Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra at the Sandler Center

Mark Robbins By

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In 2007 Arturo O'Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to "preserve the music and heritage of big band Latin jazz." An integral part of the Alliance is the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. The large jazz orchestra, led by O'Farrill on piano, stopped at the Sandler Center in Virginia Beach, VA with a smaller version (eight musicians) but with just as big a sound as the full orchestra. The family friendly show was a journey through Cuban music that many in attendance had never before heard. O'Farrill explained that what the orchestra was playing was more than music, it was presenting a living culture to be shared by everyone. Playing some works by his late father, renowned Cuban composer Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill, as well as his own compositions O'Farrill and fellow musicians Jim Seeley (trumpet), Rafi Malkiel (trombone), Ivan Renta (sax and flute), Vince Cherico (drums), Bam Bam Rodriguez (bass), Keisel Jimenez (congas) and Carly Maldonado (percussion) presented an over 90 minute trip exploring the music of his father's homeland, Cuba and his own Mexico. His current passion project is the 3 part project Fandango At The Wall: A Soundtrack For The United States, Mexico and Beyond (Resilience Music)." O"Farrill said, ..."we don't just share a border, but families and friends, histories and futures. Our countries are interconnected, and our fates are interlinked. Indeed, we should root for and help each other." The orchestra had plenty rooting for them in the Sandler Center.
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