Chico O'Farrill Biography

Arturo O’Farrill, 28 October 1921, Havana, Cuba, d. 27 June 2001, Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. After playing trumpet in several Cuban-based bands throughout the 40s, O’Farrill moved to the USA where he concentrated on arranging. During the 50s his work was played and recorded by Benny Goodman, Stan Kenton and Dizzy Gillespie among others, and he also collaborated with Machito on albums featuring such leading American jazzmen as Charlie Parker and Flip Phillips. O’Farrill also toured and recorded with his own band. He spent the early 60s in Mexico, then returned to the USA, taking up a staff post at the radio and television company, CBS, but retained his jazz links by arranging for Count Basie. In the 70s and 80s O’Farrill continued to be active but his jazz work gradually diminished. He made a striking return in 1995 with a big band session for Milestone Records, his first recording session as a leader in over 25 years. An outstanding exponent of Latin-American music, O’Farrill’s arrangements consistently demonstrated his comprehensive grasp of the music’s potential and were often far more imaginative than others who work in this field.

Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.