New York to Name Street Corner for Chico O'Farrill

Classic Arts News   New York to Name Street Corner for Chico O'Farrill
On June 29, the corner of 88th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan will be named "Arturo 'Chico' O'Farrill Place" in honor of the Latin jazz bandleader and composer who died in 2001.

O'Farrill's son, also named Arturo O'Farrill, and the Chico O'Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra will play a free concert to mark the renaming at 6:30 p.m. in nearby Riverside Park. Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, artistic director of Jazz at Lincoln Center, will make a guest appearance. (The younger O'Farrill directs JALC's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra.)

After the concert, a new street sign will be unveiled at 88th Street and West End Avenue, where Chico O'Farrill lived for the last four decades of his life.

Chico O'Farrill grew up in Havana and studied at the Havana Conservatory and at the Juilliard School. He launched his career as a staff arranger for Benny Goodman and later wrote music for Machito, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and Stan Kenton, as well as for his own bands.

"Chico O'Farrill is the intellect behind Afro-Latin jazz," said Arturo O'Farrill. "His training in serial music, his profound understanding and skill in big band writing, and his deep roots in Afro-Caribbean rhythms, make him unique in the history of all of these genres."

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