ALJO…The Power of Activism and Jazz: Resisting an Oppressive National Political Culture
On Wednesday May 9, Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra kicked off a special five-city tour of California celebrating the power of activism and jazz in resistance to the oppressive national political culture currently taking shape in America..
Arturo O’Farrill and ALJO invited diverse communities throughout California to partake in their revolutionary musical movement propelled by the orchestra’s fiery big band compositions. Beginning on May 9, Stanford Live presented the West Coast debut of O’Farrill’s The Cornel West Concerto at Stanford University featuring Dr. Cornel West alongside ALJO. On May 12, O’Farrill headlined Radio-Active Resistance: A Benefit for KPFA FM and DACA Support Services with opening acts Bobi Céspedes Band and the Son Jarocho All Stars at UC Theatre in Berkeley, CA. Additional ALJO performances included concerts at Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts (May 11), UC Santa Barbara Arts & Lectures @ Campbell Hall (May 17), and a rare Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble (octet) performance at Bach Dynamite & Dancing Society in Half Moon Bay (May 13). ALJO concluded its California tour with a live recording on the San Diego – Tijuana border on location at the Fandango Fronterizo Festival, joining together with noted Son Jarocho artists from Veracruz, México, and other special guest artists drawing from various countries and musical genres.
Two Nights with Arturo O’Farrill & the Legendary Dr. Cornel West: Path of Sweet Resistance
Photo by Lindsey Wilson
Date: May 13, 2017
Venue: Symphony Space (NY)
It’s a rainy Saturday night. I skirt into Symphony Hall where I sit amongst a sea of appreciative audience members. Suddenly, I am surrounded by a cacophony of confectionery sound just five rows away from a bombastic event of horns, drums and percussive delight inviting us to move along with its Afro-Latin sway. This musical collaboration was laced with sacred moments dipped in cane sugar as the rhythms proudly strutted between the beats of Bahia and the Caribbean. Powerful! Last year, I had the pleasure of seeing four-time Grammy winner and Musicians For Musicians (MFM) Board Member, Arturo O’Farrill perform at Symphony Space and I’m happy to say that his brilliance still stands.
#GivingTuesday 2016 is here: please make a money contribution to Musicians For Musicians (MFM) on New York’s first ever statewide day of giving!
None of MFM’s forthcoming activities will be possible without your help. You are: the music loving public, music business people, the media, music companies, politicians who care for musicians rights AND the musicians who haven’t joined MFM yet. Without your support, it would be impossible for MFM to continue serving her members and the community both near and far in this way. We’re counting on you to take MFM to an higher level as an organization empowering musicians and fighting for their rights.
Paul Testagrossa, Sohrab Saadat Ladjevardi & Arturo O’Farrill
Text By Dawoud Kringle
Wednesday, October 26th, 2016, Musicians for Musicians conducted (what was for them) an experiment: a semi-informal mixer. Members and non-members were all welcome. It was held at WeWork Wall Street in Lower Manhattan.