At Steppingstone This Weekend

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Arturo O’Farrill

At Steppingstone Park this Saturday, Aug. 29, Arturo O’Farrill-Afro-Cuban Orchestra performs. This band is the product of almost 60 years of musical evolution. Arranger and trumpet player Chico O’Farrill (Arturo’s father) came to New York in 1948, as part of a wave of influential Cuban musicians that began in 1930, meshing his traditional Cuban style with the emerging African-American bebop. Chico O’Farrill passed away in 2001, leaving his son, Arturo, in charge. Arturo O’Farrill, pianist, composer, educator, founder and artistic director of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, created the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO) for Jazz at Lincoln Center in 2002. His debut album with the orchestra, Una Noche Inolvidable, earned a 2006 Grammy Award nomination and the orchestra’s second album, Song for Chico, earned a 2009 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. In February 2011, O’Farrill and the ALJO released their third and newest album, 40 Acres and a Burro, which was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Large Jazz Ensemble Album. He is the winner of the 2003 Latin Jazz USA Outstanding Achievement Award.

O’Farrill has performed throughout the world, both as a solo artist and as part of a group 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, O’Farrill agreed to direct the band that preserved much of his father’s music, the Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, which recently concluded a 15-year residency at Birdland, New York City’s famed nightclub. A recognized composer, O’Farrill has received commissions from Meet the Composer, the Big Apple Circus, Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. He has also composed music for films, including Hollywoodland and Salud. Don’t miss this opportunity to see one of the most revered Cuban-Afro orchestras of our time.

On Sunday, Aug. 30, Band of Long Island performs music from Broadway, traditional marches, familiar classics and some of the best of today’s concert band music. A wide array of instruments, such as flutes, piccolos, oboes, English horns, clarinets, bassoons, saxophones, French horns, trumpets, trombones, euphoniums, tubas, string basses, percussion instruments, timpani, xylophones and chimes will be heard. Conductor Michael Flamhaft is founding director of the Band of Long Island (BOLI). He is also an accomplished in-demand arranger with several published works to his credit. Conceived as a musical version of the Rotary Club, the Band of Long Island’s mission is to help other nonprofit organizations raise money for their own worthy causes. Now in its 17th season, the Band of Long Island recently performed at the Conference of the Association of Concert Bands—a prestigious invitation that has been extended twice to the band within the last decade—and was told it “may very well be the best band to perform in the 26-year history of the association.” Join them for a very special evening.

Performances begin at 8 p.m. and are
for Great Neck Park District residents
only. Admission is free to Park District residents with a valid park card. Park cards will be checked when parking and at the gate. Each park card holder is allowed to bring two guests into the park, who must be signed in. There are limited park chairs available and it is recommended that show attendees bring along a blanket or their own chair to sit on. Avoid the traffic and arrive early (before 6 p.m.) with a picnic for dinner. In case of rain, check www.
cancellations.com or www.greatneck parks.org for location of performance. Either Great Neck North High School or the Parkwood Sports Complex will be the rain location, which will be determined based on type of performance and where it can best be performed. Free bus service continues to be available to Steppingstone and return buses start 10 minutes after the show ends. You will not be able to enter without your park card. The bus schedule can be obtained at Great Neck House, 14 Arrandale Ave., or the gate at Steppingstone Park. It is also available on the Park District website at www.greatneckparks.org. The bus is subject to cancellation or change, according to public usage. Street parking in the Village of Kings Point is permitted as posted. Parking rules will be strictly enforced by the Kings Point Police. For the safety and comfort of everyone, it is requested that show attendees follow the direction of the park employees. For additional information, visit our website or call 516-482-0355.

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