Michel Camilo was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and studied at the National Conservatory. He moved to New York in 1979 to continue his studies at Mannes and Juilliard School of Music. Since his 1985 Carnegie Hall debut he has become a prominent figure performing regularly at festivals throughout the United States, Europe, Japan, Asia, Middle East, South America and the Caribbean. His extensive discography has been recognized with a Grammy award, an Emmy award, three Latin Grammy awards, four Grammy award nominations and two Premios de la Música (Spain). He has recorded in Solo, Duo, Trio, Sextet, Big Band and with symphony orchestras, as well as film soundtracks.
Highlights include his two year appointment as Jazz Creative Director Chair for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, a five year tenure as Musical Director of the Heineken Jazz Festival (Dominican Republic), Jury President at the Montreux Jazz Solo Piano competition, JazzWeek’s Artist of the Year, Artist in Residence at the Klavier Festival Ruhr, voted among the Top 10 Jazz Pianists of the Year at the 69th Annual DownBeat Readers Poll, co-Artistic Director of the Latin-Caribbean Music Festival at the Kennedy Center, Artist in Residence at the Vienna Konzerthaus, and the world premiere of his Rhapsody for Two Pianos and Orchestra (commissioned by the Philharmonia Orchestra) at London’s Royal Festival Hall, and Concerto for Jazz Trio and Orchestra commissioned by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and Maestro Leonard Slatkin.