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Talking Music: Cuban-American Cultural Exchange

February 24th, 2017
12:00 PM


Friday, February 24, 2017

Forum for Scholars and Publics (Old Chemistry Building 011)

12:00 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Light lunch served

Arturo O’Farrill, GRAMMY-winning pianist, composer, and bandleader, will discuss his collaboration with founding members of the Havana-based Malpaso Dance Company, Osnel Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana, and Fernando Sáez. Duke Performances Associate Director and GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein will moderate this conversation, touching on, among other topics, the evolving relationship between Cuba and the United States following the restoration of diplomatic relations.

Based in Havana, Cuba, Malpaso Dance Company is committed to bringing Cuban contemporary dance into the 21st Century by collaborating with top international choreographers and nurturing new voices in Cuban choreography. The company's core artistic vision is led by resident repertory choreographer Osnel Delgado. The company was founded in 2012 by Delgado, Dailedys Carrazana and Fernando Saéz, and consists of 10 dancers, including former members of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba. Their repertory includes 24 hours and a dog, a work by Delgado, set to music by Arturo O’Farrill (who wrote an original overture for the piece, of the same name), Porque Sigues (Why You Follow) by the American choreographer Ronald K. Brown, among other notable works.

On the evenings of February 24 and 25, Malpaso and O’Farrill’s ten-piece Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble will bring to Duke the U.S. premiere of Dreaming of Lions, an evocation of Ernest Hemingway’s classic 1952 novella The Old Man and the Sea. Info and tickets available HERE

Made possible, in part, with a grant from South Arts in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts & the North Carolina Arts Council, & support from the Dance Program at Duke University.

Arturo O'Farrill

Afro Latin Jazz Alliance

Arturo O'Farrill (Composer and Pianist) was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory, and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. His professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for- profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. In December 2010, Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba. Concurrently, Arturo is the Director of Jazz Studies at CUNY Brooklyn College. Arturo has received commissions from Meet the Composer, Jazz at Lincoln Center, The Philadelphia Music Project, Symphony Space, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, and the New York State Council on the Arts. Arturo’s well-reviewed and highly praised “Afro-Latin Jazz Suite” took the 2016 Grammy Award (his fourth) for Best Instrumental Composition.

Fernando Sáez

Fernando Sáez (Founder and Executive Director) graduated from the School of Performing Arts at the Superior Institute of Arts (ISA) in Havana in 1988. He is also a founder and actor of Estudio Teatral de Santa Clara, was the head of the sociocultural development project in Las Terrazas, Pinar del Rio from 1993 to 1997, and has served on the staff of the Ludwig Foundation of Cuba since 1998. He is also a member of the Foundation’s Board of Directors.

Osnel Delgado

Malpaso Dance Company

Osnel Delgado (Founder, Artistic Director, Dancer, and Choreographer) danced with Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003 to 2011, before founding Malpaso. He has worked with choreographers Mats Ek, Rafael Bonachela, Kenneth Kvarnström, Ja Linkens, Itzik Galili, Samir Akika, Pedro Ruiz, Isidro Rolando and George Cespedes, among others. Delgado has created works for DCC, Rakatan and Ebony Dance of Cuba. Delgado is a 2003 graduate of the National Dance School of Havana, where he is also a professor of dance studies.

Daileidys Carrazana

Malpaso Dance Company

Daileidys Carrazana (Founder, Associate Artistic Director and Dancer) graduated from the National Ballet School in Havana in 2003. She was a member of Danza Contemporanea de Cuba from 2003 to 2011, before founding Malpaso with Osnel Delgado. Daile has worked with choreographers such as Mats Ek, Jan Linkens, Samir Akika, Pedro Ruiz and Isidro Rolando, among others.

Eric Oberstein

Duke Performances

Eric Oberstein (Associate Director, Duke Performances) is a GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY-winning producer, arts administrator, musician, educator, and consultant. Eric currently serves as Associate Director of Duke Performances, the professional performing arts presenting organization at his alma mater, Duke University. Oberstein authored a chapter on the topic of the Creative Campus and university arts engagement, which appears in the acclaimed anthology 20UNDER40: Re-Inventing the Arts and Arts Education for the 21st Century. Prior to returning to Duke, Oberstein served as Executive Director of the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance, the New York-based non-profit that supports the GRAMMY-winning Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO), directed by Arturo O’Farrill. Oberstein has previously produced six albums with Arturo O’Farrill, ranging from solo piano to big bands, earning multiple GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY Awards and nominations. He holds Master’s degrees in Arts Administration and Arts in Education from Columbia University and Harvard University, respectively.