Afro Latin Jazz Alliance Partners with Famed Greenwich Village Jazz Club Fat Cat to Launch New York City All-Star Youth Big Band


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NEW YORK—The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) announced today its invitation to New York City's finest young musicians to sit under the directorship of Arturo O'Farrill, leader of the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), and be a part of an elite all-city youth big band hosted by the famed Greenwich Village jazz club Fat Cat, called the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats.

“The best thing about my work is the chance to interact with young musicians, and this opportunity to invite young people to be a part of our work thrills me to no end," said O'Farrill.

In partnership with Fat Cat, the ALJA will provide a unique education and performance opportunity to students throughout the five boroughs in middle and high school to study with O'Farrill, an acclaimed pianist and composer. As an educator, he has taught master classes, seminars, and workshops throughout the world for students and teachers of all levels. O'Farrill has served on the faculties of The University of Massachusetts Amherst and SUNY Purchase. He currently provides instrument and ensemble instruction to students in the Afro Latin Jazz Academy of Music, currently operating at the Business of Sports School in Manhattan and the Urban Assembly Bronx Studio School for Writers and Artists in the South Bronx.

“The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is honored to work with New York City's most accomplished young musicians in an ensemble that will allow them to showcase their talents and learn from a master artist and educator. We are grateful to Fat Cat for its generosity in hosting this esteemed big band," remarked Eric Oberstein, Executive Director of the ALJA.

A statement from the Fat Cat staff read, “We at Fat Cat are excited to have our doors open to ALJA and the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats. This is a great opportunity to advance and preserve a great aspect of American culture."

The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats will be an audition-based ensemble that will rehearse every Sunday afternoon at Fat Cat through the academic year from 12PM to 3PM. Auditions will be held on Sunday, September 26, 2010 at Fat Cat (75 Christopher Street at 7th Avenue). Brass instruments (trumpets, trombones) will audition from 12PM to 1PM, woodwinds (saxophones) from 1PM to 2PM, and rhythm section (piano, bass, drums, percussion) from 2PM to 3PM. Students will be asked to sight read a piece of music, prepare two works (of both slow and fast tempos), play together with a rhythm section, and improvise. Students with an interest/experience in composition are especially encouraged to audition. The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats will have opportunities to perform at Fat Cat and other prominent music venues around New York City on a regular basis.

While there is no set fee required to participate, there is a suggested donation of $10 upon audition. Interested students, parents, and teachers should contact Eric Oberstein at [email protected] for more details.

Founded in 2007, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of big band Latin Jazz, supporting its performance for new audiences, and educating young people in the understanding and performance of this important cultural treasure. The Alliance maintains a world-class collection of Latin jazz musical scores and recordings, provides institutional support for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and provides education programs for young musicians and new audiences. From 2002 to 2007, the ALJO was a resident orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center, where it earned a GRAMMY nomination for its 2005 album, Una Noche Inolvidable. The Orchestra is entering the fourth season of its residency at its new home on Manhattan's Upper West Side, Symphony Space. The ALJO continues to tour nationally and internationally to critical acclaim. In 2009, the ALJO won a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for its release, Song for Chico.

For more information on the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and Fat Cat, visit:http://www.afrolatinjazz.org and http://www.fatcatmusic.org

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