Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Release New Album Featuring The Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective

Article Contributed by JP Cutler Media | Published on Monday, October 3, 2022

A remarkable journey through Afro Latin music and the 400-year-old regional folk music son jarocho of Veracruz, Mexico, Fandango at the Wall in New York (TigerTurn, Release Date: September 29, 2022) is the next chapter for multi-GRAMMY Award-winning composer, pianist, bandleader, educator, and activist Arturo O'Farrill and his mission to unite people through the power of profoundly moving compositions. O'Farrill's latest cross-cultural collaboration, Fandango at the Wall in New York, brings his award-winning 18-piece big band the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra together with special guests The Conga Patria Son Jarocho Collective featuring artists Patricio Hidalgo, Ramón Gutiérrez Hernández, Tacho Utrera, Wendy Cao Romero, Fernando Guadarrama, and Jorge Francisco Castillo (Founder, Fandango Fronterizo). Villalobos Brothers also perform on Fandango at the Wall in New York.

Fandango at the Wall in New York is the next installment of a rich multimedia project that encompasses the critically-acclaimed 2018 album, Fandango at the Wall: A Soundtrack for the United States, Mexico, and Beyond (Resilience, 2018); a book Fandango at the Wall: Creating Harmony Between the United States and Mexico (Grand Central, 2018); and a documentary film, Fandango at the Wall (HBO, 2020; Televisa, 2021). The Fandango at the Wall project has performed riveting live shows on the U.S./Mexico border as part of the Fandango Fronterizo Festival (2018) as well as concert halls across the country, including most recently to a New York City crowd of more than 5,000 people at Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 1 (July 2022) -- see The New Yorker's advance "Night Life" Concert Preview (LINK). Fandango at the Wall in New York was recorded partly live in New York.

"Fandango at the Wall In New York is especially important now, when so many things are going wrong and such horrible violence is wreaking havoc on our nation," says Arturo O'Farrill. "It's more important than ever to state that borders don't exist -- they're manmade. I wanted to bring the Fandango at the Wall project full circle for me. It was born in Mexico with the son jaracho tradition, just as I was born in Mexico City. As a New Yorker for the greater part of my life, I wanted to capture the spirit of New York both live and in the studio and celebrate diversity in all the wonderful ways that New Yorkers know how to do. We collectively celebrate humanity, togetherness, and peace through the music of son jarocho."

As the founder of the non-profit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, O'Farrill has dedicated his life to not only crossing artificial borders but to erasing them in his wake. With his latest project, Fandango at the Wall In New York, O'Farrill has created a stunningly ambitious work that showcases the rich fruits that can grow from common ground. Fandango at the Wall In New York brings together brilliant voices from a variety of cultural and musical traditions to tear down a variety of walls that isolate us -- physical, musical, or cultural. Fandango at the Wall In New York is an intensely joyous celebration that exults in the universal language of music.

A bestselling author, investment banker, and military veteran, Kabir Sehgal is Executive Producer of Fandango at the Wall In New York and appears alongside O'Farrill in the spectacular film, Fandango at the Wall (HBO Max).

"Fandango at the Wall is ultimately a project of convergence," Sehgal writes. "I hope that as you listen to this music, you'll hear the possibilities of what the relationship between the United States and Mexico can become. And that we as artists and activists continue to create the world in which we want to live."

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About Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O'Farrill -- leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (New York Times) -- was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo played piano in Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience, and to greatly expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to artists across a wide stylistic and geographic range. In March 2021, O'Farrill and the ALJO won their 7th GRAMMY for Four Questions, with Cornel West as guest orator. In September 2018, O'Farrill released his album, Fandango at the Wall: A Soundtrack for the United States, Mexico, and Beyond, which was also released as a documentary for HBO MAX. In 2019, O'Farrill was appointed Professor at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in the Global Jazz Studies department and is currently the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. O'Farrill's debut recording with Blue Note Records ...dreaming in lions... is nominated for a 2022 GRAMMY Award in the "Best Instrumental Composition" category, and his album, Virtual Birdland (ZOHO), is nominated for "Best Latin Jazz Album." O'Farrill is a Steinway Artist and records for Blue Note Records.

Afro Latin Jazz Alliance
The non-profit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) was established by Arturo O'Farrill in 2007 to promote Afro Latin Jazz through a comprehensive array of performance and education programs. ALJA's mission is to perform, educate about, and preserve the music of all of the Americas, emanating from African and indigenous roots, through the entry point of jazz. ALJA embraces its mission with a commitment to social justice, equity, inclusion, and the equality of all cultures worldwide. ALJA produces the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra's annual performance season in New York, and maintains a weekly engagement for the Orchestra at the famed jazz club Birdland. The Alliance also maintains a world-class collection of Latin jazz musical scores and recordings. ALJA's education programs include the Afro Latin Jazz Academy of Music (ALJAM), an in-school residency program serving public schools citywide with instrumental and ensemble instruction, the pre-professional youth orchestra; the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats, which prepares the next generation of musicians, and the Global Rhythms in Our Tribe (G.R.I.O.T.); a community music program that engages underserved youth in anti-violence activities. The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance maintains administrative offices in Harlem.