Portuguese singer/songwriter Jorge Palma's career has taken him from child prodigy, to youthful folk-rock icon, to iconic musical pillar.
Born in Lisbon in 1950, Palma spent his early years studying piano, auditioning for the Portuguese National Conservatory by the age of eight. By his early teen years Palma was competing and performing throughout the region, earning a reputation as a classical talent to be watched. By 15 his interests changed significantly, and he began to teach himself guitar, embracing the rock music of the day. He performed with the rock band Sindikato for some years before electing to go solo. His debut record, Nine Billion Names of God, an all-English language release, was followed shortly by Com uma Viagem na Palma da Mão. His third release, 'Té Já, earned him the notoriety to perform internationally, sharing the stage with fellow singer/songwriters Bob Dylan
, Paul Simon
, and Leonard Cohen
, among others. Palma's recording career flourished through the '70s and into the 1980s. His eighth record, Bairro do Amor (1989), was widely acclaimed as one of the best works of the decade and marked the beginning of a silent period in Palma's career. During a break from regular recording, Palma returned to conservatory to continue his piano studies. The return to his musical roots initiated a new period of creativity for the artist. His 1991 release Só featured only vocals and piano. He soon formed a group called Palma's Gang comprised of Portuguese rock and fusion veterans with whom he recorded the 1993 live record Palma's Gang ao Vivo no Johnny Guitar. Palma remained active throughout the '90s and 2000s, punctuated by his commercially successful 2007 release Voo Nocturno. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi