Chico O'Farrill

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Arturo "Chico" O'Farrill (October 28, 1921 in Havana, Cuba - June 27, 2001 in New York City, New York, USA) was a composer, arranger, conductor, best known for his work in the Latin idiom, although he also composed straight-ahead jazz pieces and even symphonic works.

The son of an Irish father and a German mother, he played the trumpet early in his career. He composed works for Machito (Afro-Cuban suite with Charlie Parker, 1950) and Benny Goodman's Bebop Orchestra (Undercurrent Blues) and arranged for Dizzy Gillespie and Stan Kenton, among others.

In the 1990s O'Farrill led a big band that took up residence at New York's famous Birdland nightclub. Chico's son, a pianist who is also named Arturo O'Farrill (he formerly worked with Carla Bley), eventually took over the band.


  • 1951: Jazz North of the Border and South of the Border (Verve Records)
  • 1951: Music from South America (Verve)
  • 1951: Mambo/Latino Dances (Verve)
  • 1966: Spanish Rice with Clark Terry (Impulse!)
  • 1966: Nine Flags (Impulse!)
  • 1995: Pure Emotion (Milestone Records)
  • 1999: The Heart of a Legend (Milestone)
  • 2000: Carambola (Milestone)

As arranger[edit]

With Gato Barbieri

With Art Farmer

With Dizzy Gillespie


External links[edit]