Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats

Little Island presents NYC FREE
4 weeks. 460 artists. 160 performances.
Music, Dance, Poetry, Comedy, and more!
August 11 – September 5, 2021

Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats



SUNDAY, AUGUST 22 at 8:45 PM


The Fat Cats (short for the Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats) is the collection of pre-professional youth ensembles of the non-profit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. Founded in 2010 by ALJA’s Artistic Director, Arturo O’Farrill, in the Greenwich Village’ basement billiards and jazz club, the Fat Cats, these ensembles are made up of some of the city’s finest young musicians hailing from all over the five boroughs, forming two small ensembles and a big band. Under the direction of Director of Education Programs Zack O’Farrill, as well as Jim Seeley (trumpet soloist with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra) and Bam Bam Rodríguez (bassist with the ALJO), the Fat Cats perform works from the Latin jazz repertory as well as standard jazz pieces.

Participation in the orchestra requires students to concentrate into musical studies, with the aim of moving further into advanced fields at specialized colleges and conservatories. Previous members have been accepted in music schools such as New England Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, McGill University and the Music Conservatory of SUNY at Purchase, New York.  The 2020-2021 season was marked by the beginning of a new partnership with Shapeshifter Lab in Brooklyn, where the Fat Cats began weekly rehearsals. The Fat Cats have performed at venues around New York City such as the Brooklyn Museum, New York Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center, the Frick Collection, the Greene Space at WNYC, Shapeshifter Lab, BRIC House, and Birdland jazz club in New York City.

Each performance runs 45 minutes.

THURSDAY, AUGUST 12, 2021 8:15 PM

Corazon Szell - guitar
Dempsey Miller - drums

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 18, 2021 8:15 PM

Andrew Andron - keyboard

SATURDAY, AUGUST 21, 2021 10:15 PM

Gabby Garo Trio

Gabby Garo - flute
Armando Vergara - trombone
Gabriel Chakarji - keys

SUNDAY, AUGUST 22, 2021 8:45 PM

Jasper Dutz - bass clarinet/saxes
Ben Rosenblum - accordion/keys

THURSDAY, AUGUST 26, 2021 8:15 PM

Philip Flagg - tenor sax
Sam Reiss - acoustic bass


Gina d’Soto - voice
Ahmed Alom - keys


Liany Mateo Trio

Liany Mateo - bass
Alexis Lombre - keys
Luther Allison - drums

More about the artist:

The Fat Afro Latin Jazz Cats: https://afrolatinjazz.org/education/fat-afro-latin-jazz-cats/

Zach O’Farrill is a multi-racial, multicultural, multi-musical artist who doesn’t believe in the walls that separate us.  Growing up in a musical household, the son of classical pianist Alison Deane and jazz pianist, composer, bandleader Arturo O’Farrill, Zack and his brother, trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, grew up playing and listening to a wide world of music.  From the European-concert-music-influenced Afro-Cuban big band jazz of their grandfather, Chico O’Farrill, to the tongue-in-cheek free jazz of Carla Bley, to having a rotation of the Beatles, Steely Dan, Earth Wind and Fire, and Oscar Peterson in the car on summer road trips, growing up in the hip-hop generation, and extensive study of music in the new world derived from the African Diaspora, Zack has never viewed music with any particular regard to genre.  He has performed extensively with his father and his brother in many different configurations, including the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra.  Zack was the founding drummer for both the Fred Ho-founded Eco-Music Big Band, and the Libertè Big Band.  He has collaborated extensively with pianist Albert Marquès, and also performs regularly with saxophonists Livio Almeida and Roy Nathanson, guitarist Jessica Ackerley, flamenco-jazz saxophonist and singer Antonio Lizana and many more. He currently tours with various groups of his father Arturo, with his brother Adam’s group Stranger Days, Cuban trumpeter Kalí Rodriguez-Peña, the world-music influenced chordless trio True East, and the jazz/R&B/latin singer Gina D’Soto. Zack studied with musicians such as Dave Meade, Vince Cherico, Victor Jones, Kendrick Scott, Justin Dicioccio, John Riley, Miles Okazaki, Roy Nathanson, Arturo O’Farrill, Joe Gonzalez. Zack received a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts from the CUNY Macaulay Honors College at City College and a Master’s Degree in Jazz Percussion with a full scholarship from the Manhattan School of Music. In 2015 he received a full scholarship to participate in the illustrious Banff Workshop for Jazz and Creative music where he worked closely with incredible artists such as Zakir Hussein, Jabali Billy Hart, Vijay Iyer and Tyshawn Sorey. Zack continues to study a wide variety of subjects independently and with less formal teachers.  Zack is also a dedicated educator who has taught in New York City Public Schools since 2010 and is the Director of Education Programs of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance. He taught music at the Institute for Collaborative Education from 2013 to 2019, a faculty member of the Flynn Center Latin Jazz for Teens camp in Burlington Vermont for 7 years.

As a composer Zack has had compositions featured on recordings with the Marquès Stinson O’Farrill Trio, the Eco-Music Big Band, and his composition “There’s a Statue of José Martí in Central Park” closes the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra’s Grammy-winning record Cuba: The Conversation Continues. In 2019 Zack, with good friends Kaz George and Victor Pablo, started El Kikirikí Biquéy, to study and perform Afro-Cuban rumba.  In 2020, Zack and his wife, Colombian operatic Soprano Sasha Gutiérrez, founded The Opera Next Door with the mission of connecting opera with new audiences by bringing it to unconventional spaces in residential neighborhoods. In May 2021 Zack served as the producer of their first fully staged production, Mozart’s comedy Così fan tutte, on their block in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.

For more information, check out wackzilliam.com