Arturo O'Farrill told me that he and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra were "cast out of the castle" after five years as a resident ensemble with Jazz at Lincoln Center. But he's hardly packed it in: He's created his own nonprofit, established a broader aesthetic mandate with the orchestra's first season at Symphony Space, and grown outspoken about Latin jazz as no exotic "other".
I've grown to admire O'Farrill as a pianist, composer, bandleader, and man. I recall his first visit to Cuba, in 2002, when he visited the childhood home of his father, Chico O"Farrill. And I can't forget the tears in his eyes while he watched as the corner where he grew up, at 88th Street and West End Avenue in Manhattan, was renamed "Arturo 'Chico' O'Farrill Place." He's done his father's legacy proud, and then some.
You can find my piece on Arturo (the son) in The Wall Street Journal here