Adam O'Farrill was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, to a musical family that includes his grandfather, legendary Afro-Cuban composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill; his father, Arturo O'Farrill, pianist, bandleader and director of the Afro-Latin Jazz Alliance; and, his mother, Alison Deane, a classical pianist and CUNY City College faculty member. He is currently an undergraduate at Manhattan School of Music studying for a degree in jazz trumpet.
O'Farrill has performed with Arturo O'Farrill, Vijay Iyer, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Ambrose Akinmusire, Fred Ho, Christian McBride and Dave Liebman, and has been featured in bands led by artists such as Stephan Crump, Ben Van Gelder, Gabriel Zucker, Samora Pinderhughes, Travis Reuter, to name only a few. He has also performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Teatro Mella (Cuba), Mount Fuji Jazz Festival (Japan), Marian's Jazz Room (Switzerland) and North Jazz Festival (Rotterdam), and with many New York-based rock bands, including Caverns, Sister Helen and The Jacobins.
Adam was recently named the 3rd place winner in the 2014 Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Trumpet Competition where he performed before a judging panel that included Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Owens and Arturo Sandoval. He has also won the ASCAP Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award and the ASCAP Gershwin Award. In addition, his compositions have been featured in the Music of Now Marathon at Symphony Space in 2010, 2012 and 2013.
Recently, O'Farrill joined Rudresh Mahanthappa's new band for his latest album, Bird Calls, on ACT Music. The band also features Matt Mitchell on piano, Francois Moutin on bass and Rudy Royston on drums. Bird Calls was named Best Jazz Album from the 2015 Downbeat Magazine Critics Poll. The band has or will appear at the Newport Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz Festival, the Detroit Jazz Festival and the Monterey Jazz Festival.
For many years, he has co-lead the O'Farrill Brothers Band with his brother, Zack, and the band has released two albums, Giant Peach and Sensing Flight, to favorable reviews, including being listed in the Top 50 Albums of 2013 from Jazztimes.
Adam is now leading a new quartet, Stranger Days, featuring Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Walter Stinson and Zack O'Farrill. The band has a narrative focus in both the compositions (mainly Adam's) and improvisations with the roles of the instruments being treated like characters in constant flux. Stranger Days has performed at The Jazz Gallery, Yale University, the Lilypad, Williams College and will be holding a special residency at the New York Botanical Garden as part of the Frida Kahlo – Art, Garden, Life exhibit/festival. Their debut album will be released soon. This coming November 20th, Adam will be appearing once again at The Jazz Gallery.
For all that Adam O'Farrill has achieved in his young life and for all the promise that his career holds, Stay Thirsty Magazine is proud to name him our THIRSTY SPOTLIGHT artist for Fall 2015.