ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, and founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. His debut album with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a Grammy award nomination in 2006. His albums Song for Chico (2009) and The Offense of the Drum (2015) both won Grammys. Arturo’s other honors include the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award and a Cubadisco Award for The Offense of the Drum in 2015. His newest album release is Cuba: The Conversation Continues on the Motéma label.
Arturo received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. As his professional career began to expand, Arturo was the pianist with the Carla Bley Big Band from 1979 through 1983. He then went on to develop as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, the Fort Apache Band, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte.
In 1995 Arturo agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra. In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his father’s homeland for headlining performances at the twenty-sixth edition of the Havana International Jazz Festival. Currently, Arturo’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition of performing every Sunday night at Birdland, which has for decades been one of the most popular jazz clubs in the country. Arturo now performs throughout the world as a solo artist, with his orchestra, and with smaller ensembles.
As an educator, Arturo has taught master classes, seminars, and workshops throughout the world for students and teachers of all levels. In 2007-2008 he was assistant professor of jazz at Umass Amherst, and from 2008 to 2010 he served as assistant professor at SUNY Purchase. He is currently the director of Jazz Studies at Brooklyn College.
Over the past several years, Arturo has toured the United States, Latin America, Europe, and Asia. During this period, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music.
Arturo has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispanico), Megaron Concert Hall (Athens), Kannai Hall (Yokohama), the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taiwan), and at New York’s Symphony Space, where he and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra have been in residence since 2007.
A recognized composer, Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Apollo Theater. He has also composed music for films, including Hollywoodland and Salud.
Trumpeter Adam O’Farrill is the son of Grammy award-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill and classical pianist Alison Deane, and the grandson of the legendary Afro Cuban jazz composer Chico O’Farrill. Adam spent his childhood living with music. He started piano at the age of six, and trumpet at the age of eight. Ever since then, Adam has had numerous accomplishments in the jazz world.
Adam has performed with a wide variety of acclaimed world-class musicians, including Stefon Harris, Arturo O’Farrill, Benny Golson, DJ Logic, Kenny Burrell, and James Moody. He has performed in many notable venues and festivals, including the 2010 Carefusion Newport Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, 2009 Mount Fuji Jazz Festival, and Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. In 2009, O’Farrill was chosen to participate in the Jazz in the White House program as part of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz; he was also chosen to participate in the 2010 Grammy Jazz Ensemble. Adam has won Outstanding Soloist awards at the first and second Annual Charles Mingus High School Competitions, as well as the 2010 Essentially Ellington Competition.
As a composer, Adam was commissioned to write a piece for Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. His compositions were also featured in Symphony Space’s The Music of Now Marathon. Adam writes mainly for the O’Farrill Brothers Band, and five of his compositions (and one arrangement) will be on the upcoming album Giant Peach.
His biggest influences as a trumpet player range from earlier players like Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Clifford Brown, and Woody Shaw, to more recent players like Terence Blanchard, Wynton Marsalis, Ambrose Akinmusire, Dave Douglas, and Ralph Alessi. As a composer, some of his biggest influences include his father and grandfather, Wayne Shorter, Dave Douglas, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Terence Blanchard, Gil Evans, Slavic Soul Party, and Albert Ayler.
Adam has studied with Jim Seeley, Nathan Warner, Michael Rodriguez, Ambrose Akinmusire, and Bobby Shew.
Zack O’Farrill is a drummer, percussionist, and composer from Brooklyn. He grew up surrounded by jazz, Afro Latin, and classical music. Young, multiracial, multicultural, and multimusical, Zack has explored the worlds of hip-hop, electronic music, ethnic music from around the world, twentieth-century classical music, the work of singer-songwriters, and many other genres. All these influences have worked their way into his music, with which he constantly tries to break down walls.
Zack has performed in some of New York City’s most prestigious jazz venues — the Jazz Gallery, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Cornelia Street Café, Birdland, etc. — and he has played around the world in clubs and festivals in Spain, Japan, Switzerland, and Cuba. A dedicated teacher, he has been on the faculty of the Samba Meets Jazz workshops, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, and the Flynn Center Jazz Camp, as well as after-school programs in the New York City public schools. He continues to make music with his father, Arturo O’Farrill; his brother, Adam O’Farrill; and other musicians in and around the East Coast.
José (“Bambam”) Rodriguez, double bass, was born in Caracas, Venezuela. He had his first steps in music sneaking into rock jam sessions at the age of four, which led him to start playing the electric bass and studying music on his own at the age of seven. He started taking music lessons at the age of ten, and a year later joined the Conservatorio Simon Bolivar in Caracas, the most prestigious music school of the capital, where he began his formal studies on the double bass. A few years later he joined the Sistema de Orquestas as a bass player, which gave him the opportunity to perform regularly all around the country and to work with Simon Rattle and Gustavo Dudamel, among others. Bambam has performed and toured Venezuela playing rock, salsa, Afro Cuban, and Venezuelan music with various ensembles.
At the age of eighteen Bambam traveled to Belgium to get bachelor’s and master’s degrees in jazz double bass, and three years later he moved to Holland to get a master’s diploma in jazz and Latin American and West African rhythms. During his stay in Europe he performed regularly in Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Holland, Germany, Hungary, and Romania as well as in Venezuela, Mexico, and the Caribbean, where he worked with the Latin jazz masters Alfredo Naranjo and Nené Quintero, and many others.
In 2012 Bambam moved to New York City, where he leads and co-leads many musical projects. He has collaborated with Claudia Acuña, Ari Hoenig, Yayo Serka, Juancho Herrera and Yuri Juárez. He still regularly tours Europe, Latin America, and the Caribbean.
Arturo O'Farrill is represented by Unlimited Myles at unlimitedmyles.com.