Last Saturday, the lucky lovers of music that got tickets for Apollo Theater were able to see magic on stage: Arturo O´Farrill and his Orchestra put people on their feet.
Arturo was honoring his father, Chico O´Farrill, who 65 years ago composed the acclaimed “Afro Cuban Jazz Suite”. So for the 80th anniversary of the Apollo, the theater commissioned Arturo to compose a review of the piece. After all his life building a career on his own and trying not to be compared to his father, Arturo was facing a hard mission. We can say he succeeded.
With his “Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra”, Arturo went a step forward and displayed a genuine masterpiece. More than 20 people on stage, including several kinds of drums, converted the Apollo Theatre into a celebration of jazz, heart music, and fight. Why fight? Because Arturo also used the occasion to present his just released album The Offense of Drum: a social and politically active call to people of the world.
Arturo explained that drums have been used as political and religious instruments in all cultures, especially in African and American cultures. He wants to make a reflection about how WE, the people, have to stop being silent, have to act, and do something to change this world. In my opinion, those pieces were the more powerful of the concert, especially the interesting rap “They came”.
Two hours of concert made it clear to me that Latin Jazz is in good shape, and I left the Apollo with the wonderful feeling of having been part of a moment that will be legend.