Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Fandango at the Wall Presents THE SHAPESHIFTER SESSIONS

Featuring Arturo O'Farrill, Mandy Gonzalez, The Villalobos Brothers, Julia Del Palacio, Victor Murillo, and more.

Fandango at the Wall Presents THE SHAPESHIFTER SESSIONS

Multi GRAMMY Award-winning pianist/composer Arturo O'Farrill and nonprofit the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA) present in partnership with co-producer Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts (Los Angeles, CA) and ShapeShifter Lab (Brooklyn, NY) the exclusive virtual premiere of a riveting live video performance on Wednesday, April 28, 2021 (7pm EST, Tickets: $20, LINK) featuring repertoire from the independent film, Fandango at the Wall (now available on HBO Max).

Alongside O'Farrill and his acclaimed 18-piece Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, special guest artists Mandy Gonzalez, The Villalobos Brothers, Julia del Palacio, and Victor Murillo perform with Mexico-based son jarocho artists Patricio Hidalgo, Ramón Gutiérrez Hernández, Tacho Utrera, Wendy Cao Romero, Fernando Guadarrama, and Jorge Francisco Castillo (Founder, Fandango Fronterizo Festival). Fandango at the Wall -- The ShapeShifter Sessions is directed by Taylor Krauss who seamlessly integrates awe-inspiring performances recorded onsite in Brooklyn; Valencia, Spain; and Vera Cruz and Tijuana, Mexico. Tickets are a suggested donation of $20 and can be purchased online at shapeshifterlab.com/fandango-alja.

In May of 2018, O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra joined more than 50 artists from across the globe to record a live album at the Tijuana-San Diego border at the Fandango Fronterizo Festival. Since O'Farrill and film producer Kabir Sehgal journeyed to Veracruz to recruit master son jarocho musicians for the recording, HBO has released the documentary Fandango at the Wall (2020), a double disc album with 33 tracks was released on Resilience Music Alliance (2018), and a book chronicling the experience was released, all to critical acclaim. What was initially set as a live concert at Younes and Soraya Nazarian Center for the Performing Arts in October 2020 celebrating the global release of the Fandango at the Wall documentary film resulted in a cancelation due to the COVID-19 global pandemic.

During a wintery week in November 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, Arturo and the ALJO gathered together again, this time in New York City to create the exclusive concert performance film with many of the original guest artists. This time though, they connected remotely. Thousands of miles of distance between many of the artists appearing on film for Fandango at the Wall -- The ShapeShifter Sessions couldn't shake the sheer musical expressions of beauty while they performed the 300-hundred-year-old folk music of son jarocho that combines indigenous, Spanish, and African traditions. The core of live material recorded took place at ShapeShifter Lab in November 2020 while the artists and crew maintained strict public health and social distancing guidelines (including open doors in 40-degree weather).

Arturo O'Farrill states, "How could we not respond to the pandemic except in the manner in which Jorge Francisco Castillo responded to the foolishness of border politics. He used the very elements of fencing, chicken wire, attack dogs and border police to celebrate community and unity. We had to rise to the call and use face masks, temperature checks and isolation to affirm humanity and life. It is what Black Lives Matter protesters also did, they took the murder of black men and women and bent the very elements of hatred to unite globally in solidarity across racial, ethnic, national, and gender lines. This is what humans of conscience do. They deny the usurpers, the circumstances, the very elements of suffering and walk boldly into the future we wish to live in."

Film director Taylor Krauss adds, "As an audience, we are gifted intimate witness to a kind of unprecedented musical moment. And in the urgency with which ALJO performs together in the same space for the first time since March 2020, we also feel a deep sense of community and trust welling out of the orchestra at a time when New York was being hit the hardest. This historic performance transmits all the richness of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra sound, and so much more borne out of a year of political turmoil, global pandemic, and musical isolation."

For detailed information regarding Fandango at the Wall -- The ShapeShifter Sessions, please visit: shapeshifterlab.com/fandango-alja.


Featured at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

Related Articles View More Music Stories

More Hot Stories For You