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Francisco Mora Catlett

Francisco Mora Catlett: drummer, composer and educator. Began his musical career in Mexico City where he worked as a session musician for Capitol Records 1968-1970. Studied at Music School of UNAM. With a grant from the Mexican government from 1970 to 1973 he study drums with Alan Dawson and composition at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. He left Mexico City with Sun Ra in 1973 and worked with him until 1980. In 1987 while in Detroit he released his first album as a leader, the Pan-Afro project “Mora!”

Among several grants, he received one from the NEA to study with Max Roach in New York City. Mora Catlett worked with several Roach's percussion ensemble M'Boom, appearing on two Blue Moon LPs, 1990's “To the Max” and 1992's “Live at S.O.B.'s” and in addition to composing for Mr. Roach’s Uptown String Quartet.

In 1993, he became a visiting professor at Michigan State University. Mora-Catlett played on Detroit’s Techno producer Carl Craig's 1996 jazz/electronica fusion project, “The Innerzone Orchestra” and 1999's “Programmed”. The same year, using Innerzone cohorts Craig Taborn and Rodney Whitaker, Mora Catlett issued a second album, “World Trade Music”. Following Mora Catlett's departure from Detroit in 2000 the Outer Zone Band’s first recording featuring Marshal Allen, Craig Taborn and Carl Craig was released.

In New York City Mora-Catlett co-founded the “Oyu Oro Afro-Cuban Experimental Dance Company” with his wife Danys Perez Prades “La Mora” dance-music project experimenting with and music from the African Diaspora that performs nationally and internationally.
Mora-Catlett has issued two releases with the “Freedom Jazz Trio. “ New Under The Sun”, recorded in 2010 featured Francesco Tristano, while “Live At The Bronx Museum” showcased Craig Taborn. A new ensemble, the Outer Zone Band’s issued “Andromeda M-31”, featuring Craig Taborn and JD Allen. Subsequent releases included: double Cd, “AfroHORN MX” (2012), AfroHORN "Rare Metal" (2013), and for AfroHORN "At the Edge of the Spiral (2015 -2016). A solo electronic music project recording (“Electric Worlds”) solo project to be released in 2021. Back to Berklee College of Music due to COVID -19 pandemic, enrolling in Composing and Producing Electronic Music I & II, and now preparing for a new Elctronic Music project 2022. 

In recent years, Mora-Catlett has been featured in “artist residencies” at University of Iowa, Wayne State University, and Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts, Long Island University, Brookhaven College, Richard College and others where his presentations often explore the themes of jazz and creativity while highlighting the work of his parents, artists Elizabeth Catlett and Francisco Mora Senior. He has established his own label AACE in order to distribute several of these projects. 

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Album Review

Francisco Mora Catlett Afro Horn: Rare Metal

Read "Rare Metal" reviewed by Alberto Bazzurro

Nato a Washington ma cresciuto a Città del Messico in quanto figlio del pittore messicano Francisco Mora e della scultrice afroamericana Elizabeth Catlett, il leader di questa incisione, di professione batterista, ha fatto parte a suo tempo dell'Arkestra di Sun Ra, della quale intende oggi riproporre, col suo Afro Horn, le coordinate stilistiche, peraltro maggiormente virate verso l'Africa e meno avventurose, nel comune incedere fortemente ritualistico. Due gli elementi portanti dell'ensemble (e del disco): quello vocale e ...

Live Review

Afro Horn at Zinc Bar

Read "Afro Horn at Zinc Bar" reviewed by Tomas Pena

Francisco Mora-Catlett and Afro Horn Zinc Bar Greenwich Village, NY January 8, 2014 There was a moment during Afro-Horn's performance at the Zinc Bar where the lines between reality and fiction became a blur. It occurred when Sam Newsome, an imposing figure of a man and a consummate reed player, appeared to be possessed by the spirit of Probe, the protagonist and wielder of the Afro Horn, a rare object of power in Henry Dumas's ...

Album Review

Francisco Mora Catlett: Francisco Mora Catlett: Afro Horn MX

Read "Francisco Mora Catlett: Afro Horn MX" reviewed by Steve Bryant

When Afro-Mexican Drummer Francisco Mora Catlett first came to this country in the1970s, he dreamed of playing drums for the Sun Ra Arkestra. Not only did Mora achieve his dream, he also forged a lifelong relationship with drum legend Max Roach, which resulted in his performing in Roach's seminal drum ensemble, M'Boom. As a composer and bandleader in Detroit, Mora focused on creating Music of “The Afro-Americas," a vision which encompassed fusing the music of Cuba, Brazil with American modern ...

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Performance / Tour

Francisco Mora Catlett at Kavehaz January 28

Francisco Mora Catlett at Kavehaz January 28

Source: All About Jazz



Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

Rare Metal

AACE Records


Francisco Mora...

AACE Records









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