O' Farrill Centennial Suites

Release date:
June 3, 2022
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October 28, 2021 marks the centennial of Arturo Chico O'Farrill. This vinyl release of two original compositions is named The Centennial Suites to honor this moment in time. I have been indelibly shaped by Chico O'Farrill. The first movement of the Afro Latin Jazz Suite, Mother Africa, is based on South Asian Harmonium textures, Indigenous African Rhythms, a cluster based harmonic improvisational setting and fragments of Chico's motifs in The Afro Cuban Jazz Suite. The second movement is based on Peruvian rhythms and is called All of the Americas. The connecting Adagio is based on what I consider Chico's most gorgeous writing, his ballads and boleros and the final movement What Now is based directly on the angularity of Rudresh's motivic improvisational approach. What I hope I've achieved is an acknowledgement of his integrity, curiosity and willingness to risk it all. Four Questions is the marriage of creative practice and personal conviction. In this piece I was inspired by truth telling. Dr. Cornel West is a truth teller. He makes many in and out of his community nervous. Whether or not you agree with his views he is a modern-day prophet. In this case I was transformed by a speech Dr. West made in 2004 in Seattle based on his book, Black Prophetic Fire. In the speech he expounds on four questions posed by W.E. B. DuBoise in his book, Souls of Black Folk. These two suites were both awarded critical success having earned Grammy awards. This is sweet vindication for me as I consider all the merit I have as an acknowledgement of a principle I learned from Maestro Arturo 'Chico' O'Farrill. Do what you do at the highest technical level that you can, do this with artistic integrity, marry it to your convictions and worry not about what reception you'll receive. These suites are a reflection of those values instilled in me by a humble Irish German Cuban visionary who lived what he believed. Arturo O'Farrill

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