Arturo O'Farrill

May 1-2

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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 first GRAMMY Award nomination in 2006. His next album Song for Chico, earned a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009. The 2015 release of The Offense of the Drum was yet another Grammy Award winner. Arturo was, in addition, the winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award, and a Cubadisco Award for The Offense of the Drum in 2015. His acclaimed album Cuba: The Conversation Continues (on the Motéma label) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia – Tribute to Chico and Bebo was the 2018 Grammy Award winner Best Instrumental Composition.

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 Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland for headlining performances at the 26th edition of the Havana International Jazz Festival. Currently, Arturo’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra continues the tradition every Sunday night at Birdland, which has for decades been one of the most popular jazz clubs in the the US. Arturo now performs throughout the world as a Solo Artist and also with his Orchestra, as well as smaller ensembles.


"Leader of the “first family of Afro-Cuban jazz…"

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Jazz St. Louis is a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is to lead our community in advancing the uniquely American art of jazz through live performance, education and community engagement.

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