Carli Muñoz grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico, where he played professionally from a very early age. As a pre- teen, Carli prodigiously assembled a group of friends from his neighborhood, told them that from then on they were going to be musicians, selected their instruments, taught them how to play them and went off to become one of the most popular dance bands in metro San Juan. “In 1960 I would come home with a $500.00 leader’s share in my pockets per week and the sidemen (more like sidekids) would take home at least $250 each. Soon enough we added some professional horn players and joined the local Musicians Union” says Carli.
In 1963, Carli joined a group of veteran jazz musicians led by Monchito Muñoz, who had a score of players in his band such as the famed Cuban percussionist Sabú Martinez, bassist Freddy Thomas, Juancito Torres on trumpet, jazz diva Myrna Pagan and drummer Joe Morello as a frequent guest.
In 1964 Carli was recruited by one of his peers to form a rock band that soon enough became house band to the famed 1960’s Rolling Stone club in Manhattan and landed a record deal with Capitol. In 1969, another friend asked Carli to join him on a weekend trip to L.A. California and the weekend lasted 16 years. While in L.A., Carli soon enough began gigging with a variety of local groups while word of his extraordinary musicianship got around and he started being solicited for studio and road work by artists such as Wilson Pickett, The Association, Jimmy Haskell, Jan and Dean, Peter Cetera, Blondie Chaplin, Evie Sands, Jorge Calderon, Henry Gross and The Beach Boys (eleven years). Curiously, after leaving the Beach Boys in 1981, Carli joins a Country Swing band for two years. This entire sojourn from 1963 to 1983 Carli calls “a 20 year sabbatical”.
“Carli Munoz is a revelation…” Paul Blair- Hot House NYC, HOT FLASHES
“Virtuosic without being superfluous…” John Kelman,, All That Jazz
“…a force to be reckoned with…” Kevin Le Gendre, Jazz Wise UK
“…makes piano notes pop like small explosions…” Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times
“The electricity between the three is authentic…”
James Hale, Downbeat Magazine (about the trio with Eddie Gomez and Jack Dejohnette)
“…crisp attack, a distinctive piano sonority…” Thomas Conrad, Jazz Times
“…a mix of delicacy and deft percussive beauty…” Dan McClenaghan, All That Jazz
“Carli's solos, indeed his music, breathe deeply and healthily…” Winthrop Bedford, Jazz Improv Magazine
“…outstanding pianist and composer…” Eddie Gómez
“…the real deal…” Owen McNally, The Hartford Courant
“…a lyrical player…” Jerry D'Souza, All About Jazz
“…a rare charm…” Van Dyke Parks
“…the most exciting fifty-something improviser you've never heard of...” Andrew Gilbert, The JazzScribe, San Francisco