Blue Note New York
Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra with Hamilton de Holanda and Yamandu Costa at Town Hall

    Blue Note Jazz Festival

    • Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

      GRAMMY Award-winning pianist, composer, and educator Arturo O'Farrill—leader of the "first family of Afro-Cuban Jazz" (New York Times)—was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. Son of the late, great composer Chico O'Farrill, Arturo 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, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2002, he established the GRAMMY Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) to bring the vital musical traditions of Afro Latin jazz to a wider general audience, and to greatly expand the contemporary Latin jazz big band repertoire through commissions to artists across a wide stylistic and geographic range. In March 2021, O'Farrill and the ALJO won their 7th GRAMMY for Four Questions, with Cornel West as guest orator. In September 2018, O'Farrill released his album, Fandango at the Wall: A Soundtrack for the United States, Mexico, and Beyond, which was also released as a documentary for HBO MAX. In 2019, O'Farrill was appointed Professor at The UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in the Global Jazz Studies department and is currently the Associate Dean for Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. O'Farrill's debut recording with Blue Note Records …dreaming in lions… was nominated for a 2022 GRAMMY Award in the "Best Instrumental Composition" category, and his album, Virtual Birdland (ZOHO), was nominated for "Best Latin Jazz Album." In 2023, O’Farrill won a GRAMMY Award for Fandango at the Wall in New York in the “Best Latin Jazz Album” category. O'Farrill is a Steinway Artist and records for Blue Note Records.
    • Yamandu Costa

      “Musicians of this caliber that make you fall out of your seat come once in a generation.” - La Presse Montreal Latin GRAMMY winner Yamandu Costa is widely considered one of the great guitarists in the world today. This virtuoso 7-string guitar player has left audiences breathless around the world with his impressive skill and overwhelming passion. Born in Rio Grande do Sul to a musical family, he played his first major concert at age 17 in São Paulo and quickly gained international fame for his incredible talent. Yamandu is credited with reviving Brazilian guitar music and his diverse repertoire includes styles like chorinho, bossa nova, milonga, tango, samba and chamamé, making him difficult to categorize into a single genre. A 2021 Latin GRAMMY winner for Best Instrumental Album, Costa has collaborated with Bobby McFerrin, Richard Galliano, Doug de Vries, Gilberto Gil, Toquinho, João Bosco, Ney Matogrosso, Marisa Monte, Renato Borghetti, and many more. He has also been a featured soloist with symphony orchestras around the world.
    • Hamilton de Holanda

      Virtuoso, brilliant, and unique are some of the adjectives to describe this multi-awarded improviser and composer who inspires audiences worldwide. Hamilton de Holanda was born on March 30, 1976, into a musical family. His first instrument, at the age of four, was the Melodica. Two years later (1982) he began his professional career as a six-year-old mandolin prodigy on a national TV show with an audience of over 50 million. Today, as a composer, improviser, bandleader, and educator Hamilton`s music transcends genre as his improvisational genius dazzles audiences around the world. Hamilton`s music comes from three pillars: the encouragement of his family, the consolidation of his college degree in composition, and the freedom of jam sessions in the streets of the Brazilian capital, Brasilia, where he grew up. His first genre was Choro, the cousin of Jazz and a Brazilian cultural heritage. He co-founded the first Choro School in the world (Brasilia, 1997) and spearheaded the petition to the National Congress to grant Choro a National Day. As a result, since 2000, April 23 has been celebrated in Brazil as The Official Choro Day by proclamation of the Brazilian president, exposing the first Brazilian popular music to the people. Also in 2000, an emblematic year for him, Hamilton reinvented the traditional 8-string Brazilian Bandolin (Mandolin) by adding a pair of extra strings tuned to low C (going from 8 to 10) giving it a deeper voice that emancipates the emblematic Brazilian instrument from the legacy of some of its influences and genres. The increase in the number of strings, combined with the fast solos and improvisations, inspires a new generation to take up the 10-string mandolin. Hamilton's playing and improvising transcend limitations and genres. Today he travels to the different corners of the planet "bringing his heart to his fingertips" performing his compositions with his signature sound. He interacts with other music traditions, ensembles, and instruments. This allows him to be invited to be the guest soloist of Wynton Marsalis and his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra or to perform his compositions with Symphony orchestras from around the world; from Rock/Pop Festivals to Dave Mathews Band at the Gorge; from the Summer Stage - the Central Park in New York City to The Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro; from noble museums like Smithsonian in Washington or the Grand Palais in Paris to the famous Carnival in Rio. Places like Australia, Paris, Germany, Amsterdam, Rome, Norway, Los Angeles, and other cities and festivals around the world. Hamilton is active on social media where his global numbers are impressive for an instrumental musician (ex: over 1M monthly listeners on Spotify, 220k Facebook, 197 k Instagram, 98 K YouTube …). In Brazil he has attained star status, receiving acclaim and several prizes from critics and peers. He is a multi-award musician who won several Latin Grammys, Prêmio da Musica Brasileira, Echo Jazz, Choc, and countless nominations. He just won best instrumental album at the 2022 Latin Grammys. The popular support inspired him to promote benefit concerts for major Brazil tragedies and social projects like ABRACE, which provides social assistance for children and adolescents with cancer and blood diseases. Hamilton also supports musical programs for people from economically disadvantaged areas to bolster their self-image and help young people find inspiration and jobs. Hamilton has a long discography of his compositions and tributes to some of his idols. He has launched his recordings on his independent label Brasilianos or partners like Universal, ECM, MPS, Sony, Adventure Music…. He understands that the music industry needs categories and definitions for the music he plays such as Jazz, Brazilian Jazz, and Brazilian Popular Music; but for him inspiration transcends labels, it is something that freely rises without the need to be defined. He likes to explain himself as a musical explorer in search of beauty and spontaneity. Hamilton has shared the stage or recorded with Wynton Marsalis, Chick Corea, The Dave Mathews Band, Chris Potter, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, John Paul Jones, Paulinho da Costa, Chucho Valdes, Egberto Gismonti, Ivan Lins, Milton Nascimento, Joshua Redman, Chico Buarque, Hermeto Pascoal, Gilberto Gil, Richard Galliano, Bela Fleck, Stefano Bollani, and many others.
    • Belongó

      The non-profit Belongó (formerly the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance) was established by Arturo O'Farrill in 2007 to promote Afro Latin Jazz through a comprehensive array of performance and education programs. Belongó's mission is to perform, educate about, and preserve the music of all of the Americas, emanating from African and indigenous roots, through the entry point of jazz. Belongó embraces its mission with a commitment to social justice, equity, inclusion, and the equality of all cultures worldwide. Belongó produces the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra's annual performance season in New York and maintains a weekly engagement for the Orchestra at the famed jazz club Birdland. Belongó also maintains a world-class collection of Latin jazz musical scores and recordings. Belongó's education programs include the Belongó Music Academy, an in-school residency program serving public schools citywide with instrumental and ensemble instruction, the pre-professional youth orchestra; the Fat Cats, which prepares the next generation of musicians, and the Global Rhythms in Our Tribe (G.R.I.O.T.); a community music program that engages underserved youth in anti-violence activities. Belongó maintains administrative offices in East Harlem at El Barrio ArtSpace – PS109.

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