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Arturo O'Farrill





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Arranger; Composer; Instrumentalist; Performer

Jazz; Latin


The Latin AfroJazz Ensemble


Join Date:

Aug 28, 2017

Arturo O'Farrill


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6-time GRAMMY® winner Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator,  was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Arturo’s professional  career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer  with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie,  Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte.

In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit  organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation  of Afro Latin music. Learn more about ALJA here:

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. He continues to  travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working  with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians  from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.

Arturo has performed with orchestras and bands including his own Afro  Latin Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, as well as other  Orchestras and intimate ensembles in the US, Europe, Russia, Australia,  and South America.

An avid supporter of all the Arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet  Hispanico and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written three  ballets. In addition, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company is touring a ballet  entitled “Open Door,” choreographed by Ron Brown to several of  Arturo’s compositions and recordings. Ron Brown’s own Evidence Dance  Company has commissioned Arturo to compose New Conversations, which premiered at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA.

Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at  Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, The Apollo Theater,  Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Young Peoples Chorus  of New York, Columbia University and the New York State Council on the  Arts.

Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition and the 2016 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His powerful “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo was the 2018 Grammy Award (his sixth) winner for Best Instrumental Composition. Arturo’s current album “Four Questions”  (ZOHO) is the first to embody all original compositions, including the  title track, which features the brilliant orator Dr. Cornel West.

In 2019, Arturo was Artist in Residence for The Greene Space in New  York City, for which he created a four-concert series including a newly  commissioned composition. The series title was “Radical Acts and Musical  Deviancy.”

In 2020 Arturo’s weekly concerts with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, dubbed “Virtual Birdland,” top the list of 10 Best Quarantine Concerts in the New York Times.

Arturo is Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean for  Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at University of California, Los Angeles  (UCLA), and has been honored as a Steinway Artist for many years.

Arturo O'Farrill

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