Arturo O'Farrill

A world-renowned, multi-Grammy- award winning Latin Jazz pianist, composer, orchestra leader and educator. He was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City, educated at the Manhattan School of Music, Brooklyn College Conservatory (from which he received the Distinguished Alumnus Medal), and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is the founder and leader of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra (ALJO). He is also the founder of the nonprofit Afro Latin Jazz Alliance (ALJA), whose mission is to promote afro latin jazz through a comprehensive array of performance and educational programs. arturoofarrill.com  afrolatinjazz.org

Will Calhoun

A multi-Grammy award winning drummer, composer and producer from the legendary rock band Living Colour. He has composed, produced and toured with Wayne Shorter, Pharoah Sanders, The Rolling Stones, Yasiin Bey aka Mos Def, Lauryn Hill, Marcus Miller, Herb Alpert, Mike Stern, Public Enemy, and many more. Calhoun is an Ethnomusicologist, combining his ancestral research with years of commercial success in jazz, rock, urban, alternative, ambient, and other world music. He recently broadened his artistic expression to include film scores, photography and multimedia projects. Calhoun also just released a new Jazz recording “Celebrating Elvin Jones” on Motema Music. willcalhoun.com

Photo Credit: Bill Bernstein

Bam Bam Rodriguez

A self-taught guitar and bass player born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela. He has toured with the world famous El Sistema Youth Orchestras and played with Gustavo Dudamel, Bert Joris, Fabrice Alleman, Nathalie Loriers, Gerardo Rosales’ Afro-Cuban Quintet, and Michael Simon’s group Asian Journey. Rodríguez holds BA and MA degrees in Music (Belgium) and a second MA in Jazz and World Music from Conservatorium Van Amsterdam (Netherlands). Rodríguez is co-founder of the bands R.A.M. (Rodríguez, Aksunger, Milea) Mulix, and duo project with Hungarian vocalist Artemisz Polonyi called “Light at Both Ends of the Tunnel.”  facebook.com/thebasswalker

Photo Credit: Argenis Apolinario

Alejandro Aviles

A first generation Cuban-American who comes from a long lineage of musicians.  Mr. Avilés' family has been considered by the Guinness Book of World Records for having the longest, continuous musical group in the world. The Orquesta Hermanos Avilés was started by his great-grandfather, Manuel Avilés, in 1882 in Holguin, Cuba, and is still in existence today. Based in NYC, Alejandro Avilés works as an adjunct professor at both Hofstra University and Hunter College teaching saxophone and jazz improvisation while performing as a versatile musician in genres ranging from "Straight Ahead" jazz, “Brazilian” and "Afro-Cuban" music, to Broadway. 

Photo Credit: Ana Paula Dan 


Lucianna Padmore

A Bronx native and drummer. She is featured with artists across multiple genres including jazz, hip-hop, funk, rock pop and fusion genres. An alumnus of the noted LaGuardia High School for Music and the Performing Arts and the New School University, she has received awards from Jazz at Lincoln Center and BMI and she was a featured drummer in Mary Lou Williams’ Women in Jazz Festival. Lucianna’s current live and studio projects include a residency at Red Rooster Harlem with the Rakiem Walker Project, Primordial Jazz Funktet, Bertha Hope’s Jazzberry Jam, the genre-busting Stratospheerius, as well as leading her own quartet. facebook.com/lucianna.padmore

Photo Credit: Argenis Apolinario


Kali Rodriguez-Pena

A trumpet player and composer born and raised in Havana, Cuba. He has played with musicians such as Wynton Marsalis, Arturo O’Farrill, Paquito D’Rivera, Chucho Valdés, Anat Cohen, Bobby Sanabria, Cándido Camero, and Bobby Carcasses. While living in Havana, he won top prizes at the annual Jojazz contest for “Improvisation and Best Small Combo.” A graduate of the Amadeo Roldan Conservatory in Cuba, he is furthering his studies at Manhattan School of Music, where he was awarded a full scholarship for Jazz Performance. Rodríguez-Peña’s style blends traditional Cuban sounds with influences from Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard and Wayne Shorter. facebook.com/kalirodriguezpena

Photo Credit: Argenis Apolinario