Barcelona , 24 August 1997
Son of Vicenç Montoliu, a member of the Orchestra of the Gran Teatre del Liceu and the Banda Municipal of Barcelona. Despite his visual impairment, he studied at the Conservatory of Music of Barcelona between 1946 and 1953. In these years acquaint with jazz culture and especially with the American saxophonist Don Byas, who introduced him to bebop, and the vibraphonist Lionel Hampton, who invited him to participate in the album Flamenco Jazz. In 1958, he made his international debut at Cannes Film Festival with Art Taylor and Doug Watkins. This was the starting point of a successful international career in Europe and the United States, in which he worked extensively with musicians such as Dizzy Gillespie and Chick Corea. He regularly played at Jamboree (Barcelona), Montmartre (Copenhagen), Blue Note (Berlin) and the Whiskey (Madrid). His style departed from the rhythmic freedom of bebop, which made him one of the best jazz pianists of his time.