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Latin Jazz Great Arturo O’Farrill in Residence at UVM; To Perform with Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra April 19

Arturo O’Farrill on his forthcoming album, 'The Offense of the Drum.'

Pianist, arranger and composer Arturo O’Farrill, one of the top names in jazz and Latin jazz, will be in residence at the University of Vermont the week of April 14. At the conclusion of his residency, O’Farrill will lead his ensemble, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, in a concert at the Flynn Main Stage on Saturday, April 19 at 8 p.m.

UVM community members can purchase tickets to the concert, one of 10 this year offered through the UVM Diversity Series, for $10 with a UVM ID. 

UVM’s student Jazz Ensemble will open for the orchestra on Saturday, performing the Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite, a seminal Latin jazz composition written by O’Farrill’s father, Chico O’Farrill. As part of his residency, O’Farrill will rehearse the Jazz Ensemble on Thursday and Friday at 4 p.m. in the ballroom in Southwick Hall. Both rehearsals are open to UVM community members. 

“The Jazz Ensemble has been working most of the semester on the Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite, which is one of the most challenging works in jazz,” said Alex Stewart, director of UVM’s Jazz Studies program. “The students have risen to the occasion and worked hard. The opportunity to have Chico's son Arturo come in and put the finishing touches on the piece is an incredible one for our students." 

The original recording of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite featured Charlie Parker on alto saxophone, Flip Wilson on tenor sax and Buddy Rich on drums, parts students will play at the Saturday performance. The role of Charlie Parker is being shared by Stephen Richards and Avery Cooper. Flip Phillips' part is being played by Brian Mille and Buddy Rich's by Nick Cruickshank.

During the week, O’Farrill will also be a guest lecturer in Stewart's Music of Latin America and the Caribbean class and will visit a number of schools in Vermont.

The Diversity Series is co-sponsored by the Office of the Vice President for Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs through the UVM President's Initiative for Diversity and the Flynn Center.