The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), led by pianist and music director Arturo O'Farrill, is composed of 18 soloists who play classics of the Afro Latin tradition. It exemplifies the best that Latin jazz culture offers: rich tradition through music and timeless appeal around the world. Performing the very best of Afro Latin jazz classics, the Orchestra commissions new work and seeks to provide an opportunity for a new generation of composers, arrangers, and instrumentalists to further explore and define music. The ALJO was established in 2002 as a resident orchestra at Jazz at Lincoln Center and toured internationally, brining the rhythms and power of Latin jazz to places as far away as China. In June 2007, the Orchestra left Jazz at Lincoln Center to pursue its own educational and performance opportunities and is delighted with the past five years performing at Symphony Space. In 2006, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra received a Grammy nomination for its debut album Una Noche Ivolvidable and in 2008 won the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album for its second album, Song for Chico. 2011/12 marks the ALJO's 10th Anniversary Season and the 5th season of concerts at Symphony Space. In 2011 the ALJO released its third album, 40 Acres and a Burro, recently nominated for a Grammy for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.
The nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) is dedicated to celebrating the Latino contribution to American jazz, exploring the rich diversity of Jazz of the Americas, honoring the African roots of Latin Jazz, performing compositions of the masters of the genre, and keeping this culturally rich tradition alive by commissioning new works from a broad spectrum of composers while educating young people in the understanding and performance of this important cultural treasure. Established by Arturo O'Farrill in 2007, the Alliance maintains a world-class collection of Latin jazz musical scores and recordings, provides institutional support for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and provides education programs for young students and new audiences.