Michel Camilo, in other words the most spectacular explosion, fruit of a sparkling virtuosity, but also a romantic Latin vein. The Dominican pianist has long been one of the stars of Central American music and in his country he is a kind of legend. At the base of everything is absolute mastery of the instrument, at the service, however, of a natural musicality.
Michel draws on many sources, from jazz to classical music (studies and diploma at the Conservatory of Santo Domingo, member at the age of 16 of the national symphony orchestra of the Dominican Republic), from the enormous popular heritage to the rhythms of the Caribbean. Enamoured of jazz, he moved to New York, where he was hired first by Tito Puente for his orchestra, then by Paquito D’Rivera, to debut in 1985 at the Carnegie Hall and to release his first album as leader. Thus began a career in constant ascent, during which Camilo crossed the path of the most important jazz stars, from Dizzy Gillespie to Chick Corea, from George Benson to Herbie Hancock, from Michael Brecker to Wynton Marsalis. Of course, the Dominican pianist has played many times at Umbria Jazz, performing solo, with his trio and in intriguing duos, for example, with Japanese pianist, Hiromi, with Cuban pianist, Chucho Valdes, and with the Spanish flamenco guitarist,Tomatito. His album, Spain, recorded with Tomatito, earned him a Grammy.
Camilo is also a talented composer, especially of soundtracks for Spanish-language films, of works for symphony orchestras, often commissioned by important institutions, and is also involved in teaching and promoting music for its cultural and social value.