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Arturo O'Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra Present: "Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles: From Mambo to Borscht"!




Program Examines Relationship Between
Jewish and Latino Communities Through Music


First Concert of 2012/13 Season at 
Symphony Space, November 2 & 3, 2012 @ 8pm

New York, NY -- The Afro Latin Jazz Alliance is pleased to announce the inaugural performance of the 11th season of the GRAMMY® Award-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), directed by Arturo O'Farrill.  The program, titled Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles: From Mambo to Borscht, will be presented at Symphony Space on Manhattan's Upper West Side on November 2 & 3, 2012.  Join us for a pre-performance discussion on Friday, November 2 at 7PM as we explore a convergence of cross-cultural musical styles from the Catskills, Northern Africa, Iberia, and the Middle East.  The Orchestra's sixth season at Symphony Space exemplifies the Alliance's commitment to presenting a large and diverse picture of Afro Latin jazz that acknowledges and celebrates its past, while embracing innovation and experimentation that propels the music forward.

General Admission is $50/$40/$30, Students/Seniors/Children $15, Symphony Space Members $40/$32/$24.  Take advantage of this special subscription offer: purchase two concert tickets for the 2012/2013 season and get a third concert admission for free! For tickets go to: symphonyspace.org, call 212.864.5400, or visit the box office.  For subscriptions, call or visit the box office.  Symphony Space is located at 95th Street and Broadway in Manhattan.

Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles: From Mambo to Borscht will examine the long and venerable relationship between the Latino and Jewish communities.  The relationship between Jewish culture and Latin music dates back to Iberia prior to the Spanish Inquisition, and continued to pre-Castro Cuba - an era when Jewish families would visit the island and its nightclubs.  In the decades to follow, resorts started to pop up in the Catskills, and the Jewish community flocked to the Borscht Belt to dance to bands led by Tito Puente, Joe Cuba, and Eddie Palmieri, among others.  The burgeoning scene attracted musicians and fans alike and has been described as a "mecca for Latin music," resulting in the mambo being called "the Jewish waltz."  The ALJO will also explore the themes common to the larger Jewish and Latino communities, including a journey to the Middle East, the Mediterranean, and North Africa.

"Afro Latin Jazz has been deeply impacted by the support of the Jewish community, particularly in the New York region and especially by what is commonly called the Borscht Belt, a popular area for Jewish resorts in upstate New York," explains O'Farrill.  "This will be a deep exploration of the relationship between two great Diasporas encompassing the Semitic traditions that stretch from the Middle East to Miami Beach, from the tip of North Africa to the Bronx, and from the mountains of Russia to the Catskills." 

Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles: From Mambo to Borscht is loosely based on the famous album by Irving Fields, Bagels & Bongos, as well as the recording, Mazel Tov, Mis Amigos.  The evening will cast Jewish and Yiddish classics in Afro Latin big band versions, and set Latin classics in traditional Klezmer settings.  The Orchestra will feature original music and performances by guest artist trumpeter/slide trumpeter, composer Steven Bernstein, and that of ALJO member trombonist/composer, Israeli-born Rafi Malkiel.  "El Judio Maravilloso" Larry Harlow will be featured with the Orchestra performing classic Yiddish and Latin jazz compositions.

The ALJO's 2012-13 Symphony Space season is sponsored by:

The work of the ALJA is made possible with support from: 

Foundations: Arnhold Foundation, Leonard Bernstein Family Foundation, BMI Foundation, Brenner Family Foundation, D'Addario Music Foundation, Fund for the City of New York, New Yankee Stadium Community Benefits Fund, New York Community Trust/Lila Acheson Wallace Fund for the Arts, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation; Corporate: Capital One, Colgate/Palmolive, Con Edison, Goya, WABC-TV; Public: City Council Member Gale Brewer, 1199/SEIU, and other generous individual donors.