BronX BandA is a nine-piece jazz ensemble formed through a collaboration between the non-profit Casita Maria Center for Arts & Education and multi grammy award winning pianist, composer and educator Arturo O’Farrill. The ensemble’s love of music and resilience inspired and sustained the collective to create new ways of communicating, composing music based on oral histories of the Bronx and presenting their work during the pandemic.
The ensemble members, all of whom are Bronx-based or work in the Bronx, were selected through a democratic audition process in February 2020. Due to the pandemic, BronX BandA presented their first performance virtually on June 12, 2020, but were unable to gather together physically until their August 6, 2020 performance which was broadcasted live from the Casita Maria Auditorium. Safety concerns dictated how and when the ensemble could gather leading to unannounced stoop concerts, a recording session which produced a 12 song album, charlas with young artists of Casita Maria and a collaboration with Musicians from the New York Philharmonic.
The ensemble continues to play together, collect oral histories and write new music to celebrate the Bronx. Learn more and listen to their album Love & Resilience: https://www.casitamaria.org/
BronX BandA is:
Arturo O’Farrill, piano
Annette A Aguilar, percussion
Kayla Faccilongo, mezzo-soprano
Clark Gayton, trombone
Baba Israel, spoken word / beat-boxer
Juan Carlos Polo, drums
Leo Traversa, bass
With special guests:
Juancho Herrera, guitar
Ali Bello, violin
Photo Credit: Photo by Argenis Apolinario (Courtesy of Casita Maria)