Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Arturo O’Farrill #jazz musician, pianist and composer.

Welcome to the music column with William Price King and this will be the last column from William until September as he will be embarking on his usual very busy summer months.

This week William shares the music of Arturo O’ Farrill jazz musician, pianist, composer, and director for the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.  and here is official biography from his Website


ARTURO O’FARRILL, pianist, composer, and educator, was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. 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. Arturo is a member of the faculties of both the Manhattan School of Music and the School of Jazz at the New School.

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.

During 2016-2018, Arturo has performed with orchestras and bands including his own Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra and Boss Level Sextet, as well as other Orchestras and smaller 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 is touring a ballet entitled “Open Door,” choreographed by Ron Brown to several of Arturo’s compositions and recordings. Ron Brown’s own Evidence Dance Company has commissioned Arturo to compose New Conversations, which premieres 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, 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.

Now to share some of this wonderful artist’s work that I am sure you will enjoy…..

With the album “Song for Chico”, Arturo O’Farrill pays tribute to his late father Cuban-born Arturo ‘Chico’ O’Farrill, who wrote the well known “Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite” which was recorded in 1950 by Machito and his Afro-Cuban Orchestra with Charlie Parker as guest on the alto saxophone. Chico O’Farrill was known for merging bebop with the Afro-Cuban tradition of Latin jazz. The title track, « Song for Chico, » was written by Dafnis Prieto and the entire album is a joyful mix of musical languages and rhythms with complex and artfully done arrangements. In 2009 O’Farrill and his Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra won the Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album.

Courtesy of  Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra – Topic

“El Bombón” was written and sung by Guantánamo resident “Cotó” Juan de la Cruz Antomarchi and is from the album « Cuba – The Conversation Continues, » which stems from an imaginary conversation between the trumpetist Dizzy Gillespie and Cuban percussionist Chano Pozo during the 1940s and materializes Gillespie’s dream to create universal music. This musical dialogue creates a bridge between Afro-Cuban music and jazz, featuring compositions by six American and four Cuban composers, and played by 24 musicians. This double CD crosses genres while respecting tradition and going beyond boundaries. “The Afro Latin Jazz Suite”, from this album, won the Grammy Award for Best Instrumental in 2016.

Courtesy of Arturo O’Farrill

“Three Revolutions” is from the album “Familia: Tribute to Bebo & Chico”, a family reunion bringing together two true pillars of Afro-Latin Jazz – pianists Leyanis Valdés et Auturo O’Farrill, celebrating their fathers and their rich musical family legacies. In this tribute they share a story from the 1950s when Bebo and Chico were musicians in Havana. This album is a testimony to three generations, grand-fathers and parents, Bebo Valdés et Chico O’Farrill, their sons Chico Valdes et Arturo O’Farill; and their grandsons, Levains Valdes, Jessie Valdes, Adam O’Farrill and Zack O’Farrill and represents the scope of their musicality and virtuosity. “Three Revolutions” won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Musical Composition.

Courtesy of motemamusic

“The Offense of the Drum” is the fourth album from Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchesra and was released in May, 2014. Here he presents not only his 18 – piece band but also 28 percussion instruments from all over the world along side such prestigious musicians as pianist Vijay Iyer, DJ Logic, Colombian harpist Edmar Castañeda, saxophonist Donald Harrison, and spoken word artist Christopher “Chilo” Cajigas. Once again Chico O’Farrill demonstrates his talent to combine and modernize his knowledge of the history of jazz and latin jazz with African, Caribbean, and South American influences to post-bop big band jazz. The drums and percussions, used for contestation, are at the heart of Arturo O’Farrill’s music. “Offense of the Drums” won the 2014 Grammy Award for best Latin Jazz Album.

Courtesy of Arturo O’Farrill

Buy the music of Arturo O’Farrill:

Performance Dates:

Albums and tracks:

William Price King is an American jazz singer, crooner, and composer.

His interest in music began at an early age when he studied piano and clarinet in high school. At Morehouse College in Atlanta where he grew up, he sang in the Glee Club and studied classical music. After graduation he went off to the Yale School of Music where he earned a Masters degree. From there he journeyed to New York where he created a jazz trio ‘Au Naturel’ which performed in some of the hottest venues in Manhattan including gigs on Broadway and the famous ‘Rainbow Room.’ These gigs opened doors for performances in Montreal and a European tour.

While touring Europe he met a lovely French lady, Jeanne Maïstre, who, a year later became his wife. King left the group ‘Au Naturel’ and settled in the south of France where he started a new life on the French Riviera, opening his own music school – the “Price King Ecole Internationale de Chant.” He has had the pleasure over the years of seeing many of his students excel as singers on a professional level, and some going on to become national celebrities. He continues to coach young singers today, in his spare time.

His debut jazz album was entitled “Home,” and was a collection of contemporary compositions he composed, with lyrics written by his wife Jeanne King. His second album was a Duo (Voice and Guitar) with Eric Sempé on the guitar. This album included original songs as well as well known standards from contemporary jazz and pop artists. The “King-Sempé” duo toured France and thrilled audiences for more than three years before going their separate ways. King has formed a new duo with French/Greek guitarist Manolis, and is now exploring new ideas, in a smooth jazz/soul/folk direction.

In addition to singing and composing, King has been collaborating with author Sally Cronin over the past few years on her blog “Smorgasbord – Variety is the spice of life,” with the series “A Man And His Music – Jazz, Contemporary, Classical, and Legends” and now, the “William Price King Music Column.” Working with author Sally Cronin has been an exhilarating experience in many ways and has brought a new dimension to King’s creative life. King has also created a micro blog, “Improvisation,” which features and introduces mostly jazz artists from across the jazz spectrum who have made considerable contributions in the world of jazz; and also artwork from painters who have made their mark in the world of art. This micro blog can be found on Tumblr.

His vocal mentors are two of the greatest giants in jazz, Nat King Cole and Mel Tormé. King has a distinctive wide-ranging voice which displays a remarkable technical facility and emotional depth.

William Price King on Tumblr – IMPROVISATION

Buy William’s music ITunes

Connect with William

Regular Venue 

You can find all of the Music Column series in this directory:

As always we would love to receive your feedback.. thanks Sally and William and I am sure you will join me in wishing William a wonderful summer…


18 thoughts on “Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Music Column with William Price King – Arturo O’Farrill #jazz musician, pianist and composer.

  1. I’ve never been a huge fan of jazz, but this excellent music is encouraging me to check it out more. I enjoyed Song for Chico very much.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Loved learning about the rich history of Arturo and his Cuban roots. Again, I’d never heard of him, but I was loving that Bombon jam! Thanks for introducing to some wonderful talent William. Enjoy your summer off. Hugs ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Smorgasbord Blog Magazine – The Weekly Round Up – Music, Numerology, Vitamin C, Guest Posts and funnies. | Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

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