Ezequiel Palleja
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Updated 10/19/2012

Ezequiel Palleja Argentine composer and pianist Ezequiel Palleja has been a devoted performer of Ragtime and early jazz for over half a century. He became a fan of New Orleans Jazz in 1958, when he heard a 78 rpm of Alligator Crawl and Willie the Weeper, by Louis Armstrong and his Hot Seven. By age 16, Ezequiel directed his own first jazz band, the “Tiempos Viejos Jazz Band,” and taken part in several other Argentine bands since then: Roseland Jazz Band, Guardia Vieja Jazz Band, Antigua Jazz Band (cofounder), Eureka Jazz Band, and now the “Fenix Jazz Band”, a traditional jazz group playing regularly at the well-known, Buenos Aires “Café Tortoni,” the oldest coffee house in all of Argentina. He has also participated in Jazz Festivals in the USA, such as the New Orleans and Connecticut Jazz Festivals.

Ezequiel loves New Orleans Jazz as much as he loves ragtime, a genre he has been fond of from his very first days as a pianist. Each time he gets an opportunity to insert a ragtime solo (or duo, or trio) within a jazz show, he does not hesitate to do so. Besides performing, Ezequiel has composed over 15 rags during the past 20 years. He has performed in many concerts and shows at Argentinian auditoriums such as the Teatro Alvear, Teatro York, Universidad de Moron, Museo Fernandez Blanco and the Centro Cultural Borges. In addition to his piano performances, he uses these opportunities to speak about ragtime and jazz history. Ezequiel also directs a choir devoted to spirituals, ragtime, early jazz and musicals.

By day, Ezequiel, an engineer in geodesy and geophysics, is a professor at the University of Buenos Aires. He has received several national and international awards during his professional career.

Ezequiel has performed at the San Antonio Ragtime Festival in 2010 and 2012.  He was also on the jury for the 2010 San Antonio Ragtime Youth Competition. This is his first appearance at the West Coast Festival.