Arturo O'Farrill and Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Come to Harris Center/Three Stages Today

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The Grammy award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), led by pianist, composer, and director Arturo O'Farrill, brings together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world's most accomplished solo musicians. According to The New Yorker "Arturo O'Farrill's Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is one of the best jazz orchestras in existence, a powerhouse outfit whose precise section work is enhanced by thrilling soloists."

Arturo O'Farrill is a world-renowned, Grammy award-winning pianist, composer, and educator. In 2002, he created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) in order to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience, and in order to greatly expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to jazz and Latin jazz artists across a wide stylistic and geographical range. "If there is such a thing as a first family of Afro-Cuban jazz, the O'Farrill clan has a right to claim that distinction" (The New York Times).

Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra perform tonight, August 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm. Tickets are $19-$29 with Premium tickets available for $39. Students with ID's are $12. Tickets are available online at www.harriscenter.net or from Harris Center Ticket Office at 916-608-6888 from 10 am to 6 pm, Monday through Saturday, and two hours before show time. Parking is included in the price of the ticket. Harris Center is located on the west side of Folsom Lake College campus in Folsom, CA, facing East Bidwell Street.

Mr. O'Farrill was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo was educated at Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He played piano in Carla Bley's Big Band from 1979 through 1983 and earned a reputation as a soloist in groups led by Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. After leading his late father's orchestra for many years, Arturo formed his own band, The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra in order to explore his and other compositions in the panoply of Afro-Latin music. "Mr. O'Farrill has honed the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to handle dizzyingly complex music with earthy joy" (New York Times).

Eleven years of critically acclaimed performances have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Machito, and Chico O'Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music's most talented composers and arrangers. ALJO continues presenting programs that range from the very best in dance music to repertoire that pushes the genre forward. The ALJO commissions and performs innovative compositions and big band arrangements by Vijay Iyer, Miguel Zenón, Dafnis Prieto, Guillermo Klein, Pablo Mayor, Arturo O'Farrill, Michele Rosewoman, Emilio Solla, Papo Vazquez, and many others.

The orchestra's debut album Una Noche Inolvidable was a 2006 Grammy nominee and their second, Song for Chico (ZOHO) won the Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Album of the Year in 2008. ALJO's third album, 40 Acres and a Burro, (ZOHO) was a 2012 Grammy nominee for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album.

The ALJO has thrilled audiences at Midsummer Night Swing at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Boston Symphony Hall, Celebrate Brooklyn Festival, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Litchfield Jazz Festival (Kent, CT), The Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispanico), Rialto Center for the Performing Arts (Atlanta, GA), Mahalia Jackson Theater- with Ballet Hispanico (New Orleans) Megaron Concert Hall (Athens, Greece), and the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taichung, Taiwan), among countless other venues. The ALJO are artists-in-residence at the Harlem School of the Arts.

Originally named Three Stages at Folsom Lake College in 2011, the facility has been renamed to honor Brice Harris, Chancellor Emeritus of the Los Rios Community College District, for his many contributions to the capital region, including the vision and leadership he provided in opening this regional arts center. Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College presents touring artists from around the world; partners with the best regional arts organizations, and supports productions by FLC students and faculty.

The Harris Center is a $50 million facility built with a combination of state, regional, local and private funds. Harris Center has three intimate theaters, an art gallery, a recording studio, elegant teaching spaces, plenty of safe parking and all the other amenities of a state-of-the-art performing arts venue.