Pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill comes by his Latin jazz bona fides quite organically.
His father, Chico O’Farrill, who died in 2001, was one of the great Cuban composer-arranger-conductors of his generation. Aurturo grew up in New York and followed his father’s footsteps as a piano player studying at the Manhattan School of Music, the Brooklyn College Conservatory of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College.
Arturo O’Farrill played in Carla Bley’s Big Band before working with Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis and Harry Belafonte. Then he took over his late father's orchestra.
O’Farrill’s own band, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, is a quintessential contemporary jazz band honoring its roots while looking forward and exploring the compositions of young moderns including Vijay Iyer, Miguel Zenón, Dafnis Prieto and Guillermo Klein. O’Farrill has an encyclopedic knowledge of the music and his band’s performances are vibrant musical journeys.
He brings his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra to the Harris Center for the Arts at Folsom Lake College at 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $19 to $29 with premium tickets available for $39. Students with identification are $12. Tickets are available at www.harriscenter.net or from the Harris Center ticket office at (916) 608-6888. Parking is included in the ticket price. The Harris Center is on the west side of Folsom Lake College.
Drawing on history
“Old Hickory,” as President Andrew Jackson was known, was the kind of politician who likely couldn’t get elected today.
He might have gotten arrested, though. What with his duels, marriage to a married woman and some fairly extreme political and social views (he was a major slave owner early in his life), Jackson was sensationally modern way back in 1829 when he became the seventh U.S. president.
“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” a slick modern rock musical with a book by Alex Timbers and music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, picks up on Jackson’s personality and turns into contemporary entertainment. The Green Valley Theatre today opens its regional premiere at the Grange Performing Arts Center, 3823 V St., Sacramento. The production, directed by Christopher Cook, runs at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 7 p.m. Sundays, through Sept. 1. Tickets are $18 for ages 18 and up; greenvalleytheatre.com or call (916) 736-2664.
A rare gig close to home
Alto saxophonist Jeff Clayton has many years on stages and in recording studios with the greatest musicians of our times.
The names include Frank Sinatra, Thad Jones, Ray Brown, Sammy Davis Jr. Ella Fitzgerald. For years he co-led the acclaimed Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with his brother, bassist John Clayton, and drummer Jeff Hamilton. That band backed Diana Krall on her 2005 “Christmas Songs” album. Clayton even spent three years in the “American Idol” band before moving to the Sacramento area.
Every once in a while he gets coaxed into a local gig. This Sunday he and some of Sacramento’s finest will break into the mainstream jazz songbook at JB’s Lounge, 1401 Arden Way (inside the Clarion Inn).
Clayton’s sextet will include Darius Babazedah on tenor sax, Chuck MacKinnon on trumpet, Joe Gilman on piano, Andrew Emer on bass and Tim Metz on drums.
The first set starts at 5 p.m. Tickets are $25. For information or reservations call (916) 723-5517 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call The Bee’s Marcus Crowder, (916) 321-1120. On Twitter: @marcuscrowder.