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Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to Celebrate 10th Anniversary Season in 2011/12


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NEW YORK—The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance announced today that it will celebrate the 10th Anniversary season of the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), directed by Arturo O'Farrill, in 2011/12 at Symphony Space on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The ALJO will present three landmark programs to celebrate its first decade of existence. On October 14 and 15, the Orchestra will pay tribute to Andy and Jerry González, founders of the pioneering, Bronx-born Fort Apache Band and arguably the most important siblings in Latin jazz. The ALJO will cast the brothers in a retrospective of their greatest moments and will premiere O'Farrill's Ft. Apache Concerto. On January 20 and 21, the ALJO will hold a special 10th birthday bash, performing an assortment of Afro Latin jazz classics as well as its latest commissions from composers such as Miguel Zenón, Dafnis Prieto, Vijay Iyer, and others. The January 20 performance will be a benefit concert for the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, featuring a one-night only lineup of some of the world's leading musicians, including Edmar Castaneda, Donald Harrison, and others to be confirmed.

Finally, On May 11 and 12, the Orchestra will perform its fifth annual new music concert, Música Nueva, celebrating the spoken word tradition with a big band poetry slam curated by poet and musician Angel R. Rodríguez, Sr. and highlighting the work of the Nuyorican Poets Café. Guest DJs, MCs, spoken word artists, instrumentalists, and dancers will mix the classic sound of boogaloo, mambo, and salsa with hip-hop, acid jazz, and alternative improvisation. A special repeat performance of O'Farrill's New York State Council of the Arts and Symphony Space commission A Still Small Voice will feature the 115-voice LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts Senior Chorus, directed by Ms. Jana Ballard. O'Farrill exclaimed, “Ten years of existence is a milestone for the ALJO, not so much because we survived, but because we've created a new entry point into the cultural conversation. There are alternatives in this music. Our embrace of a bigger picture in jazz may have made some uncomfortable, but we welcomed a lot more people into the fold because of this approach. This season we celebrate the finest moments in our history, which have consistently reflected a much larger picture of big band Afro Latin jazz than previously existed."

Founded in 2002 by O'Farrill to perform the full repertory of big band Afro Latin jazz, and commission new works to advance this culturally rich genre, the ALJO was a resident orchestra

at Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2002 to 2007. In 2007, the ALJO left Lincoln Center to pursue the twin goals of developing new audiences for big band Afro Latin jazz and of creating a robust educational program for young performers. O'Farrill founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance that same year to pursue both the performance and educational aspects of this uniquely pan-American art form.

The ALJO is entering its fifth season in residence at Symphony Space, and it continues to tour nationally and internationally to critical acclaim, performing over the past several years at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, The Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispanico), Megaron Concert Hall (Athens, Greece), and the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taichung, Taiwan), among countless other venues. The ALJO received a GRAMMY nomination for its 2005 album, Una Noche Inolvidable (Palmetto), and in 2009 earned a GRAMMY for Best Latin Jazz Album for its release Song for Chico (Zoho). The Orchestra released its newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro (Zoho), this past February.

“The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is thrilled to celebrate the ALJO's 10th anniversary," remarked Executive Director Eric Oberstein. “This season is a testament to the staying power of this world-renowned ensemble and this music, which continues to constantly grow and evolve."

2011/12 Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra 10th Anniversary Season at Symphony Space

October 14-15, 2011׮PM—Andy & Jerry's: A Tribute to the González Brothers

General: $50/$40/$30; Symphony Space Members $40/$32/$24; Students/Seniors/Children $15

January 20-21, 2012׮PM—The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Turns 10: A Celebration

Friday, January 20, 2012 (Benefit concert featuring lineup of special guest artists) -


Saturday, January 21, 2012—$50/$40/$30; Symphony Space Members $40/$32/$24;

Students/Seniors/Children $15

May 11-12, 2012׮PM—Música Nueva 5: Big Band Poetry Slam & Beyond

General: $50/$40/$30; Symphony Space Members $40/$32/$24; Students/Seniors/Children $15

Symphony Space

2537 Broadway (at 95th Street), NYC

For tickets call the box office at 212.864.5400.

Founded in 2007, the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is dedicated to preserving the music and heritage of big band Latin Jazz, supporting its performance for new audiences, and educating young people in the understanding and performance of this important cultural treasure. The Alliance maintains a world-class collection of Latin jazz musical scores and recordings, provides institutional support for the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and provides education programs for young musicians and new audiences.

For more information on the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, visit:

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