick P. Rose Hall) presented the second of two performances entitled, EDDIE PALMIERI, CELEBRATING 80 YEARS.
The festivities were divided into two segments: Latin jazz aka “instrumental mambos,” and an “Afro-Caribbean dance-set” of Nuyoricanized Salsa Dura (Hard, solid clave with traditional flavor).
Palmieri opened with a solo-piece dedicated to his late wife, Iraida and continued in “honoring mode” with loving words about Mama Julia, his paternal grandmother, an enslaved African and the source of the rhythmic patterns that are his “life’s pulse.” Also, warm mention of his late elder brother and master musician (pianist) Charlie Palmieri; JALC’S Artistic Director, Wynton Marsalis and the late Frank “Machito” Grillo, Tito Puente and Thelonious Monk, all iconic figures in his musical matrix.
In tune with Ęlégbá and Ifá respectively (Yorùbá – Lukumi cosmic energies of “Opening Roads” and “Universal Wisdom embodied in select Palm Trees) El Maestro performed a savory, laid back rendition of “Palmas,” with the full orchestra. Afterward, he let it be known – with gusto – “This is the greatest band I’ve ever played with!”
Touching moments abounded as Maestro EP paused between tunes to share powerful, reflective anecdotes and oral histories. Might we surmise the transformative power of his growl as he turns painful historical legacies into euphoric compositions? At one point, he noted, with intensity – Spain and Africa produced the “Mulato” (a person of mixed race). Despite the inhumanity that created him, the drum was re-created and brought happiness to the world with El Caribe as the epicenter.”
Borrowing from the historian of Afro-Atlantic Art, Professor Robert Farris Thompson’s thought process, Palmieri “unleashes specifically chosen ostinatos” (montunos/vamps that travel into, “unknown territories, deliberately attempting to capture the divine awkwardness of a world gone mad.”
MR. EP’s personnel included sixteen musicians, including him self, as sixteen is a sacred number with the Yoruba cosmology. In that context, the fraternal order of players “threw down” with universally encoded À ṣ e̩ (ah-shay or aché), a West African metaphysical thought articulated through Yoruba – Lukumi culture that embraces, “the power to make things happen.”
All the musicians deserve honorable mention but a particular tip of the hat goes to Urban Jibaro/Cosmopolitan Guajiro Jimmy Bosch, whose “trombonic” phrasing and solos are invocations for cause for celebration; Bassist Luques Curtis’s intuitive interplay with Maestro EP’s piano work; authentic sonero Herman Olivera’s heartfelt pregones which honored the elders; masterful Tres work by Don Nelson Gonzalez Camilo Molina’s disciplined, classy approach to the timbales and trap-kit indicate inspiration from Ifá (Yorùbá – Lukumi cosmology).
In all, there were consistent blasts from the unified brass section; musical warrior angels on trumpets, trombones and saxophones that raised eyebrows as they played in sync with a rock solid rhythm section marinated in signature Palmieri school of “Clave Afincao y Aguanto” (tension and release in 2/3 time, meter structured and controlled).
As the late science-fiction author, Robert Heinlein coined, we (the audience) “GROK” (understand something intuitively or by empathy) the full spectrum of Master EP’s musical messages.
Music educates……Music empowers……..Music heals……contributes to good mental health………..creates well-being…
At the age of 80, Mr. Palmieri continues to “download” the latest solar sourced inspirations, edify his family, ancestral relations, his elders, his band, and the audience, indicating that he understand the formula. Eddie Palmieri “GROKS” and continues to rock.
Maestro EP’s Fraternal Order this performance: EDDIE PALMIERI, Leader, Piano; BRIAN LYNCH, Trumpet; CHARLIE SEPULVEDA, Trumpet JONATHAN POWELL, Trumpet; JIMMY BOSCH, Trombone; JOSEPH FIEDLER, Trombone ; LOUIS FOUCHE, Alto Saxophone; JEREMY POWELL, Tenor Saxophone; IVAN RENTA, Baritone Saxophone LUQUES CURTIS, Bass; VICENTE “LITTLE JOHNNY” RIVERO, Congas; CAMILO MOLINA, Timbales, Drums; NICHOLAS MARRERO, Bongo, Timbalitos; HERMAN OLIVERA, Lead Vocals; NELSON GONZALEZ, Tres Guitar, Vocals and JOSEPH GONZALEZ, Maracas, Vocals
Words of gratitude to Tomas Pena who invited me to take his place in reviewing this performance of my music hero of over a half century – El Maestro Eddie Palmieri. Thanks – Live and prosper, brother!
Tomas Pena’s website: JazzDeLaPena: https://jazzdelapena.com
Contained here are links to sample Maestro EP’s work with trimmed down core personnel of JALC’s March 3 + 4 2017 performance. Nothing like live! Enjoy and savor!
Eddie Palmieri – Estival Jazz Lugano 2013
Eddie Palmieri & Afro-Caribbean Jazz All Stars Festival De Jazz Latino Clazz 2013 (by Lucas Vazquez)
PHOTOS: Eddie Palmieri, Eddie and Charlie Palmieri by my cousin — Primo! – Joe Conzo Jr.!
Joe Conzo’s websites: http://www.joeconzo.com/
Eddie Palmieri’s Website: : http://www.palmierimusic.com
Policing in Today’s Multi-Faith New York:
Working with the NYPD to Improve Public Safety for All New Yorkers
by Dr. Henry Goldschmidt
Imagine you’re an officer in the New York City Police Department. It’s Friday night, and you’re working on a block that’s closed for police activity. A young woman wearing a long, modest skirt and full-sleeved blouse says she lives on the block, and needs to get past the police line. You ask for identification to check her address, and she tells you bluntly, “I can’t carry ID on Shabbos – it’s against the Torah.” Is she for real, or maybe up to something? The next day, you’re providing first aid for a young man with a full beard and turban, when you discover a small knife worn in a sheath under his clothes – beautifully decorated, and seriously sharp. He assures you it’s a religious object, never used as a weapon, but you’re not so sure. Should you take the knife, or let him keep it?
NYPD officers find themselves in tough situations like these all the time, as they work to protect and serve religiously diverse New Yorkers. How do they balance religious liberty and public safety? How do they build effective partnerships with faith communities that may be unfamiliar to them? How best to police the diverse city we all love?
ICNY is now helping to answer these important questions, with a religious diversity training video for NYPD officers. Over the past year, we’ve been working with partners in the NYPD – as well as fantastic filmmakers and local faith leaders – and we are proud to share the results of our work. Please click here to watch the full 20-minute video, Policing in Today’s Multi-Faith New York. This remarkable new video can help all New Yorkers understand and appreciate the religious life of the city, but its most important audience will be the 35,000 uniformed officers of the NYPD. Our colleagues in the Department will soon start using the video for training at all levels, from cadets to commanders. ICNY will thus help the largest police department in the country work effectively and respectfully with people from all faith backgrounds and communities.
The video features the voices and perspectives of New York religious leaders, sharing insights into their faith traditions, as well as their experiences collaborating with the NYPD. Through our conversations with these faith leaders, viewers will learn concrete, practical information about the religious beliefs and practices of their fellow New Yorkers. It’s true, for example, that many Orthodox Jews don’t carry identification (or anything else for that matter) outdoors on the Sabbath, from about sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. That young woman at the police line was being honest – it is against her interpretation of the Torah. And it’s true that many Sikhs wear a small symbolic sword, called a kirpan, as an article of faith representing their tradition’s commitment to social justice. In most situations, the young man you helped can keep his kirpan – as long as the blade is not too long, and he’s wearing it discreetly, out of public view. Such practical insights will help NYPD officers strike the best possible balance between religious liberty and public safety.
Just as important as any practical information, the video will also introduce officers to the human faces of city’s religious diversity. Through our conversations with Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, and Yoruba-Lucumi community leaders – as well as fantastic footage of the city’s religious life – viewers will learn to look past the stereotypes that all too often stand in the way of a human connection with our diverse neighbors. Near the end of the video, Baba Antonio Mondesire (an Ifa priest, or Babalawo) reminds viewers that members of the city’s African diaspora faith communities “are very much participants in society . . . We’re your neighbors, and we help each other.” To which we can only say Amen – and Asé. This kind of human connection across faith lines can transform policing in New York City, and perhaps transform the city itself.
ICNY has been honored to work towards this goal with our partners in the NYPD, and we hope you enjoy the fruits of our labor. Click here to watch the full 20-minute video, Policing in Today’s Multi-Faith New York, and let us know what you think of it!
Dr. Henry Goldschmidt is the Director of Programs at The Interfaith Center of New York (ICNY). Dr. Goldschmidt is a cultural anthropologist, community educator, interfaith organizer, and scholar of American religious diversity. He received his Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of California at Santa Cruz, and has taught religious studies and cultural anthropology at Wesleyan University and elsewhere. He is the author of Race and Religion among the Chosen Peoples of Crown Heights (Rutgers U. Press, 2006) and the coeditor of Race, Nation, and Religion in the Americas (Oxford U. Press, 2004).
The ideas I share are like seeds of majestic trees.
Some seeds fall onto craggily rocks, some are consumed by birds, others are
Blown onto asphalt and concrete in urban zones.
And then…..some fall into rich fertile earth.
That’s the way it is.
I suggest that the seeds I shared be stored in a safe place for future planting.