See Arturo O’ Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra perform at The UC Theatre’s KPFA FM and DACA Support Services Benefit show!
GRAMMY Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” — was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City.
Son of the late, great composer Chico O’Farrill, Arturo was educated at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano in Carla Bley’s Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY(R) winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra in order to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience, and to greatly expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to artists across a wide stylistic and geographic range.
Following his 2009 GRAMMY(R) Award for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for the Orchestra’s debut recording, Song for Chico (ZOHO), O’Farrill has received numerous GRAMMY(R) nominations and most recently two GRAMMY(R) wins for The Offense of the Drum (“Best Latin Jazz Album”) and Cuba: The Conversation Continues (“The Afro Latin Jazz Suite,” “Best Instrumental Composition”).
Arturo O’Farrill has lectured and performed in colleges and universities throughout the US and South America, is Director of Jazz Studies at the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music (C.U.N.Y.) and is Artist-In-Residence at the Casita Maria Center for Arts & Culture. He’s currently collaborating with director Moises Kaufman and the Tectonic Theater on an Afro Cuban version of Bizet’s opera, Carmen. He is also a member of the Board of Governors of the New York Chapter of NARAS, and is a Steinway Artist.