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The Afro-Cuban Band Suite

Chico O'Farrill


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The Master


Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill (October 28, 1921 in Havana, Cuba - June 27, 2001 in New York City, New York, USA) was a composer, arranger, conductor, best known for his work in the Latin idiom, although he also composed straight-ahead jazz pieces and even symphonic works.

The son of an Irish father and a German mother, he played the trumpet early in his career. He composed works for Machito (Afro-Cuban suite with Charlie Parker, 1950) and Benny Goodman's Bebop Orchestra (Undercurrent Blues) and arranged for Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton, among others.

In the 1990s O'Farrill led a big band that took up residence at New York's famous Birdland nightclub. Chico's son, a pianist who is also named Arturo O'Farrill (he formerly worked with Carla Bley), eventually took over the band.

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