In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, Dawoud Kringle interviews master pianist, composer, producer, music educator, music activist, and MFM Advisory Committee Member Arturo O’Farrill. The topics discussed include the evolution of Latin Jazz, O’Farrill’s work as a composer, his recent CD release and collaboration with Dr. Cornel West “Four Questions,” his involvement with Musicians For Musicians, music activism, and his spiritual philosophies on music.
One of the most important hallmarks of jazz is its focus on social consciousness. Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit,” Sonny Rollins’ “Freedom Suite,” Charles Mingus’ “Fables of Faubus,” Max Roach’s “We Insist! Freedom Now Suite,” John Coltrane’s “Alabama,” and many others all used jazz to address social injustice, and a call to action.
After releasing Four Questions, Arturo O’Farrill now stands side by side with these giants.
Two Nights with Arturo O’Farrill & the Legendary Dr. Cornel West: Path of Sweet Resistance
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.
Support “The Cornel West Concerto” recording featuring Arturo O’Farrill
and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Arturo O’Farrill‘s The Cornel West Concerto is a tour-de-force musical and oratorical plea for justice, love, and respect… with text by Dr. Cornel West – based on questions proposed by W.E.B. Dubois at the turn of the 20th Century – questions as relevant today (if not more so) as they were then: