Guitarist Joaquin “Ding” Palomo (1923 – 1997) was a well-known and well-accomplished musician. Although he was known by his peers for playing rhythm guitar, he also played lead guitar. Palomo was an educator by profession, serving as principal of schools in Humåtak/Umatac and Dededu/Dededo. He woke up each morning at 5 am, however, to engage in what many called his passion – music.

One of Palomo’s favorite musicians was Barney Kessel, whose style inspired him. Palomo played alongside some of Guam’s premier musicians including Forrest Harris and the Tommy Iglesias Band.

Palomo married Ana Sablan. She is remembered as being a talented piano and accordion player. Their talent and love of music shows today in their children. Their sons, Joseph and Patrick, are accomplished and well-known musicians on Guam while their daughter, now living in the continental US, sings and dances.

By James Perez Viernes, PhD

Editor’s note: The photos and initial research for this entry is courtesy of Mico and Stevie Scott’s Jazz on Guam: An Oral History, a project funded by the Guam Humanities Council and in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.