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Arturo O’Farrill and ALJO with Tito Rodriguez Jr. at The Kennedy Center



Arturo O’Farrill And The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra With Special Guest, Timbalero Tito Rodriguez, Jr. and Vocalists Sammy Gonzalez, Jr., Jorge Maldonado and Luis Rosa.

Celebrate National Dance Day at The Kennedy Center – July 27, 2013, 8-11:30 pm; 8-11:30 pm on the South Plaza
“Dancing Under the Stars,” dance lessons, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez Jr.
8-9 pm: Dance lessons | 9-10 pm: Live music and dancing |10-10:30 pm: “Brush up” lesson |10:30-11:30 pm: Second set of live music and dancing

With a deep knowledge of Afro-Latin rhythm and percussion, Grammy-winning pianist Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) elevate Latin jazz standards to new heights. The performance honors the Palladium Ballroom’s Big 3, featuring the music of Tito Puente, Frank “Machito” Grillo, and Tito Rodriguez, Sr., which ignited the mambo as a national dance craze and established it as a standard form in American and International social dance. The ensemble, joined by special guest timbalero Tito Rodriguez, Jr. and vocalist Sammy Gonzalez, Jr., with Jorge Maldonado and Luis Rosa on choro makes even the most dizzyingly complex pieces feel effortless and joyful, and the best dance tunes feel wonderfully artful.


National Dance Day

The Kennedy Center, in association with Dizzy Feet Foundation and in conjunction with Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, invites everyone to celebrate the art of dance as it hosts the East Coast installment of National Dance Day. This free event features outdoor dance performances, interactive dance routines and lessons, live music, and “Dancing Under the Stars,” with performances by Dizzy Feet Foundation, hip-hop troupe Culture Shock professional and youth companies, celebrated dance/tap duo the Manzari Brothers, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, percussionist Tito Rodriguez Jr., and many others.

Launched in 2010 by So You Think You Can Dance co-creator and Dizzy Feet Foundation co-president Nigel Lythgoe, this grassroots campaign encourages Americans to embrace dance as a fun and positive way to maintain good health and combat obesity. National Dance Day achieved national recognition in July 2010 when Congresswoman Norton, a long-time proponent of healthy lifestyles, introduced a congressional resolution declaring the last Saturday in July to be the country’s official National Dance Day. For more information about National Dance Day, visit the Dizzy Feet Foundation website.

Dizzy Feet Foundation has produced instructional dance videos available on their YouTube channel featuring dance routines for the public to learn in advance of the day’s performance. Instructors will be on hand for group lessons July 27. This year, film producer/director and fellow So You Think You Can Dance judge Adam Shankman choreographed an “Everybody Dance” routine for people of all levels of ability, and show choreographers Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo have created a “Hip-Hop Master Class” routine for those who want to challenge themselves. The public is also encouraged to submit videos of themselves performing the routines.


1-5:30 pm on the South Plaza
Free performances, dance lessons, interactive dances
Dizzy Feet – “Everybody Dance” and “Hip-Hop Master Class” dance routines
Esperonto Bean – House
DEA Youth Dance Program Partner, CityDance – modern
Doonya Dance – Bollywood
Flamenco Aparicio Dance Company
Joy of Motion Dance Center’s Youth Dance Ensemble – modern
Just Tap featuring Aysha Upchurch and Quynn Johnson
Nomad Dancers – Persian
Dr. Janaki Rangarajan – classical Indian Bharatanatyam
Smooth & EZ – Hand Dance Company
Washington Ballet, TheArc – youth ballet
Doug Yeuell – Broadway jazz class

6-7pm in the Grand Foyer
Culture Shock and Manzari Brothers, a performance that honors James A. Johnson, Kennedy Center Chairman Emeritus and Millennium Stage founder

8-11:30pm on the South Plaza
“Dancing Under the Stars,” dance lessons, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with Tito Rodriguez Jr.

8-9 p.m.: Dance lessons

9-10 p.m.: Live music and dancing

10-10:30 p.m.: “Brush up” lesson

10:30-11:30 p.m.: Second set of live music and dancing

For questions regarding the work of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, upcoming performances by the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, or how to get involved, feel free to send an e-mail to or call 212-283-4086.

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