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Chico O’Farrill ‘s Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band

- Jazz and Cabaret Corner

Chico O’Farrill ‘s Afro-Cuban Jazz
Big Band
Arturo O’Farrill: Music Director and Piano
(Chico O’Farrill’s Bio)
(Arturo O’Farrill’s Bio)

Trumpets: Mike Massman, Jim Seeley,
Valarey Pomanerov, Matt Hilgenberg
Trombones: Sam Burtis, Jack Jeffers, Gary Valente, Jorge Reynolds
Saxophones: Max Schweiger, Junnu Cozier,
David Bixler, Peter Branin, Mike Migliore
Bass: Ruben Rodriguez
Drums: Emilio Valdes
Congas: Tony Rosa
Bongos: Joe Gonzalez

At Birdland
315 West 44th Street, NYC
Gianni Valenti, Owner
Tarik Osman, Manager

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 30, 2005

(See September 12, 2004 Review). Arturo O’Farrill was hot tonight on Birdland’s Bösendorfer piano, and with flutes, congas, bass, sax, and 22-piece orchestra (not all musicians are listed above), Birdland was hot, too. The congas provided Latin dimension to the mix, and the trombones went wild. Arturo O’Farrill, bandleader of his father (Chico O’Farrill’s original band), played in seamless segway, before final trumpet flourishes. O’Farrill then switched to mellow, smooth, and soft, and the trombonists joined tiny trumpet blasts, followed by longer trombone accompaniment.

O’Farrill’s piano turned vivacious, as the saxophones played abstract, jazzy overtones. There was a decided Latin drive. The standing trombonists were bold and took the theme to a fused Mambo jazz experience. A Rhumba followed, and the Bösendorfer sounded incredible, with notes echoing endlessly in mesmerizing motion. Each saxophone then took a turn, with Mambo and Cha-Cha alternating in rhythm. Wild Jungle was next, with wild saxophones, followed by Tonga on congas and mellow trombones. Rhumba led to abstract jazz to Cha-Cha, with bongos, more trombones, and an evocative, elongated clavé fusion. You can catch Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band every Sunday night at Birdland. Check the Birdland website for details.

Arturo O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

Arturo O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Big Band
Photo courtesy of Roberta Zlokower

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at