Arturo O'Farrill, an extraordinary pianist, admits he came out of the bebop school of playing, a Bud Powell
disciple, and his strong chops would attest to that. He didn't pursue the music of his father--the great Chico O'Farrill
--in his younger days, but he came upon it as he studied the music. He came to not only appreciate it, but his excellent bands embody it.
He's led two Latin big bands, one celebrating his father's music (the Chico O'Farrill Alfredo De La Fé) and the other--the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra--examining more broad influences. The latter's Una Noche Inolvidable (An Unforgettable Night), (Palmetto Records, 2005) was nominated for a 2006 Grammy and its Song for Chico (Zoho Music, 2008) won the 2009 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.
Veteran AAJ Contributor R.J. DeLuke spoke with O'Farrill about the genesis of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, bringing Latin music into the mainstream, and his views on what jazz needs to do in order to regain its status as popular music.
Check out Arturo O'Farrill: Upholding the Latin Tinge at AAJ today!
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