Latino composer, Arturo O’ Farrill and philosopher Dr. Cornel West are coming together to put on a concert experience surrounding the intersect and impact of Afro-Latino music in pop and urban culture. “The Cornel West Concerto,” is an one night only event that will take place on May 21 at the historic Apollo Theater in Harlem.
O’Farrill will perform an original piece, and of course Dr. West will speak on the influence Cuba has had on African American activism and music. The night will also explore how jazz can be viewed beyond the secular, and how it’s influenced a wide array of genres, including gospel and pop music.
In addition to being an accomplished composer, O’Farrill also comes from a line of Afro-Cuban pioneers- his father is the late Chico O’Farrill.
Dr. West thinks we’ve lost some of the spirit for activism that Afro-Cuban jazz once incited, saying in an interview with VIBE Viva:
“ … Music comes from truth. And the condition of truth is allowing the suffering to speak. Whatever form it takes. It can be physic, it can be spiritual, it could be social, it could be political. But it engages the world in order to create a better world and that’s the great artistic tradition that flows from Africa to Cuba, to Latin America to New Orleans or all the way to Detroit, the Southside of Chicago.”
Make sure you check out the event on May 21, and check out a sneak peek of what will be explored at the event below.