Charlie Palmieri was born on November 21, 1926 in New York City of Puerto Rican parents. He was the pioneer of the Palmieri family in the development of the salsa music genre in which his brother Eddie was later successful as well.
Palmieri was, without a doubt, one of the best pianists in latin music circles. By 1943, during World War II, he played in Pupi Campos' orchestra. At that time, he also directed the orchestra of the Jack Paar show, for a short while.
The dance orchestras, thanks to Palmieri, accepted use of the flute, previously introduced in New York by Gilberto Valdés and José Fajardo. A lover of jazz and Cuban music, Palmieri also directed the bands of Pupi Campo, Rafael Muñoz, Noro Morales, Tito Puente, Xavier Cugat and Moncho Usera.
Palmieri was known as the "giant of the black and whites" for the voluptiousness of his execution and the forceful style on the keyboard. He made more than 20 long-play recordings over the course of his career. He lived many years in Puerto Rico; playing at hotels in San Juan, until he decided to return to New York after suffering a heart attack.
Palmieri died on September 12th, 1988 in New York just before his scheduled tour to the United Kingdom and Japan, in which he was to accompany the famous Cuban conga virtuoso Ramón "Mongo" Santamaría. ~ Music of Puerto Rico