Arturo O’Farrill headlining MDC’s Jazz Under the Stars on Nov. 18

This year’s Jazz Under the Stars concert, presented by Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Kendall Campus and MDC Live Arts, will heat up South Florida with Grammy Award-winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Hosted by CBS 4 anchor and MDC alumna Marybel Rodriguez, the concert will begin at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1, at the Kendall Campus.

Several guest artists will round out this magical evening, including Cheito Quiñones; MDC professors Ed Calle, Timothy Brent, Jack Ciano, and Matthew Bonelli; MDC alumna Wendy Pedersen, and the MDC Studio Jazz Ensemble. O’Farrill also will take part in a weeklong residency at MDC. All proceeds will benefit MDC students pursuing degrees in music, theater and dance at the campus.

“Jazz Under the Stars brings together our students, faculty, alumni, and community for a great cause,” said Dr. Lourdes Oroza, MDC Kendall Campus president. “We are honored to present Arturo O’Farrill and other brilliant artists on one stage for a very special night.”

O’Farrill is a pianist, composer and educator, as well as founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. He was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City.

In 2002, he created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for Jazz at Lincoln Center. His debut album with the orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable (An Unforgettable Night), earned him a Grammy Award nomination in 2006. The orchestra’s second album, Song for Chico, earned a Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album in 2009. In February 2011, O’Farrill and his orchestra released their third and latest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, which was also nominated for a Grammy. In addition, he is the winner of the Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award for 2003.

Educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, O’Farrill played piano with the Carla Bley Big Band and then went on to develop his solo career with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Steve Turre, Freddy Cole, The Fort Apache Band, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 1995, he agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra.

Now in its seventh year, Jazz Under the Stars has featured some of the biggest names in Latin music and jazz, including Jon Secada, Arturo Sandoval, Nestor Torres, Albita, Los Herederos, Poncho Sanchez, and more.

The concert will be at the MDC Kendall Campus, Fred Shaw Plaza, 11011 SW 104 St. Tickets are $15 for the general public and $10 for MDC employees; free admission for MDC students with valid ID.

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