Wednesday, 18 May 2011

O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz legacy

Daniel Barry for the New York Times.

If there is such a thing as a first family of Afro-Cuban jazz, the clan O'Farrill has the right to claim this distinction. Its members helped to invent the hybrid genus, back in the 1940s, when Chico O'Farrill came to New York from Havana, and in recent years, they worked to revive the music despite the obstacles in Cuba and the United States.

To view this feature, you must download the latest version of flash player here. The latest on the arts, coverage of the events live, critical reviews, extravagance multimedia and much more. Join the discussion. Chico O'Farrill conducting the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra at Alice Tully Hall in 1998.

"We are the kind of people caught between two worlds," said the pianist Arturo O'Farrill, son of 50 years of Chico. In this capacity, he added, it is his duty to encourage "an evolutionary relationship between the two countries should never have been separated cultural" and "pay a debt before" on behalf of his father.

O'Farrills will participate in two very different events in the current three months !Si Cuba! Festival of the arts of New York. On Saturday, the family band O'Farrill, featuring Arturo and his two sons, will play at the Brooklyn Academy of Music cafe, and 14 Arturo will lead the Orchestra of Jazz Afro-Latin at the Symphony Space in a "Wall to wall Sonidos" event which will include the creation of a new piece of 35 minutes, "A small still voice," that he wrote, inspired in part by recent trips to Cuba.

The musical history of the family, which immigrated to Cuba of the British colony of the Montserrat Caribbean, in the 1700s begins with Chico, who was studying in an Academy military Georgia in the 1930s, when he fell in love with jazz. A decade later, after having played the trumpet in the Cuban orchestras, he moved to New York, where he quickly became a composer of a list and arranger, in collaboration with Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton, Charlie Parker, Stan GetzCount Basie and Machito, among others.

""Simply, Chico O'Farrill is the largest figure breed jazz of all time,"Leonardo Acosta, author of" Cubano be Cubano Bop: a hundred years of Jazz in Cuba, "said in a telephone interview from Havana."Its mode of use of the Orchestra as an instrument, its ability to arranger and composer and his talent in the conversion of the Cuban music in jazz and vice versa gives his work a kind of chemistry that no one, neither Cuban nor American. He has another dimension. ?

For Arturo O'Farrill, however, the path to embrace the musical tradition that embodies his father has been right. First, he gravitated to groups of experimental jazz such as composer Carla Bley; for some time, he has even played keyboards in j. Walter Negro and the loose Jointz, mixing elements of hip-hop, funk and disco.

"As a young man that arturo was not looking all that to the music of his father, whose shadow he tried to escape," said Cuban saxophonist Paquito de Rivera, who obtained political asylum in the United States in 1981. "" "". When I go make a visit to the family after I first got here, it would speak rather work with Carla Bley. It is normal that a son should want to be different from his father. What is unusual is that it is now, after he realized just how the music of his father is important and valuable. ?

The turn, Arturo O'Farrill said, takes place in the 1990s, when his father resumed recording under his own name, after a long drought. Arturo starts by playing the piano on some of these sessions and finally takes responsibility for the drafting of the arrangements for and the holding of the Orchestra of his father.

"Arturo was a piano virtuoso at a very young age, but it was only in the last 15 years, he found his own voice, its own pace, and the context, as the leader of an orchestra of fantastic," said producer Todd Barkanwho has worked with the two O'Farrills. "It is a figure very multifaceted, more multifaceted than even his father because he has a broader scope of interests and influences".

In 1995, Arturo and his father began sharing the conductive functions for Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra of Chico in weekly shows at the club jazz Manhattan Birdland, a residence of Sunday night which continued after the death of Chico in 2001. Arturo also founded and directed, initially at the Lincoln Center and at Symphony Space, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, which in 2009 won a Grammy Award for "Song of Chico" CD now and in the event 14 will be a show with a 115-voice choir.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: May 3, 2011

An article on Friday on the pianist Arturo O'Farrill, the son of Chico O'Farrill and role of the family in the development of the breed jazz misspelled the family name of the Director of a documentary, which should be published next year, on the family. It is not Silvester, Diane Sylvester.

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