Grammy Award winners Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra will perform in Santa Barbara

By Newsroom

UCSB Arts & Lectures is presenting its second show for the 2021-2022 Season when Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Fandango at the Wall with the Villalobos Brothers will be performing on Friday, October 15 at Campbell Hall, in IV.

The performance which will start at 8:00 p.m. in Isla Vista is part of the Soul of America series featured in the 2021-2022 CREATING HOPE programming initiative.

Led by Grammy-winning pianist and composer Arturo O’Farrill, the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra is heralded as “one of the best jazz orchestras in existence” by The New Yorker.

A transnational project that prompted an album, book and documentary (official trailer:, Fandango at the Wall was inspired by the annual Fandango Fronterizo festival at the Tijuana-San Diego border.

Also, the organizers informed that joining the orchestra are the Villalobos Brothers, “who masterfully fuse the richness of Mexican folk music with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical music.”

O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO brings together the drama of big band jazz, the culture of Latin music, and the virtuosity of eighteen of the world’s most accomplished solo musicians.

For over 18 years of critically acclaimed performances internationally, have firmly established the ALJO as the standard-bearer for creative interpretation of Latin jazz greats such as Tito Puente, Frank “Machito” Grillo, and Chico O’Farrill, as well as the driving force behind new commissions from Latin music’s most talented composers and arrangers.


In early 2007, O’Farrill and the ALJO left Jazz at Lincoln Center to pursue the twin goals of developing new audiences for big band Latin jazz and creating a robust educational program for young performers. With the support of a group of prominent leaders from the worlds of jazz and Latin culture, O’Farrill launched the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance to serve as a non-profit organization that could advance both the performance and educational aspects of this uniquely Pan-American art form.

ALJA’s programs span the five New York City boroughs, with performances in venues throughout the city and with education programs serving school children throughout New York.

In the last 8 years ALJA has produced over 45 concerts as part of its annual New York Season showcasing the full range of Afro Latin jazz from all over the world.

Also, ALJA provides institutional support to the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, which performs several concerts each year at Symphony Space in New York City and tours extensively nationally and internationally.

From 2002 to 2007, ALJO was a resident orchestra of Jazz at Lincoln Center and performed an extensive concert schedule both at Lincoln Center and through national and international tours.

During its residency there, the ALJO performed at the opening of the Frederick P. Rose Hall, the opening ceremonies of the 2005 U.S. Open, and the inaugural week for Shanghai Concert Hall; led a weeklong educational residency in Yokohoma, Japan; and recorded a GRAMMY-nominated CD (Una Noche Inolvidable, 2005, Palmetto Records).

During the last several years the Orchestra has performed at The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the Boston Symphony Hall, the Newport Jazz Festival, the Litchfield Jazz Festival (Kent, CT), The Joyce Theater (with Ballet Hispanico), Megaron Concert Hall (Athens, Greece), and the Taichung Jazz Festival (Taichung, Taiwan).

The Alliance is strongly committed to making this music accessible to all audiences, and provides free or reduced-price tickets to large numbers of low-income individuals, especially youth and seniors, through collaborations with non-profit organizations and educational institutions.


The Villalobos Brothers is one of today’s leading Contemporary Mexican ensembles.

Their original compositions and arrangements masterfully fuse and celebrate the richness of Mexican folk music with the intricate harmonies of jazz and classical music.

In 2018, they joined forces with Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for the “Fandango at the Wall” project.

This ambitious undertaking, produced by Kabir Sehgal, united legendary international musicians for a live concert at the Tijuana-San Diego border wall which resulted in a live album and documentary film to be released in 2019.

The Villalobos Brothers recently premiered their Symphonic Project, performing sold-out concerts with both the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra and the Walla Walla Symphony.

The ensemble has collaborated with legendary musicians including Grammy-winners Bruce Springsteen, Dolly Parton, Antonio Sánchez, Regina Carter, Eduardo Magallanes, Dan Zanes, Sierra Hull, and Ana Tijoux.

Learn more about this exciting band at,