In 2002 Arturo O’Farril founded and became the artistic director or the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. This orchestra performs in the unique style which is a sub-specialty of the big band and swing style of music. The ALJO was the resident orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center from 2002 until 2007. They led a busy schedule of concert performances at Lincoln Center but also throughout the U.S. and the world. During those five years the ALJO performed at the opening ceremony of the Frederick P. Rose Hall, led a week-long residency of education and music in Yokohoma, Japan and even earned a Grammy nomination for a CD which they recorded in Germany.
In order to establish and develop new audiences for their special sound and also to create an active educational program for young performers, the ALJO left Lincoln Center in 2007. As a result the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance began. It is a non-profit organization which strives to achieve both goals of performing and educating to new audiences and new musicians.
It is the goal of the ALJA to further the knowledge and performance of this unique pan-American musical tradition. The ALJO performs in its home venue, New York City’s Symphony Space, and during the past year has also given performances at Lincoln Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Megaron Concert Hall in Athens, Greece and many others.
In February 2009 the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra won a Grammy Award for the album Song for Chico, recorded by Zoho Records. You can experience some of this unique music yourself this June 4-5, 2010 at Symphony Space in New York City. An outdoor concert will take place on June 12 in the plaza in front of the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza.