Multi-GRAMMY® Award-winning composer/pianist/educator Arturo O'Farrill and the non-profit The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) continue their 18th Anniversary live performance season with Jazz Across The Americas: Argentina – A Tribute To Lalo Schifrin. Jazz Across The Americas: Argentina – A Tribute To Lalo Schifrin features Arturo O’Farrill alongside his acclaimed 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) with standout performances by an array of Argentina’s premier artists. The two-night engagement is guest curated and features performances by bassist/composer Pablo Aslan – a longtime Lalo Schifrin collaborator – as well as vocalist/composer Sofia Rei, in collaboration with O’Farrill. The evening also features pianist/keyboardist Leo Genovese, drummer/percussionist Franco Pinna, guitarist Juancho Herrera, and guest conductor Gabriel Senanes.
Jazz Across The Americas: Argentina – A Tribute To Lalo Schifrin highlights various composers and arrangers such as Gabriel Senanes, Richard Nant, Pedro Giraudo,and legendary folklorist Leda Valladares. The language of jazz and tango, of Africa, Europe, and Argentina are irrevocably intertwined in the genius of Lalo Schifrin. His stamp on American culture, from Hollywood to the concert stage and beyond is irrefutable. Arturo O'Farrill & the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra celebrate Schifrin’s visionary "Gillespiana Suite" and reflect on its impact on contemporary masters like Guillermo Klein, Emilio Solla, and many others.
For the first time in more than 25 years, the “Gillespiana Suite” (written by Lalo Schifrin in the early days of his career for Dizzy Gillespie) will be conducted by Pablo Aslan. The featured soloists on the work are drawn from the orchestra itself: Jim Seeley and Seneca Black on trumpet, Alejandro Aviles on flute and Roman Filiu on alto sax.
Lalo Schifrin was born into a musical Argentinian family in 1932; his father was concertmaster at the Buenos Aires Philharmonic. Following his collegiate studies at the Paris Conservatory, Schifrin began his career as a café pianist before returning to Argentina where he orchestrated compositions as a director of a TV station’s jazz orchestra featuring the best jazz and studio musicians in Argentina. In 1956, Schifrin’s orchestra was invited to perform at a reception for Dizzy Gillespie while the legendary bandleader visited Argentina on a State Department tour. Upon later moving to New York City around 1960, Schifrin and Dizzy’s paths would once again cross and forever change the emerging pianist’s life.
Dizzy encouraged Schifrin to compose a piece for his big band and “Gillespiana Suite" was born. Dizzy quickly phoned Norman Granz at Verve and one month later they were in the studio recording it, with Schifrin on piano. He subsequently went on tour with Dizzy’s band for two years where he would write additional extended pieces, including “Tunisian Fantasy” and “The New Continent.”
The “Gillespiana Suite" pays homage to Dizzy’s multitude of talents. Each movement reflects an aspect of Dizzy, ranging from the melancholy blues to the vigorous toccata, as well as allusions to Dizzy's African forebears to his interest in Latin American music. Schifrin took on the 18th century "suite" form, specifically in another 18th century manifestation, namely the Concerto grosso format, as exemplified by a quintet within a large accompaniment of a brass and percussion group. Schifrin would further replace the five saxophones of a regular big band with four French horns and a tuba, along with the usual four trumpets and four trombones.
Sofia Rei’s contribution features not only her own compositions but also contemporary takes on the work of legendary Argentinian folkloric artists Leda Valladares and Cuchi Leguizamon, all performed in the distinctive style of O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Leda Valladares (1919-2012) was an Argentinian singer, writer, philosopher, composer, poet, music collector and researcher. She dedicated most of her life to record and compile ancestral folkloric songs from the northwest of Argentina, a rich cultural heritage which was about to be lost forever. Her work helped rediscover what is known as “canto con caja” and served as a bridge between generations of musicians and audiences.
Jazz Across The Americas: Argentina – A Tribute To Lalo Schifrin – Special Guest Artists:
Living in the United States since 1980, Argentine-born bassist and composer Pablo Aslan is recognized internationally as one of the leading figures in traditional and contemporary tango. His latest release, Contrabajo (2018), features Aslan as a bass soloist accompanied by a string quartet in an eclectic mix of Latin American music. His extensive discography includes Piazzolla in Brooklyn (2011), a tribute to Astor Piazzolla, and Tango Grill (2009). The latter earned him nominations for a Latin GRAMMY Award (“Best Tango Album”) and a GRAMMY Award (“Best Latin Jazz Album”).
As a producer, he has participated in more than two dozen albums, including the 2007 Latin GRAMMY Winner Te Amo Tango by Uruguayan bandoneonist Raul Jaurena. Most recently, Aslan worked on albums by the Glass House Orchestra, Tributango, Norwegian pianist Hakon Skogstad, and composer Emilio Solla’s Tango Jazz Orchestra. In 2016, he founded Avantango Records, a label dedicated to tango music, which received its first GRAMMY Award nomination for Emilio Solla’s “Puertos” in 2019.
Aslan has collaborated with many world-class artists, including Yo-Yo Ma, Shakira, Lalo Schifrin, Denyce Graves, Osvaldo Golijov, Pablo Ziegler, the New World Symphony, and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Argentine vocalist, composer and producer Sofia Rei has carried diverse Latin American traditions from her native Buenos Aires to the multi-cultural mecca of New York, where she's fused those sounds with jazz, contemporary classical, pop, and electronic music. Sofía’s versatility has connected her with innovative artists such as John Zorn, Maria Schneider, Marc Ribot, Bobby McFerrin, Pedrito Martinez, Mike Patton, Jesse Harris, Susana Baca and Guillermo Klein. She’s released five internationally acclaimed albums, which have received four Independent Music Awards. In 2019, she received a GRAMMY Award nomination for Aurea, an album in collaboration with Geoffrey Keezer. Her music has been praised and featured by The New York Times, Downbeat, NPR, Songlines and many other publications.
Sofia Rei is a co-founder of El Colectivo Sur, an arts collective based in New York and curates its flagship program, the NYC South American Music Festival. Rei was presented the “Spirit of Folk Award” by the International Folk Alliance (Montreal) for her active involvement in the preservation, presentation, and promotion of folk music through her creative work, community building, and demonstrated leadership. She is currently a professor at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music where she helps students navigate the confluence of contemporary music, technology, and business.
Leonardo Genovese was born in Venado Tuerto, Argentina in 1979. He started his career at Berklee College of Music where he studied with Danilo Perez, Joanne Brackeen and Frank Carlberg, among others. Leo graduated as a Professional Music Major in 2003 and has been constantly performing and recording with the likes of Hal Crook, Darren Barrett, George Garzone, Francisco Mela, Joe Lovano, Bob Gulloti, Phil Grenadier, Dave Santoro, Chris Cheek, Michael Janisch and Ben Monder. In 2004, he released his first solo album entitled, Haikus II, signed by Spanish label Fresh Sound Records. He also performs regularly with the Esperanza Spalding Group, the Mike Tucker Quartet, Planet Safety (w/ Bob Gullotti and Dave Zinno), Wayne Shorter Group and Jack Dejohnette.
When he’s not touring with Spalding, Genovese – who is currently based in New York – also plays with a loosely assembled group called the Chromatic Gauchos, whose core membership includes Bob Gulloti, Dan Blake and John Lockwood. This threesome, along with Spalding and percussionist Sergio Miranda, appears prominently on Seeds. While Genovese is still early on his career arc, he hopes that his music could eventually be more than just a source of entertainment, but also a force for change in a world that is troubled by economic, social and political challenges.
Franco Pinna began his musical career as a drummer and percussionist in 1988 in Tucumán, Argentina where he performed and recorded with some of the most prominent musicians of the country. Upon moving to Boston to attend Berklee College of Music in 1998, he obtained the “Outstanding Musicianship” scholarship and graduated Magna Cum Laude. Since moving to New York in 2004, he’s recorded more than 70 albums accompanying many artists around the globe. In 2015, he launched his own musical project “Chuño,” an experimental duo exploring the rhythms and melodies of South and Central America. Pinna’s setup includes traditional drum set, percussion from around the globe, and “Arpalegüera,” an instrument designed and crafted by him that evokes the sounds of Andean Charango, African Kora, and Asian Koto.
Hailing from Colombia and Venezuela, guitarist/vocalist Juancho Herrera is one of today’s most stunning performers on the NYC music scene. With a career of 20 years as a frontman and sideman, Juancho has performed in 37 countries with artists such as Claudia Acuña, Lila Downs, Idan Raichel, Sofia Rei, Marta Gomez, Mercedes Sosa, Aquiles Báez, Nestor Torres, Alejandro Sanz, among many others.
Composer, conductor and journalist, Gabriel Senanes' music is played and recorded all over the world. He composes and conducts for feature films, theater and TV programs, and has been commissioned by the OEA (Organization of American States), Interamerican Music Friends, The Commission Project, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.), Simón Blech, Encuentros Foundation, National Culture Secretary, Camerata Bariloche, Mayo Orchestra, Finestre sul Novecento Festival, among others. He’s formerly been Music Director of Buenos Aires City, and General and Artistic Director of the Teatro Colón, one of most important opera houses in the world. He was also member of the jury for the National Music Award, Clarín Awards, 2000 Ginastera International Competition, among others.
Gabriel Senanes has written in Clarín, Página 30, Inrockuptibles and other Argentine and foreign media, the book “4 x 4 = Rock” and hosted his own radio program “Camarín de las Musas.” In 2008, he received the Konex Award as one of the best journalists of the last decade. With Paquito D’Rivera and the Buenos Aires String Quartet, he won in 20015 a Latin GRAMMY Award for the album, Riberas (Shores), featuring his compositions and arrangements. There is a vast discography of his music and performances, including his own original albums, where he conducts and plays saxophone, piano, guitar, and bansuri. He also leads the trio Senanes 3 with Pablo Marcovsky (piano, guitar, sax) and Diego Arnal (bass, guitar, trumpet).
Don’t miss one of winter’s most anticipated shows in New York City featuring O’Farrill live in concert with many of Argentina’s most renowned artists!
This performance series was made possible with the generous support from: (Foundations) Arnhold Foundation, Aaron Copland Fund for Music, Inc., Baisley Powell Elebash Fund, Donald A Pels Charitable Trust, The Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation, The Ford Foundation, and The Howard Gilman Foundation; (Public Funding) New York State Council on the Arts, New York City Department of Cultural Affairs; (Corporate) Bridgehampton National Bank, Steinway and Sons; (Media) WBGO Radio.
Peter Jay Sharp Theatre
Expected Run Time is 170 minutes