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'Harlem River Drive' Revisited With Eddie Palmieri

Eddie Palmieri on stage for a historic performance of Harlem River Drive.

Eddie Palmieri plays Harlem River Drive live.

In 1971, pianist, composer and bandleader Eddie Palmieri put out a formative album called Harlem River Drive. Written in the heat of racial turbulence, its lyrics addressed the inequality Puerto Ricans faced in New York City. The album served as a form of protest, as well as commentary on social-justice issues for the people of El Barrio, East Harlem.

Though the Latin funk classic didn't take off in the early '70s, it later became an underground classic. Its enduring songs remain relevant today.

Forty-five years after its release, Eddie Palmieri packed a Harlem amphitheater in the rain. No one had heard Harlem River Drive performed on stage in decades, until now. This edition of Jazz Night In America highlights that special moment.

PERFORMERS

Eddie Palmieri (piano/bandleader), Arturo Ortiz (keyboard/musical director), Kelli Sae (lead vocals), Keyontia Hawkins (vocals), Solomon Hicks (vocals/guitar), Flaco Navaja (vocals), Josette Newsam-Marchak (vocals), Chris Turner (vocals), Louis Fouché (tenor/alto saxophone), Javier Olivencia (baritone saxophone), Jimmy Bosch (trombone), Jonathan Powell (trumpet), Igmar Thomas (trumpet), Andres Abenante (guitar), Zaccai Curtis (Fender Rhodes), Luques Curtis (bass), José Claussell (percussion), Little Johnny Rivero (congas/bongos), Nicky Marrero Jr. (percussion/timbales), Camilo Molina (drums), Bernard Purdie (drums).

CREDITS

Producers: Alex Ariff, Colin Marshall; Project Manager: Suraya Mohamed; Editors: Nicole Boliaux, Claire Hannah Collins, Colin Marshall; Concert Audio Engineer: David Tallacksen; Concert Videographers: Colin Marshall, Nickolai Hammar, Quincy Ledbetter, AJ Wilhelm; Harlem Video Clips: David Dryden, Carl Tyler; Concert Produced By: Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York; Host: Christian McBride; Special Thanks: Eddie Palmieri II, Kim Robinson, Zoilo Torres; Executive Producers: Gabrielle Armand, Anya Grundmann, Amy Niles; Funded In Part By: The Argus Fund, Doris Duke Foundation, The National Endowment For The Arts, The Wyncote Foundation.

Copyright 2016 WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center. To see more, visit WBGO and Jazz At Lincoln Center.