O’Farrill, Chico [Arturo ]
- Luca Cerchiari
(b Havana, Cuba, Oct 28, 1921; d New York, NY, June 27, 2001). Cuban trumpeter, arranger, and composer, father of the pianist Arturo O’Farrill. He studied classical music with Felix Guerrero and stefan Wolpe , discovered jazz at the end of the 1930s, and played in Cuba with Isidro Perez and Armando Romeu. After moving to New York in 1948, he started working as an arranger for Benny Goodman (for whom he wrote the successful tune “Undercurrent Blues”), Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Art Farmer, and Machito. He also worked with Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie on several key Afro-Cuban jazz classics recorded by Norman Granz. From 1957 to 1965 he lived in Mexico with his wife, the singer Lupe Valero, recording for Panart and Gema; he then returned to New York, where he worked for CBS television and wrote arrangements for pop tunes. In the 1970s he wrote scores for Kenton and Gato Barbieri as well as for an orchestra co-led by Machito and Gillespie. In his later years O’Farrill recorded for Verve and Milestone, led jazz big bands, and was commissioned by Wynton Marsalis to write a trumpet concerto. He remains well regarded as one of the most significant contributors to Cubop and Afro-Cuban jazz....