LIVE: NYS Presenters Network Music Showcase @ The Egg, 10/28/14

November 25th, 2014, 4:00 pm by Greg
The Villalobos Brothers

The Villalobos Brothers

Photographs by Andrzej Pilarczyk, Timothy Reidy

The New York State Presenters Network held its annual conference in Albany last month, and in conjunction with the various workshops and panel discussions, the conference also hosted a showcase concert at The Egg that was free and open to the public.

The concert highlighted a wide variety of New York State musical talent from children’s singer-songwriter Dan Zanes to Latin jazz pianist Arturo O’Farrill and his quartet, from Mexican music group the Villalobos Brothers to the cutting edge classical ensemble Sybarite5 and jazz saxman Michael Blake.

All in all, it was a delightfully diverse mix of jazz, folk and contemporary classical and Latin music…

More of Andrzej Pilarczyk’s photographs of this concert at Albany Jazz
More of Timothy Reidy’s photographs of this concert at Autobus Pour 3 Garcons

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JAZZ 2K: CD Picks of the Week

November 26th, 2012, 3:00 pm by Greg

Reviews by J Hunter

Now that we’ve all survived Thanksgiving Food Coma and Black Friday zombie shoppers, here are some suggestions for your holiday gift search. (And remember: Think Global, but please Shop Local!)

Arturo O'Farrill: The Noguchi Sessions
The Noguchi Sessions
(Zoho Music)
Why would Arturo O’Farrill – who made his name in jazz primarily through big bands – do a solo-piano date? The long answer involves O’Farrill’s affinity for Isamu Noguchi, the Japanese/American artist who built a museum in Long Island City so his wide range of works and styles could be viewed properly. The short answer? Arturo O’Farrill doesn’t play it safe, and (like Noguchi) refuses to be limited by other people’s definitions. Sessions is a series of musical portraits, all of them drenched in color and passion and recorded on one afternoon in the Noguchi Museum. Some are originals inspired by O’Farrill’s own life and views, like the romantic celebration “Mi Vida,” the reflective “In Whom” (written for O’Farrill’s son Zachary, a musician now coming into his own) and “The Delusion of the Greedy,” a volatile diatribe inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement; some are massive expansions of jazz, Latin and Americana standards ranging from Randy Weston’s “Little Niles” and Pedro Flores’ “Obsesión” to Stephen Foster’s “O Susanna.” By the time O’Farrill tiptoes through Charles Mingus’ “Jelly Roll,” you are as drained as O’Farrill must have been at the end of the four-hour session. But then, walking through the mind’s eye of an artist is not for the timid. So: You up for a walk?

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A Few Minutes With… Arturo O’Farrill

June 28th, 2012, 12:00 pm by Greg
Arturo O'Farrill (photo by John Abbott)

Arturo O'Farrill (photo by John Abbott)

Interview by J Hunter

See below for info on how you can win a pair of free tix to Freihofer’s Saratoga Jazz Festival at SPAC this weekend…

They say genius skips a generation. They say a lot of things, though, and most of them are wrong. They’re sure wrong in the case of Arturo O’Farrill. His father was Chico O’Farrill, somebody who truly deserves the term “late, great” in front of his name: Founder of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, composer of jazz that’s both Latin and otherwise (as well as some beautiful music outside the genre), and arranger for icons like Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer and Gato Barbieri.

That’s a pretty hearty resume to live up to, but Arturo O’Farrill has definitely made the grade. Aside from taking over leadership of his father’s orchestra (which has been in residence at Birdland since the 1990s), O’Farrill’s own Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra has been putting serious spice into Jazz @ Lincoln Center since 2002; their first disc “Una Noche Inolvidable” was nominated for a Grammy in 2006, and ALJO was back at the Grammys two years later, this time to pick up a statue for “Song for Chico.”

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