The Kennedy Center

Arturo O'Farrill


Arturo O'Farrill was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Educated at the Manhattan School of Music and the Brooklyn College Conservatory, Arturo played with the Carla Bley Big Band from 1979 through 1983. He then went on to develop as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Wynton Marsalis, Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Papo Vasquez, The Fort Apache Band, Lester Bowie, and Harry Belafonte.

In 1995, Arturo agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father's music, Chico O'Farrill's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, which has been in residence at New York City's Birdland for the past few years as well as performing throughout the world. Besides recording two albums Bloodlines and A Night in Tunisia, Arturo has appeared on numerous records including the soundtrack to the critically-acclaimed movie Calle 54. A widely respected educator, Arturo states, "I'm always looking for opportunities to transcend international or racial boundaries."

Arturo was a special guest soloist at three landmark Jazz at Lincoln Center concerts - Afro Cuban Jazz: Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra in November 1995, Con Alma: The Latin Tinge in Big Band Jazz in September 1998, and the 2001 Jazz at Lincoln Center Gala. In March 2002, he was the featured artist in Jazz at Lincoln Center's Jazz in the Schools Tour. During two intense weeks, he led a Latin jazz quintet for 24 educational performances throughout NYC metropolitan schools. Arturo currently serves as the musical director of the newly formed Jazz at Lincoln Center Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra. They will hold performances in Brooklyn, the Bronx, and at Lincoln Center during the 2002-2003 season.
Arturo O'Farrill