The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
"Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is one of the best jazz orchestras in existence, a powerhouse outfit whose precise section work is enhanced by thrilling soloists." – The New Yorker
"Mr. O’Farrill has honed the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to handle dizzyingly complex music with earthy joy." – The New York Times
"[T]he Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra [is a] remarkable New York institution." – The New York Times
"If there is such a thing as a first family of Afro-Cuban jazz, the O’Farrill clan has a right to claim that distinction." – The New York Times
"Mr. O'Farrill is a magnificent player... sharp, splashy, and driving." – The New York Times
"The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra sounds great with precision brass and saxophone work…. a warm, cohesive sound…." – The New York Times
"The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra fuels dancing and joy." – The Gilmore Festival
"This is the finest band I have ever performed with in my life. They make me feel as if I have returned to Cuba." – Bebo Valdés
There exists a large and unique repertoire within the big band genre that requires musicians who are knowledgeable about Latin rhythms, clave, and African-based percussion instruments, as well as modern jazz and swing.
Pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O'Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) in 2002 to perform compositions of masters such as Machito, Tito Puente, Chico O'Farrill, Astor Piazzola, Antonio Carlos Jobim, Hermeto Pascoal, and others, and to keep this culturally rich tradition alive by continuing to commission new works.
The ALJO performs nationally and internationally to critical acclaim and presents an annual New York performance season at Symphony Space on Manhattan's Upper West Side. In 2009 the orchestra won a GRAMMY Award for Best Latin Jazz Album for its release Song for Chico.
O'Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) in 2007 to serve as a non-profit organization committed to advancing the performance and educational aspects of this uniquely pan-American art form.
We invite you to be a part of our family and learn about our music and tradition.