Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will return to the stage in New York in May and June

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GRAMMY® award-winning pianist / composer Arturo O’Farrill and the non-profit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) have announced their return to concerts in New York and Brooklyn in May 2021 and June 2021. O’Farrill and his 18- piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra performs live for the first time since the start of the global COVID-19 pandemic at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music’s Spring Benefit 2021 on Saturday, May 15, 2021 (4 p.m. @ PS 321, backlot / playground area, 180 7th Avenue) – The Spring Benefit transforms the steps, sidewalks, school grounds and gardens of Park Slope for an outdoor spring music festival. In partnership with the legendary East Village DROM World Music Hall (85 Avenue A, NYC), O’Farrill performs live with his quartet (May 12) and the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (May 19); two additional Thursday evening concerts at the DROM will be organized by O’Farrill with artists from the ALJA family on June 10 and 24, 2021.

The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance announces exceptional new lineup on the ongoing innovative online series ALJA Digital Village, including their latest productions on Virtual Birdland and La Plaza.

Virtual Birdland – With Oud Virtuoso player Rahim alHaj

Sunday 23 May 2021

The renowned performance on Virtual Birdland for the month of May 2021 features GRAMMY Award-nominated oud player and composer Rahim alHaj, a master musician who appears in the HBO documentary film Fandango at the Wall. Hailed as “one of the best oud players in the world” by the San Francisco Chronicle, Rahim Alhaj has released 12 albums and collaborated with American guitarist Bill Frisell, modern accordion innovator Guy Klucevsek, Indian sarod maestro Amjad Ali Khan and the pioneers of indy-rock. REM. alHaj has performed around the world, on tour with Munir Bashir, his teacher, as well as solo and with his string quartet project, including numerous concerts in Lebanon, Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Egypt, and France, and hundreds of concerts in the United States. He has recorded for Smithsonian Folkways, Fast Horse Recordings and VoxLox. alHaj is the recipient of a “National Heritage Fellowship” awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

ALJA Digital Village’s flagship program “Virtual Birdland” celebrates reaching over 1 million people in over 25 countries (as of March 2020) with the release of a new album, Virtual Birdland (Zoho Music / Release date : April 9, 2021). The recording features O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra performing with an array of special guests on 10 ambitious compositions recorded over a span of more than 50 concerts online. Each Virtual Birdland session is recorded remotely from the security of each artist’s home. Jon Pareles (Chief Popular Music Critic) of the New York Times included “Virtual Birdland” in his story, “10 Best Quarantine Gigs Online” (July 2021).

Concerts on the La Plaza platform of ALJA Digital Village throughout the month of May 2021:

Friday May 7, 2021: Arturo O’Farrill Sextet @ Soapbox Gallery

Broadcast live and recorded in March 2021, O’Farrill appears with his sextet for an evening celebrating the music of Charles Mingus and performing selected compositions by Arturo and his two sons, Adam (trumpet) and Zack (drums). The O’Farrill’s perform with Bam Rodriguez (bass), Victor Pablo (percussion) and Jasper Dutz (saxophone).

Friday May 14, 2021: Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra @ DROM’s Virtual WorldFest 2021

ALJA partners with DROM to broadcast electrifying concerts of the club’s recent five-night Virtual WorldFest (March 26-31, 2021). WorldFest showcased 30 artists from around the world to help raise much-needed concert hall funds. O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra perform with special guests who collectively represent more than 13 countries, including Colombia, Cuba, Macedonia, Spain, Syria and Turkey. The event is hosted by Serdar Ilhan and Mehmet Dede, and will be hosted by Frank London and Jenn Jade.

* ALJA will broadcast two additional performances of DROM’s Virtual WorldFest 2021, organized by O’Farrill.

Friday May 21, 2021: Treasures of the ALJA Vault – A Night of Afro-Dominican Jazz

The classics of the ALJA vault are revisited with an emphasis on selected performances from A Night of Afro Dominican Jazz: Honoring and Remembering ‘El Comandante’ Mario Rivera recorded at Symphony Space (2013). Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra pay homage to one of the greatest Latin jazz musicians, the great saxophonist Mario Rivera.

Friday May 28, 2021: Greene Space Residency Redux (Part 4)

In 2019, The Greene Space at WNYC / WQXR invited O’Farrill to present a four-month artistic residency titled “Radical Acts & Musical Deviancy”. The monthly residency showcased a fiery and diverse mix of friends and artistic collaborators in a series of thrilling performances. Part 4 of this “Residency Redux” features highlights from the residency series featuring innovative music and inspiring conversations, all captured at The Greene Space from January to April 2019.

Since March 2020, O’Farrill and ALJA have presented programs with distinguished guests such as Dr Cornel West, Paquito de Rivera, Rudresh Mahathappa, Ana Tijoux, Miguel Zenon, Sean Jones, Mandy Gonzalez, Letieres Leite and Orkestra Rumpilezz, Sofia Rei, and Sahr Ngaujah. Master classes were led by John Benitez, Papo Vazquez, Samuel Torres, Yasser Tejeda and others. ALJA Digital Village programs such as Ori-Gen Collective and La Plaza offer award-winning performances and panels to the community for free. ALJA has presented over 100 dynamic programs over the past 12 months.

To see the programming of the ALJA Digital Village, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/afrolatinjazzalliance

For more information on Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, please visit arturoofarrill.com and afrolatinjazz.org.

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Henry R. Wright