Multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning composer/pianist/educator Arturo O’Farrill and the non-profit The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) proudly announce Arturo O’Farill and the 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO).
Radio-Active Resistance: A Benefit for KPFA FM and DACA Support Services at UC Theatre (Berkeley, CA) on Saturday, May 12, 2018. Support acts include Bobi Céspedes Band and the Son Jarocho All Stars.
In today’s turbulent times, it’s essential to support media platforms willing to focus on the world’s most significant issues. For decades, the Bay Area and beyond have had the fortune to receive KPFA’s forward-thinking programs providing comprehensive analysis of issues confronting our communities.
“KPFA serves an incredibly important function in this increasingly dystopian time we live in,” says Arturo O’Farrill. “True public broadcasting is under great attack because it serves the function of critical thought. The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra together with the Son Jarocho All Stars and Bobi Céspedes are thrilled to support the work of this incredibly important station and it’s sacred commitment to truth and dialogue.”
“It’s easy to be complacent and assume that someone else will help keep KPFA going strong as it has for these many years,” says Bill Martinez, producer of Radio-Active Resistance. “As a public-sponsored non-commercial entity, with scarce other resources available to keep the doors open, it is a credit to the station’s mission and its community of supporters that it has sustained times of constant struggle. We can’t take KPFA’s existence for granted. KPFA needs our support now, more than ever. Our fundraiser is a gesture from a grateful community who appreciates what KPFA has meant to our community.”
In addition to supporting KPFA, a portion of proceeds raised from Radio-Active Resistance will be donated to Educators for Fair Consideration (E4FC), a resource center that provides legal, social and educational services to DACA applicants. These programs are crucial to keeping hope alive for so many of our brothers and sisters who are under attack.
For detailed information regarding the performing artists, please see below:
About Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
GRAMMY® Award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill — leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz” (New York Times) — 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® 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® Award for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for the Orchestra’s debut recording, Song for Chico (ZOHO), O’Farrill has received numerous GRAMMY® nominations and most recently two GRAMMY® wins for The Offense of the Drum (“Best Latin Jazz Album”) and Cuba: The Conversation Continues (“The Afro Latin Jazz Suite,” “Best Instrumental Composition”). Cuba: The Conversation Continues won a 2016 Latin GRAMMY® for “Best Latin Jazz Album,” and his latest album with Chucho Valdés, Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico, won a GRAMMY® Award in the “Best Instrumental Composition” category.
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.
About Bobi Céspedes Band
A sonera of the classic Cuban style and a priestess of the Yorùbán diaspora, treasured Bay Area singer Bobi Céspedes was described by the Los Angeles Times as “a Cuban powerhouse of a woman who demonstrates on record and in concert that she is the worthy successor to the throne of Celia Cruz.” Céspedes founded the influential Bay Area Cuban ensemble Conjunto Céspedes in 1981 with her brother Luis and nephew Guillermo, releasing three spectacular albums on the Green Linnet and Xenophile labels and sharing the stage with salsa titans Tito Puenté, Rubén Blades and Celia Cruz.
Bobi Céspedes worked with Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum project beginning in 1998, appearing on his Supralingua and Spirit into Sound releases, and toured the world with his ensemble. In 2003, Six Degrees Records released Rezos, a blend of Cuban son and electronic beats that included the track “Awoyo,” a composition featured in season 4 of the smash Showtime series Dexter. Her follow-up, Patakin, features a cross-section of the Bay Area’s finest Latin jazz musicians including bassist Saul Sierra and pianist Marco Díaz.
About Son Jarocho All Stars
Camilo Landau, leader of the Son Jarocho All Stars, is a musician with a lifetime of experience under his belt. He began learning the guitar and Cuban tres at the age of twelve from his uncle, GRAMMY®-nominated record producer Greg Landau. By the age of sixteen, Camilo had performed alongside Carlos Santana, and went on to continue his musical studies in Cuba and Nicaragua. Returning to the University of Santa Cruz for his undergraduate studies, he founded post-Latin group Carne Cruda, which remained active for over a decade. Over the years, Camilo has performed alongside such household names as Ozomatli, Los Lobos, Stevie Wonder, and countless others. In 2008, he and Greg Landau founded Round Whirled Records, and the two have dozens of records on their resumes. He is a 2016 GRAMMY® nominee, and the founder of the San Francisco Son Jarocho Festival.