Fleet-fingered pianist Arturo O’Farrill has been commissioned by Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and RD Rice Construction to compose a new piece of music to honor Bronx native and prospective Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor. O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra will premiere the music at Symphony Space on November 5, 2009, with a second performance scheduled for the following evening.
“The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra’s mission is to preserve, perpetuate and innovate the genre of Afro-Latin big-band jazz through performance,” said O’Farrill, the group’s founder, in a press release. “What better way to fulfill that mission than to honor the first Latina to be appointed to the United States Supreme Court.”
The Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra was founded seven years ago in partnership with Jazz at Lincoln Center. In 2007 the Orchestra moved to Symphony Space, where it continues its residency. The Orchestra is part of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to support the work of the Orchestra, to carry out youth education programs in the Afro-Latin-jazz genre, and to preserve an extensive library of big-band scores collected over many years by Arturo O’Farrill and his late father, the legendary Cuban musician Chico O’Farrill.