Distinguished eight-time Grammy winner invites guest artists Daymé Arocena, Telmary and Aymée Nuviola to share center stage
MIAMI, Sept. 27, 2023 – Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Live Arts Miami series presents the Miami Beach debut of Arturo O’Farrill and his 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 21, at the Miami Beach Bandshell. Boasting an amazing lineup of guest artists, including Daymé Arocena, Telmary and Aymée Nuviola, this electrifying show will bring the best of Cuban music for an unforgettable evening of nostalgia, mambo, and of course, Latin jazz. This concert marks the debut of the full orchestra in Miami.
O’Farrill is the creative force leading New York’s treasured Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. A pianist, composer and passionate promoter of Latin music, his music has been enjoyed around the world and earned him and his bandmates eight Grammy Awards, including in 2023 for Best Jazz Album (“Virtual Birdland”). Son of the legendary Cuban composer Chico O’Farrill, he is widely regarded as one of the greatest living exponents of the Latin jazz form and a torchbearer for the tradition.
The multi-Grammy-winning ALJO has enamored international audiences with its outstanding performances of music by Latin jazz legends, as well as new compositions from accomplished composers and arrangers in Latin music. New Yorker magazine called them “one of the best jazz orchestras in existence.” During the last several years, the orchestra has performed at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Boston Symphony Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, among others. Legendary pianist Bebo Valdes once remarked, “This is the finest band I have ever performed with in my life. They make me feel as if I have returned to Cuba.”
To mark his Miami debut, O’Farrill has invited three extraordinary Cuban divas to join him on the stage. The singer and bandleader Daymé Arocena, best known for her massive voice, has invited comparisons to Aretha Franklin and Celia Cruz. Telmary is a poet and rapper who is a leader and trendsetter on the cutting edge of Cuban hip-hop and urban music. Miami’s own Aymée Nuviola, known as “La Sonera Del Mundo,” is one of the founders of the “timba” genre and was also named one of the 25 most powerful Latina women in the in the U.S. in 2021 by People en Español.
The concert will be the first time that this incredible gathering of artists happens anywhere in the world, which is both notable and fitting, considering Miami Beach’s long history with big band music and Miami’s role in Latin music. The Miami Beach Bandshell, as its name would imply, was constructed for big bands, making it the perfect location for this special concert. Audiences will get to experience iconic Cuban big band music with breathtaking arrangements of “The Manteca Suite” and “Afro Cuban Jazz Suite,” as well as new compositions and arrangements that will transport them to some of Cuba’s greatest musical moments.
As a major advocate for educating the next generation, O’Farrill will also take time to lead workshops with students from MDC and New World School of the Arts. A limited number of free tickets will be available for students.
ABOUT ARTURO O’FARRILL
GRAMMY®-award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’ Farrill 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. An avid supporter of all the arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet Hispanico, Ron Brown’s EVIDENCE Dance company, and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written several ballets. Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition as well as the 2016 Latin Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Recording. In addition, his composition “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo also received the Best Instrumental Composition Grammy in 2018. Arturo’s 2020 album, “Four Questions” won yet another Grammy
award in 2021. Most recently, in February of 2023, Arturo was awarded his eighth Grammy for the album “Fandango at the Wall in New York.” The future home of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, Casa Belongó, scheduled to open in 2026, will be a vital and vibrant venue that welcomes and celebrates creativity, collaboration and community in East Harlem, New York City and beyond.
ABOUT LIVE ARTS MIAMI
Live Arts Miami is one of the city’s oldest and boldest performing arts series: an action-driven, people-centered platform for powerful performances, impactful community programs, and learning experiences that spark dialogue, raise awareness around pressing issues, and open minds and hearts in all who take part. Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, Live Arts Miami is proud to be a part of Miami Dade College’s celebrated Department of Cultural Affairs. For more information, please visit www.liveartsmiami.org and follow @liveartsmiami on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
The programs of Live Arts Miami are funded by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the Miami Beach Cultural Affairs Council; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Live Arts Miami is a National Performance Network (NPN) partner. Major NPN contributors include the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Ford Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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