Grammy award-winning artist Eddie Palmieri will kick off new season at Lehman Center 

Eddie Palmieri 2
Eddie Palmieri will kick off the new season at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, Sept. 17.
Photo courtesy Lehman Center for the Performing Arts

Eddie Palmieri is reminded of great childhood memories when thinking of the Bronx. Thoughts about his time at PS 52 to the creation of a childhood band call to mind.  

Now, Palmieri, a Grammy award-winning artist, will return to the borough not far from where his music career first blossomed as he kicks off the new season at the Lehman Center for the Performing Arts in the Bronx with his Salsa orchestra on Sept. 17.

“To have the honor of opening up the 2022-23 season at Lehman Center for the Performing Arts is a blessing,” Palmieri said in a statement. 

As a pianist, composer and bandleader of Salsa and Latin jazz orchestras, Palmieri has received recognition from the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences and the National Endowment of the Arts. Palmieri even became the first recipient of Best Latin Recording at the 1976 Grammy Awards. The 85-year-old artist continues to release music, with his latest album debuting in 2018. 

“Health and longevity have been quite instrumental over these past seven decades,” he said. “To have new generations respect my musical contributions to the world is quite meaningful.”

The performance will feature Herman Olivera and The Del Caribe Latin Jazz All Stars with Lucrecia & Mario “Mayito” Rivera. The show will also include a special appearance from Arlene G, who will perform, “Para Que Sepan Quien Soy Yo,” with Palmieri, who wrote and composed the single.

Palmieri said the audience can expect hard-driven performances that will rock the center this Saturday. 

But that’s not all. 

The Lehman Center’s upcoming season will showcase various talents, from international and cultural performances to several Latin lineups, said Eva Bornstein, the executive director of the center. 

“I made myself a personal mission to seek attractions that represent a very diverse community of New York,” Bornstein said. “We all come from different backgrounds and we’re all in it together, so we have to learn the cultures of other countries.”

The season will feature a Polish song and dance ensemble, the Soweto Gospel Choir performance, the Westchester Ballet Company’s  presentation of “The Nutcracker “and the Lviv National Philharmonic Orchestra of Ukraine program. 

The Lehman Center is gearing up for its second season following a 19-month hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photo courtesy Lehman Center for the Performing Arts

This season will mark Bornstein’s 17th as executive director at the center. Originally from Poland, Bornstein’s upbringing and prior career in the arts helped spark a passion for showcasing various cultures. She created a new vision for the center bringing together a diverse range of performers from around the world – and it is working. 

Bornstein remembered gazing over the 2,276 seats in the newly renovated center last season, noticing a more diverse audience of children, teenagers and adults. She recalled hearing different languages throughout the lobby, such as Polish, Russian and Spanish. 

In 2020, 56% of the population in the Bronx identified as Hispanic and 29% identified as Black, according to DataUSA. Plus, nearly 35% of the population was born outside of the U.S., which is substantially higher than the national average of 13.5%. 

“We represent the community,” Bornstein said. “Not because we have to, we do it because we know that the Bronx is one of the most diverse communities.

“I’ve developed a family atmosphere at Lehman Center because I want my audience to be part of our family and feel at home at event centers.” 

For more than 40 years, the Lehman Center has been a staple in the Bronx community. Celia Cruz and Ray Charles are some of the geniuses that have performed there, Bornstein said.

“We are doing this to enrich the community, to give them the opportunity to experience world culture in their own neighborhoods,” she said. 

Accessibility is also a priority for Bornstein with corporate partnerships, like Con Edison, helping support their campaign. She said some cultural events include discounted prices for children – to encourage parents to bring their kids. Currently, tickets range from $30 to $120 this season, offering affordable and quality performances compared to other venues. 

“I feel that this is the way to develop a new generation of theatergoers,” Bornstein said. 

Bornstein also said she is excited to reopen the doors for a second season following the COVID-19 pandemic. The center reopened last year after a 19-month hiatus due to the pandemic. Offering a new range of performers, she said it’s amazing for the team and the audience to return once again. 

“I have been consistent and passionate about what we’re doing – hopefully making a better life for some members of our community, she said, “and that makes me happy.” 

For a full lineup of performances and to purchase tickets for the season, click here.

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