NEWS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CONTACT:
Erika Sanger – director@operahousearts.org

DATE: July 8, 2024
TITLE:
Opera House Arts Proudly Presents the 24TH ANNUAL DEER ISLE JAZZ FESTIVAL
Arturo O’Farrill Trio, Arturo O’Farrill Quintet

Opening Acts
Big Lazy (July 13th)
Nine8 (July 14th)

Latin jazz pianist, and the winner of eight Grammy Awards, Arturo O’Farrill will headline the 24th Annual Deer Isle Jazz Festival, appearing both the 13th and 14th of July with members of his Afro-Latin quintet. Born in Mexico with ties to Cuba, O’Farrill’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band then continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists, including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. Winner of eight Grammy Awards, Arturo O’Farrill is Professor of Global Jazz Studies and Assistant Dean for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UCLA, has been honored as a Steinway Artist for many years, and is a Blue Note Records Recording Artist. This year’s Jazz Festival is funded in part by Rich and Mary Howe and George and Liz Zentz.

Saturday’s Program features the Arturo O’Farrill Trio,, with Arturo joined by bassist Carlo Torres DeRosa and drummer Juan Carlos Polo. On Sunday, percussionist Carlo “Carly” Maldonado and woodwind player Jasper Dutz will join a program that will explore the pan-Latin repertoire for which O’Farrill is best known.

Performances: June 13th and 14th at 7:00PM
Tickets: $39, $49 and $59

About the Musicians:

Pianist, composer, bandleader, educator and activist Arturo O’Farrill was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. His 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. Now called Belongó, his nonprofit takes as its mission performing, educating about, and preserving the music of all the Americas that emanates from African and indigenous roots through the entry point of jazz, as reflected by core values of cultural inclusiveness, ground-breaking creativity, social consciousness, excellence, responsible stewardship, and purposeful engagement.

In 2010, Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba. Returning the music of his father, himself a ground-breaking composer and arranger, to Chico’s homeland. Arturo continues to travel regularly to Cuba as an informal cultural ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the U.S. and American musicians to Cuba. Arturo has performed with many symphony orchestras and jazz and Latin bands, including his own celebrated Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and the Arturo O’Farrill Sextet. 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. In February of 2023, he was awarded his eighth Grammy for the album Fandango at the Wall in New York. He is Professor of Music and Bill Evans Fellow at the New School, Mannes School of Music and the School of Jazz and Contemporary Music.

Bassist Carlo Torres DeRosa, a long-time veteran of the New York City music scene, has worked with a diverse range of artists including Ray Barretto, Ravi Coltrane, Amir ElSaffar, Arturo O’Farrill, Tyshawn Sorey, and Ed Thigpen. In addition to his own acclaimed 2011 album Brain Dance, he has played on over 50 albums including the 2008 Grammy award- winning album by Yo-Yo Ma, Songs of Joy & Peace, along with other Grammy and Latin Grammy nominated albums. He attended the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami for his DMA in 2018, where he was a Graduate Teaching Assistant and Henry Mancini Institute Fellow. He is on the faculty of Western Michigan University.

Juan Carlos Polo is a Peruvian drummer, composer, and educator based in New York City. Since his arrival to the United States in 2016, he has collaborated with many prominent artists including Arturo O’Farrill, tap dancer Ayodele Casel, cellist -composer Akua Dixon, and hip-hop legend Grandmaster Caz. He holds a bachelor’s degree in classical percussion from the National University of Music in Peru and a Masters in Jazz Studies from The City University of New York. Juan Carlos chooses to let his music be influenced by his own experiences rather than to adhere to strict cultural tradition. His playing is grounded in multiple styles and regions and is thus an extension of his own life. As an educator, he works with important nonprofit organizations empowering the black and Latino youth through music in New York City: The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education, and Jazz at Lincoln Center. He also serves the community of Jackson Heights in Queens as a Peruvian cajón instructor at Pachamama Peruvian Arts.

Grammy-winning multi-percussionist, educator, arranger, and composer Carlos ”Carly” Maldonado was born and raised in Carolina, Puerto Rico. He received his B.M. in Symphonic Percussion from the Puerto Rico Music Conservatory and his M.A. in Jazz Arranging and performance from The Aaron Copland School of Music (CUNY) in New York. He began playing timbales at 12 years old, a talent inherited from his father, a salsa timbalero. By age 14, he began performing professionally in Puerto Rico. Since arriving in New York in 2009, he became a member of the innovative Latin jazz ensemble of the legendary trombonist/composerPapo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours. He is also a member of Arturo O’Farrill’s Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. During his career, he has worked with stars and ensembles including Wynton Marsalis, Randy Weston, Chucho Valdes, Pleneros de la 21, Puerto Rico Symphony, Sergio George, Orchestra of St. Luke, Omara Portuondo, and The Klezmatics.

Multi-woodwind instrumentalist Jasper Dütz was born and raised in Los Angeles, California and is currently based in New York City. He began playing music at the age of seven after receiving his father’s $20 yard-sale purchased clarinet. Coming from an artistic family, he was exposed to the music of Charles Ives, Eric Dolphy, and Charles Mingus very early on. He began playing jazz in middle school after trying the baritone saxophone in band class. He currently co-leads Harlem-Based jazz ensemble Three Hunters Trio as well as his own
quartet and is a full time member of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Jasper also currently serves as artistic director for VGM (Video Game Music) Jam Sessions NYC. He has recorded or performed with artists such as Nels Cline, Lenny Pickett, Jon Batiste and Ron Carter.

Big Lazy, New York City’s gritty instrumental trio that critic Robert Christgau dubbed “the Big Apple crème de la crème”; has flourished for more than 20 years, playing its singular brand of guitar noir from the Whitney Museum of American Art to the Opéra National de Lyon.

Guitarist Stephen Ulrich, the group’s founder, released a solo album in 2023, Music from This American Life, a collection of music he composed for the iconic radio program/podcast (Barbès Records). His scoring credits include the HBO series Bored to Death and the
art-heist documentary Art and Craft.

Drummer Yuval Lion has toured and recorded with some of the world’s most distinguished rock, rhythm-and-blues and jazz artists, including Chrissie Hynde, Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Meshell Ndegeocello and John Zorn.

Bassist Andrew Hall is a sought-after player on New York City’s jazz scene and has performed internationally with a wide array of artists from Sparklehorse to Martha Wainwright.

George Stevens Academy’s NINE8

Iris Kimball (Trombone and Flute) Mattea Black (Keys, Vibes and Vocals) Liam Stearns (Tenor Sax ) Sayer Bramblett-Williams (Drums) Brady Hutchins (Bass) Ansel Tenney (Keys and Vibes ) Fred Coit (Trumpet and Flugelhorn) Erik Davis (Alto Sax), all under the direction of Phelan Gallagher, the Music Director at George Stevens Academy, where he leads the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Honors Jazz Combo and also teaches music production.

Larry Blumenfeld (Curator) has written regularly about music and culture for The Wall Street Journal since 2004. His culture reporting has appeared in The New York Times, Daily Beast, TIDAL and the Village Voice, among other publications and websites. His long collaboration with the National Jazz Museum in Harlem includes his ongoing “Jazz and Social Justice” series. He is the 2024 recipient of the Jazz Journalists Association’s Helen Dance-Robert Palmer Award for Excellence in Writing (his second such win), a Katrina Media Fellowship from the Open Society Institute; he was a Fellow in the National Arts Journalism program at Columbia University, and the 2019 Jeannette K. Watson Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Syracuse University. He is Editorial Director for Chamber Music America and Jazz Curator for Spoleto Festival USA, in Charleston, SC. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife, Erica, and son, Sam. He visits New Orleans and plays basketball whenever he can.

Opera House Arts, a 501 [c] [3] nonprofit organization, was founded in 1999 to restore the 1912 Stonington Opera House, on the National Register of Historic Places, and its original purpose as a performance space and community cornerstone. Professional theatre, movies, variety acts, music and dance, educational programs, and special events are offered year-round. Hancock County students are invited to attend live performances for free thanks to the generous supporters of Opera House Arts.

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Arturo Ofarrill

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