Arthur O’Farrill (Mexico City, 1960): pianist, teacher, composer, conductor and arranger, son of the Cuban trumpeter, composer and director Chico O’Farrill (1921-2001) —architect of Afro-Cuban jazz— and the Mexican singer Lupe Valero, has been nominated for the 2022 Grammy Award in the category of Best Instrumental Composition for the disk Dreaming in lions (Blue Note, 2021) performed by The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble.
Dreaming in lions has caused surprise in the jazz spaces of New York, a plate commissioned by the Malpaso Dance Company from a proposal with experimental borders in the intersection of American jazz, dance acquiescences, Afro-Cuban jazz and hardbop. Two times: Fired (five themes inspired by The old man and the seaby Ernest Hemingway) and Dreaming in lions (nine programmatic compositions for modern dance). Instrumental conjunction phonogram: wind section (trumpet, flute, saxophones, trombone), Afro-Cuban percussion, marimba, bass —acoustic, electric—, guitar —electric, acoustic—, fender rhodes and piano.
- Artist: Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble
- Genre: Jazz
- Label: Blue Note, 2021
First production of the Cuban-Mexican pianist with the iconic Blue Note record label founded by the legendary Alfred Lions. “I am stunned and honored to be part of the catalog of this label where the great figures of jazz have recorded. An incredible dream, the fact of arriving with my band at these studios, as well as with my sons Adam (trumpet) and Zack (drums) as members of the band”, said the author of the successful Latin jazz piece “Four Questions”.
The ceremony of the delivery of the Grammy Awards 2022 will be held in person next Sunday, April 3 at the Garden Arena in Las Vegas, where Arturo O’Farrill is also contending with the plaque Virtual Birdland (2021), as Best Latin Jazz Album. “I am honored to be named for two albums. I am amazed by the musical quality of the other nominees. Congratulations to my corresponding colleagues”, reads a recent Twitter of the pianist.
Who is Arthur O’Farrill?
Trained in the musical spaces of New York, Havana and Mexico, Arturo O’Farrill witnessed his father’s work as director, composer and arranger for Stan Kenton, Machito, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer, Clark Terry, Count Basie, La Lupe, Tito Puente, Gerry Mulligan and Gato Barbieri, among others.
Graduated with cum laude from the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and the Aaron Copland Institute of Music in Queens, he confesses: “I listened spellbound to the pianists Bud Powell and Chick Corea and even imitated them; Carla Bley heard me playing in a club one day and recruited me for her Carnegie Hall Big Band: that’s where it all started. Later I collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie, Howard Johnson, Steve Turre, Papo Vázquez and Lester Bowie: appearances that gave me confidence on stage.
Arturo O’Farrill became musical director of Harry Belafonte, and pianist and musical director of his father’s Big Band: Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra. After the death of the author of “Carambola” he became the leader of the group until he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), a pioneer of the ensemble that he directs today.
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What are the two Arturo O’Farrill albums nominated for the 2022 Grammy?