Jazz pianist

Patrick Palomo’s interest in music developed at an early age when he would follow his father, the well-known musician Joaquin “Ding” Palomo, to band practice. Patrick Palomo had the opportunity to see his father play alongside some of Guam’s most noted musicians during these practices at the home of Forrest Harris, a noted guitarist on Guam.

Palomo would go on to become a very accomplished jazz pianist. After meeting musician Vic Perez, who played at the Tumon Supper Club in the Fujita Hotel, Palomo soon began to take lessons from Perez. At first Palomo did not care much for the piano. He quit to take drum lessons from Roland Franquez at the Guam Academy of Music and Arts where he also took singing lessons. It would not be long, however, before Palomo returned to Perez who guided him toward becoming the pianist he is recognized as today.

Palomo’s first live gig was with well-known jazz musician Patti Lane. Lane taught Palomo jazz songs by humming and singing tunes to him. After much trial and error, however, Palomo figured out how to play the accompaniment. Palomo continued to grow in popularity on the island playing in well-known groups such as Never Mind the Name, the Kasuals, Fried Bananas, and alongside well-known artists including Jesse Bais and Joe Cunningham, more fondly known as “Uncle Tote.”

Palomo greatest musical influences and inspirations include Norbert Tydingco, Monte Pladevega, Louie Gombar, Roberto Fracassini, and many Italian bands who visited Guam during the early ‘70s.

Today, Palomo continues to grace the stage alongside more up and coming musicians on Guam including Chris Tydingco, Jude Cruz, Vince Mesa, and Mike Hartendorp. In addition to Palomo’s accomplishments as a local musician, he has also performed and recorded with many artists throughout the United States. Palomo’s professional background includes three jazz CD recordings: “Alupang Sunset,” “Piti Village,” and “Conversations and Monologues.” Palomo continues to perform locally and in the U.S. mainland.

Palomo has also graciously served as the jazz scholar for the Guam Humanities Council’s jazz projects, bringing his knowledge, respect and stature to enhance the understanding and appreciation for jazz on the island.

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.