Saturday, August 8, 2020

The Arturo/Zack/Adam O’Farrill Quintet

The Arturo/Zack/Adam O’Farrill Quintet features Arturo O’Farrill (piano), Zack O’Farrill (drums) and Adam O’Farrill (trumpet). As the sons of Arturo O’Farrill, Zack and Adam have played music along with their Dad since they were kids. Now in their twenties, they have become fluent in modern musical languages all their own. But the magnetic attraction of having grown up playing music with Arturo and each other (and being grandsons of the Latin Jazz genius Chico O’Farrill) lends a quality to this quintet that separates it from every other group of its size. While Arturo continues to compose and perform with his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Zack and Adam have created their own paths as well, most notably the very well-received band Stranger Days. Their presentation as a “family band” here creates a synergy that must be heard in person.

Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba. Arturo has performed with his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, as well as smaller ensembles in the US, Europe, Russia, Australia, and South America. He has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, The Apollo Theater, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Young Peoples Chorus of New York, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition and the 2016 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His powerful “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo was the 2018 Grammy Award (his sixth) winner for Best Instrumental Composition.
Arturo O’Farrill is a Professor of Global Jazz Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. O’Farrill is a Steinway Artist.

Adam O’Farrill is a trumpet player and composer from Brooklyn, NY. As a trumpeter, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mary Halvorson, Arturo O’Farrill, Mulatu Astatke, Brasstracks, Stephan Crump, Onyx Collective, Anna Webber, and Samora Pinderhughes. As a composer and bandleader, he leads his quartet, Stranger Days. Their eponymous debut (2016, Sunnyside Records) was inspired by film and literature, while the follow-up album, El Maquech (2018, Biophilia Records) covered everything from Mexican folk music to Irving Berlin, as well as O’Farrill’s original compositions. Both were critically acclaimed, with the New York Times writing of the first release, “Marshaling a sharp band of his peers, Mr. O’Farrill establishes both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt.” The latter album was listed as one of the best jazz albums of 2018 by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, The Boston Globe, and Nextbop. Adam’s newest project, Bird Blown Out of Latitude, is an electro-acoustic nonet, playing original music inspired by the feeling of being pushed off a perceived path.

Zack O’Farrill is a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-musical artist who doesn’t believe in the walls that separate us. From the European-concert-music-influenced Afro-Cuban big band jazz of their grandfather, Chico O’Farrill, to the tongue-in- cheek free jazz of Carla Bley, to having a rotation of the Beatles, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, and Oscar Peterson in the car on summer road trips, Zack has never viewed music with any particular regard to genre. Zack was the founding drummer for both the Fred Ho- founded Eco-Music Big Band, and the Libertè Big Band. He has collaborated extensively with pianist Albert Marquès, and also performs regularly with saxophonists Livio Almeida and Roy Nathanson, guitarist Jessica Ackerley, flamenco-jazz saxophonist and singer Antonio Lizana and many more. In the summer of 2015, he participated in the illustrious Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative music where he had the opportunity to work closely with incredible artists such as Zakir Hussein, Jabali Billy Hart, Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey. As a composer, Zack has had compositions featured on
recordings with the Marquès Stinson O’Farrill Trio, the Eco-Music Big Band, and his composition “There’s a Statue of José Martí in Central Park” closes the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra’s Grammy-winning record Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Zack currently leads his own quartet, performing his original music, and is in the process of planning his first record as a leader.