After a four-year stint with the Carla Bley Big Band, O’Farrill explored a solo path with a diverse cast of Jazz associates (including Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie and Lester Bowie) until the mid-’90s, when he took the reins of his father’s Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, the repository for his father’s impressive body of work.
Ten years ago, O’Farrill founded his own group, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, in an effort to expose an even broader audience to the infectious beauty of Latin Jazz through the Jazz at Lincoln Center program.
Since then, the ALJO trio of recordings — 2005’s Una Noche Inolvidable, 2008’s Song for Chico and 2011’s 40 Acres and a Burro — all earned Grammy nominations, with Song for Chico taking the Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009.
In 2007, O’Farrill and the ALJO split from the Lincoln Center and started their own educational non-profit foundation, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, creating an amazing New York school outreach program; O’Farrill has also served variously as an assistant professor of Jazz for the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, SUNY Purchase and Brooklyn College.
As a composer, educator and performer, Arturo O’Farrill is
on the leading edge of enlightening new generations to the rhythmic
wonder of Latin Jazz.
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