The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra With Arturo O'Farrill And Ballet Hispanico In First-Time Collaboration
Latin, 16/03/2006 Comment

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NEW YORK (Arturo O'Farrill Official Website) - For the first time, the GRAMMY award-nominated Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra with Arturo O'Farrill will share the stage with New York's own Ballet Hispanico in the world premiere of a new ballet, "Palladium Nights," on April 21 & 22 at 8pm in Rose Theater at Jazz at Lincoln Center's Frederick P. Rose Hall. Choreographed by Willie Rosario under the artistic direction of Ballet Hispanico's Tina Ramirez, with musical direction by Arturo O'Farrill, this unique collaboration will mark the first time the two bastions of Latin culture have performed together. The evening-long work will tell the story of a typical night at New York City's Palladium, the world-famous club located at Broadway and 53rd st. that was the center of the mambo and cha-cha crazes that swept the dance scene in the 1950s. The dances were fueled by the house band at the Palladium, led by Machito and it's composer and arranger, Chico O'Farrill, whose music will anchor this performance.

The band will also perform selections including "Cuban Blues" and "Trumpet Fantasy" by Chico O'Farrill and "Picadillo" by Tito Puente and Chico O'Farrill's greatest work, "Afro-Cuban Suite." Tickets for Palladium Nights are $30, $50, $75, $100, $130 and available at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office on Broadway at 60th St., by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or via

This intriguing collaboration will also be performed in an abbreviated version as a Jazz For Young PeopleSM concert on Saturday, April 22, 2006 in Rose Theater at Frederick P. Rose Hall at 12pm & 2pm. Hosted by Arturo O'Farrill, the performance featuring the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, in collaboration with Ballet Hispanico, will heat up the stage, teaching young students about the union of Latin dance and Afro-Latin jazz. These engaging live performances combine narration and music, inviting audience participation. Tickets are $10, $15, $30 and available at the Jazz at Lincoln Center Box Office on Broadway at 60th St., by calling CenterCharge at (212) 721-6500 or via

The ensemble exemplifies the best that Latin jazz culture offers: rich tradition through music and timeless appeal around the world. Latin jazz is a general term given to music that combines rhythms from African and Latin American countries with jazz harmonies from the United States. Afro-Cuban Latin jazz includes salsa, merengue, songo, son, mambo, bolero, charanga and cha cha cha. Originating in the 1940s, Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton began to combine the rhythm section and structure of Afro-Cuban music. Latin jazz employs straight rhythm, not swung rhythm and the conga, timbale, g?iro and claves are charecterized in this unique music.

The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra is composed of 18 soloists who play classics of the Afro-Latin tradition. The members are: Arturo O'Farrill, Music Director and Piano; Michael Philip Mossman, Trumpet; John Walsh, Trumpet; Jim Seeley, Trumpet; Mike Rodriguez, Trumpet; Luis Bonilla, Trombone; Gary Valente, Trombone; Reynaldo Jorge, Trombone; Douglas Purviance, Bass Trombone; Erica vonKleist, Alto Saxophone; Bobby Porcelli, Alto Saxophone; Mario Rivera, Tenor Saxophone; Ivan Renta, Tenor Saxophone; Pablo Calogero, Baritone Saxophone; Ruben Rodriguez, Bass; Vince Cherico, Drums; Jimmy Delgado, Percussion and Tony Rosa, Percussion. In 2006, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra received a GRAMMY award nomination for their debut album, Una Noche Inolvidable on Palmetto Records.

O'Farrill also directs the band that preserves much of his father's music, the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra. He has performed with Dizzy Gillespie, Fort Apache Band, Carla Bley, Lester Bowie, Harry Belafonte, Freddy Cole and Wynton Marsalis. The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra became a resident orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002 and has toured internationally, bringing the rhythms and heat of Latin jazz to places as far away as China. Performing the very best of traditional compositions in the canon of the Afro-Latin genre, the large ensemble commissions new work and leads education events when on the road and at Frederick P. Rose Hall. Ultimately, it seeks to provide an opportunity for a new generation of composers, arrangers and instrumentalists to further explore and define the music.

Ballet Hispanico is the nation's preeminent Hispanic-American dance organization. Founded by Tina Ramirez, 2005 National Medal of Arts recipient, Ballet Hispanico operates three divisions which embody Ms. Ramirez's incomparable artistic vision, years of performing and teaching experience. Ballet Hispanico's renowned professional company has performed for over two million people on three continents with a repertory of over 75 works created especially for the troupe. The School, unique in its emphasis on ballet and Spanish dance as its core curriculum, annually provides hundreds of young people with the discipline, self-esteem and creative skills that will prepare them for successful careers in the performing arts or other demanding professions. Ballet Hispanico's arts education division serves thousands of students, teachers and audience members around the country each year with innovating programming, which encourages their participation in the sheer joy of dance.

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