The GRAMMY-award winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), led by pianist, composer, and director Arturo O’Farrill, brings together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world’s most accomplished solo musicians. Twelve years of critically acclaimed performances internationally, have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank “Machito” Grillo, and Chico O’Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music’s most talented composers and arrangers. Presenting programs that range from the very best in dance music sure to bring audiences to their feet, to repertoire that pushes the genre forward, the ALJO commissions and performs innovative compositions and big band arrangements by Vijay Iyer, Miguel Zenón, Dafnis Prieto, Guillermo Klein, Pablo Mayor, Arturo O’Farrill, Michele Rosewoman, Emilio Solla, Papo Vazquez, and many others.
The orchestra’s debut album Una Noche Inolvidable was a 2006 GRAMMY nominee and their second; Song for Chico (ZOHO) won the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year in 2008. ALJO’s third album, 40 Acres and a Burro, (ZOHO) was a 2012 Grammy nominee for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. ALJO’s latest release, The Offense of the Drum (Motéma) won the group’s second Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year in 2014. The ALJO has thrilled audiences at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center, Lincoln Center OUt of Doors, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall, Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Litchfield Jazz Festival (Kent, CT), The Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispánico), Rialto Center for the Performing Arts (Atlanta, GA), Mahalia Jackson Theater – with Ballet Hispánico (New Orleans) Megaron Concert Hall (Athens, Greece), and the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taichung, Taiwan), among other venues.
Their release, Cuba – The Conversation Continues, was recorded in December of 2014 during the historic reestablishment of diplomatic ties between the United States and Cuba. It was released on August 21st, 2015, on Motéma.
The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra had been formerly an artist-in-residence at the Harlem School of the Arts and is the resident headliner Sunday night at the Birdland Jazz Club.
- Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: 40 Acres and a Burro
- Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: The Offense of the Drum
- Arturo O’Farrill & ALJO: Cuba – The Conversation Continues
Arturo O’Farrill, piano and musical director
Gregg August, bass
Vince Cherico, drums
Carly Maldonado, percussion
Keisel Jiménez, percussion
Iván Renta, tenor sax
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, tenor sax
Bobby Porcelli, alto sax
Alexa Tarantino, alto sax
Larry Bustamante, baritone sax
Jim Seeley, trumpet
Seneca Black, trumpet
Bryan Davis, trumpet
David Neves, trumpet
Earl McIntyre, bass trombone
Abulrahman “Rocky” Amer, trombone
Frank Cohen, trombone
Rafi Malkiel, trombone