Deer Isle Jazz Festival

featuring Arturo O’Farrill

24th Annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival

Six-time Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer and bandleader Arturo O’Farrill returns to Deer Isle – where he headlined our 2007 festival and was a Visiting Artist at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts – to explore two facets of his expansive musical life.

Underwritten by Rich and Mary Howe and George and Liz Zentz

July 13-14, 2024

Arturo O'Farrill

Arturo O’Farrill Trio
As on his recent Blue Note recording “Legacies,” O’Farrill showcases his dynamic approach to the piano and his interplay with bassist Carlo da Rosa and drummer Juan Carlos Polo, looking back with reverence and invention on classic songs from past masters, including Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock and Carla Bley, along with original compositions.

Opening band: Big Lazy

Arturo O'Farrill playing piano

Arturo O’Farrill Afro Latin Jazz Quintet
Adding percussionist Carlos Maldonado and saxophonist Jasper Dutz – both members of his acclaimed Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – O’Farrill mines the traditions, rhythms and influences of a vast legacy that is essential to jazz – including that of his father, the great Cuban composer Chico O’Farrill, and including the music of Puerto Rico, South America, the islands of the Caribbean, and beyond.

Opening band: George Stevens Academy’s NINE8

About Arturo O’Farrill

ARTURO O’FARRILL, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City.  Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte.

In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. Learn more about ALJA here:

In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland.  He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.

Arturo has performed with orchestras and bands including his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Arturo O’Farrill Sextet, as well as other Orchestras and intimate ensembles in the US, Europe, Russia, Australia, and South America.

An avid supporter of all the Arts, Arturo has performed with Ballet Hispanico and the Malpaso Dance Company, for whom he has written three ballets. In addition, the Alvin Ailey Dance Company has in its repertoire a ballet entitled “Open Door,” choreographed by Ron Brown to several of Arturo’s compositions and recordings. Ron Brown’s own Evidence Dance Company commissioned Arturo to compose New Conversations, which premiered in the Summer of 2018 at Jacob’s Pillow in Becket, MA.

Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, The Apollo Theater, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, the Young Peoples Chorus of New York, Columbia University and the New York State Council on the Arts. 

Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” from the album CUBA: The Conversation Continues (Motéma) took the 2016 Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Composition and the 2016 Latin Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. His powerful “Three Revolutions” from the album Familia-Tribute to Chico and Bebo was the 2018 Grammy Award (his sixth) winner for Best Instrumental Composition. Arturo’s album “Four Questions” (ZOHO) is the first to embody all original compositions, including the title track, which features the brilliant orator Dr. Cornel West. This album won a Grammy in 2021. Most recently, in February of 2023, Arturo was awarded his eighth Grammy for the album “Fandango at the Wall in New York.”

Arturo was Artist in Residence for The Greene Space in New York City, for which he created a four-concert series including a newly commissioned composition. The series title was “Radical Acts and Musical Deviancy.”

In 2020 Arturo’s weekly concerts with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, dubbed “Virtual Birdland,” top the list of 10 Best Quarantine Concerts in the New York Times.

Arturo is Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), has been honored as a Steinway Artist for many years, and is a Blue Note Records Recording Artist.

Big Lazy

Simultaneously gothic and modern, noir and pastoral, Big Lazy’s music conjures images from big sky country to seedy back rooms with deftness and a cinematic clarity. Stephen Ulrich on guitar, Andrew Hall on bass and drummer Yuval Lion forge a new American music from archetypes in Rock, Jazz and the Avant Garde.

NINE8 jazz combo group of students

NINE8, a high school honors jazz combo, comes to Opera House Arts from George Stevens Academy in Blue Hill, Maine. This year, the ensemble is comprised of Austin Chandler (bass), Andy Hipsky (guitar), Tony Esposito (drums), Jenna Blodgett (sax/vox), Jillian Eldridge (sax), Iris Kimball (flute/trombone), and Mattea Black (keys/vox). This year’s ensemble is comprised of Iris Kimball (Flute, Trombone), Mattea Black (Keys/Vibes/Vox), Liam Stearns (Tenor Sax), Sayer Bramblett-Williams (Drums), Brady Hutchins (Bass), Ansel Tenney (Keys), Fred Coit (Trumpet), and Erik Davis (Alto Sax).