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Pianists Paquito Hechavarria, Adrian Iaies & Arturo O'farrill Play "Habaneras, Blues & Tangos" April 4-6

SOURCE: Published:
Part of Jazz Appreciation Month in April 2002.

As an extension of its popular solo piano recitals, Jazz at Lincoln Center (J@LC) will bring together three renowned and diverse Latin music pianists PAQUITO HECHAVARRIA, ADRIAN IAIES, and ARTURO O’FARRILL in “Habaneras, Blues and Tangos” on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, April 4, 5, and 6, 2002 at 8pm in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse.

The three diverse pianists Hechavarria from Cuba, Iaies from Argentina, and O’Farrill from New York will each perform a 35-minute set bringing to life the various rhythmic piano styles that laid the foundation for jazz, Latin music, and Afro-Cuban jazz. When Jelly Roll Morton spoke, at the turn of the century, about the indelible influence of “the Spanish tinge” on jazz, he was largely referring to the influence of these Caribbean and South American piano styles on early jazz piano styles.

Tickets at $45 are available at the Alice Tully Hall box office, by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500, or via www.jazzatlincolncenter.org.

Paquito Hechavarria grew up in Cardenas, Matanzas, Cuba. He graduated from Conservatorio de Musica in Havana at age 16, by which time he was already playing with the renowned Conjunto Casino and the Riverside Orchestra. He became the director of the latter, a role previously held by the famous Pedro “Peruchin” Justin. Hechavarria’s talents led him also to a position with the orchestra of Julio Gutierrez. After playing in Havana’s greatest cabarets, he stopped due to the political situation of the country and left Cuba. He joined the prestigious orchestra at the FountainBleu Hilton in Miami Beach for 10 years, accompanying artists such as Frank Sinatra, Ann Margaret, Sammy Davis, Jr. and others. He also composed the theme music for the famous TV sitcom “Que Pasa U.S.A.” He performed at Caesar’s Palace with the “Pupy Campos Orchestra.” As a solo pianist, Hechavarria has performed with Barry Manilow, Cachao, Nestor Torres, Jose Luis Rodriguez, Julio Iglesias, Luis Enrique, Mongo Santamaria, and others. He has performed frequently with Gloria Estafan, including on “Oye Mi Canto” for the Grammy-winning “Mi Tierra.” The title song his is first solo album with a major recording company, “Piano” was number one on the Hot Latin Tracks Billboard soon after it was released. He has also earned wide praise for his annual performances during after-screening parties in conjunction with the Miami Film Festival.

Argentinean pianist, arranger, and composer Adrin Iaies was born in 1960 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He first became involved in the jazz-fusion scene in the mid-1980s when he formed a band called Touch, recording Ventanilla 16, released by Cirse Records in 1989, and La Lluvia es Sagrada, made in one session in May of 1993. That same year, Iaies created a project called the Adrin Iaies Tro, issuing Nostalgias y Otros Vicios in 1998 and Latin Grammy-nominated Las Tardecitas de Minton's in 1999. Iaies would subsequently concentrate on a solo piano record called Una Modica Plenitud. In 2000, after performing at New York's Brazilian-Argentinean Jazz Festival, Adrin Iaies moved to Barcelona, Spain, to make Tango Reflections. His current trio has performed at the “Festival Internacional de los 7 Lagos," the “Tercer Festival Argentino Brasilero de Jazz de New York," and has toured the United States twice.

Arturo O’Farrill was born on June 22, 1960 in Mexico, where his father thrived as a bandleader, but grew up in New York City. He began his illustrious career playing piano in the award-winning jazz band at New York’s famed High School of Music and Art. After studies at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory, Arturo joined the Carla Bley Big Band from 1979 thru 1983. O’Farrill then went on to develop as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists: Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Noel Pointer, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band, and Lester Bowie among others. In 1987, he became musical director for Harry Belafonte. In 1995 Arturo agreed to direct the band that preserved so much of his father’s music, Chico O’Farrill’s Afro Cuban Jazz orchestra, which has been in residence at New York City’s Birdland for the past several years and has toured the world extensively. Arturo O’Farrill was a special guest soloist at two landmark Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts Afro Cuban Jazz: Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra in November of 1995 and Con Alma: The Latin Tinge in Big Band Jazz in September of 1998. Arturo is in high demand as an educator and practitioner of Latin music. In January of 2000, he led a panel discussion and performance workshop on “The Latin Rhythm Section” at the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse under the auspices of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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