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Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Turns 10!



The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to Celebrate Historic 10th Anniversary Season with Special Program at Symphony Space, January 20 & 21

January 20 Benefit Concert to Feature World-Class Special Guests, Including: Randy Weston, Ray Santos, Dafnis Prieto, Claudia Acuña, Donald Harrison, Edmar Castañeda, and Fernando Otero, among others.

NEW YORK—The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance announces that it will celebrate the 10th Anniversary season of the GRAMMY® Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), directed by Arturo O’Farrill, with a special program at Symphony Space on Manhattan’s Upper West Side, on January 20 & 21. Entitled “The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Turns 10,” the program will showcase the ensemble performing a wide range of repertoire, spanning from their earliest Jazz at Lincoln Center beginnings to their latest commissions, including works by Miguel Zenón, Dafnis Prieto, Vijay Iyer, O’Farrill, and many others. Additionally, a special world premiere will celebrate the commitment the Orchestra has made towards progressing this vital art form.

For the January 20 performance only, a star-studded lineup of some of the world’s leading musicians will join the ALJO on stage in celebration of its landmark anniversary, including: one of the world’s foremost pianists and composers today, a true innovator and visionary Randy Weston, Latin Recording Academy Trustees Award recipient Ray Santos, 2011 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship recipient Dafnis Prieto, Claudia Acuña, Donald Harrison, Edmar Castaneda, and Fernando Otero, among others. The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance will also honor Palmieri, Santos, and Robert Sancho, Vice President of Bronx- Lebanon Hospital and founding board chair of the ALJA, for their contributions to Afro Latin jazz.

Additionally, the January 20 performance will serve as a benefit concert for the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, the ALJO’s non-profit organization committed to keeping this culturally rich tradition alive through Afro Latin jazz performance, education, and preservation. Anniversary Celebration Benefit Concert Tickets are $60, $80, and $100, and at the $100 level include a post performance reception at the home of City Council member Gale Brewer.

O’Farrill exclaims, “Ten years of existence is a milestone for the ALJO, not so much because we survived, but because we’ve created a new entry point into the cultural conversation. There is such great diversity in this music. Our embrace of an inclusive picture in jazz has welcomed many people into the fold because of this approach. This season we celebrate the finest moments in our history, which have consistently reflected a rich and comprehensive picture of Afro Latin jazz.”

The two-night January engagement is the second in a series of three landmark performances at Symphony Space, commemorating the 10th Anniversary season. The kick-off took place in October with a tribute to and featuring Andy and Jerry González, founders of the pioneering, Bronx-born Fort Apache Band and arguably the most important siblings in Latin jazz.

The final performances will take place on May 11 & 12, with a program entitled “Música Nueva 5: Big Band Poetry Slam & Beyond.” The Orchestra’s fifth annual new music concert, Música Nueva, will celebrate the spoken word tradition with a big band poetry slam curated by poet and musician Angel R. Rodríguez, Sr. and will honor the work of the Nuyorican Poets Café. Guest DJs, MCs, spoken word artists, instrumentalists, and dancers will mix the classic sound of mambo, boogaloo, and salsa with hip-hop, acid jazz, and alternative improvisation.

About The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra:
Founded in 2002 by O’Farrill to perform the full repertory of big band Afro Latin jazz, and commission new works to advance this culturally rich genre, the ALJO was a resident orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2002 to 2007. In 2007, the ALJO left Lincoln Center to pursue the twin goals of developing new audiences for big band Afro Latin jazz and of creating a robust educational program for young performers. O’Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance that same year to pursue both the performance and educational aspects of this uniquely pan-American art form.

The ALJO is entering its fifth season in residence at Symphony Space, and it continues to tour nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, performing over the past several years at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, The Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispanico), Megaron Concert Hall (Athens, Greece), and the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taichung, Taiwan), among countless other venues. The ALJO received a GRAMMY® nomination for its 2005 album, Una Noche Inolvidable (Palmetto), and in 2009 earned a GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album for its release Song for Chico (Zoho). The Orchestra released its newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro (Zoho), this past February.

About The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance:
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 GRAMMY® Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and provides education programs for young musicians and new audiences.

The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Turns 10″
@ Peter Norton Symphony Space
Friday, January 20 & Saturday, January 21 – 8pm

January 20 Performance – Benefit Concert w/ Special Guests:
Randy Weston, Ray Santos, Dafnis Prieto, Claudia Acuña,
Donald Harrison, Edmar Castaneda, and Fernando Otero, among others

2537 Broadway at 95th Street
New York, NY 10025-6990
Phone – (212)864-5400
Web –

Randy Weston
Robert Sancho
Ray Santos

Honorary Chairs
New York City Council Member Gale A. Brewer
Bronx Borough President Ruben Díaz, Jr.
United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez
Danny Glover
Oscar Hijuelos
Sonia Manzano
Marta Moreno Vega
Dafnis Prieto
Tina Ramirez
Miguel Zenón
Benefit Committee
Rogelio J. Carrasquillo
Eduardo Castell
Debra S. Cooper
Elizabeth Derbes
Jane Holzka & Mark Winther
Thomas Kamber
Don Lebowitz
Eduardo J. Martí
Renee C. Martinez
Sheri Mason
Arturo O’Farrill
Eric Oberstein
Nina Olson
Santos Rivera
Leonor Rodriguez & John Figueroa
James Seeley
Diane Sylvester
James R. Wacht
Paul Walker

For more information on the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance & Orchestra, visit:

For media information, please contact:
DL Media • 610-667-0501
Jordy Freed •
Don Lucoff •

Latin Jazz Network is a project dedicated to the advancement of Latin jazz and its creators. Since 2000 LJN has been spreading the word about this wonderful music known under the umbrella term: LATIN JAZZ.

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