Photo by Zosha Warpeha
Adam O'Farrill is a trumpet player and composer from Brooklyn, NY. As a trumpeter, he has performed and/or recorded with artists such as Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mary Halvorson, Arturo O'Farrill, Mulatu Astatke, Brasstracks, Stephan Crump, Onyx Collective, Anna Webber, and Samora Pinderhughes. As a composer and bandleader, he has led the quartet, Stranger Days, comprised of Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, Walter Stinson, and Zack O'Farrill. Their eponymous debut (2016, Sunnyside Records) was inspired by film and literature, while the follow-up album, El Maquech (2018, Biophilia Records) covered everything from Mexican folk music to Irving Berlin, as well as O'Farrill's original compositions. Both were critically acclaimed, with the New York Times writing of the first release, “Marshaling a sharp band of his peers, Mr. O’Farrill establishes both a firm identity and a willful urge to stretch and adapt.”. The latter album was listed as one of the best jazz albums of 2018 by the NPR Jazz Critics Poll, The Boston Globe, and Nextbop. Adam's newest project, Bird Blown Out of Latitude, is an electro-acoustic nonet, playing original music inspired by the feeling of being pushed off a perceived path.
O'Farrill comes from a rich musical background, with his grandfather being the Afro-Cuban-Irish composer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, his father being the cultural boundary-pushing composer and pianist Arturo O'Farrill, his mother Alison Deane being a classical pianist and educator, and his brother Zack O'Farrill being a drummer, composer, and educator. Adam is of Mexican, Cuban, and Irish heritage on his dad's side, and Eastern European Jewish and African-American on his mom's side. This, combined with growing up in a place of immense cultural diversity, has shaped his tendency to break stylistic borders within not only his original music, but also in terms of who he works with a sideman. O'Farrill was subject of an article in Jazztimes entitled, “Adam O'Farrill Does Not Play Latin Jazz”, where he spoke about the unfair treatment and pigeonholing of Latinx musicians.
Adam made his professional recording debut on Chad Lefkowitz-Brown's debut album, Imagery Manifesto, in 2013. In 2015, he appeared on two critically acclaimed records; Rudresh Mahanthappa's Bird Calls and Arturo O'Farrill's Cuba: The Conversation Continues. Adam toured internationally with Mahanthappa's band from 2014 to 2017, performing at the Newport Jazz Festival, Chicago Symphony Hall, North Sea Jazz Festival, Cape Town International Jazz Festival, and more. In 2016, in addition to releasing Stranger Days, O'Farrill appeared on Stephan Crump's album, Rhombal, also garnering acclaim. Other projects he has recorded include Stimmerman (eponymous debut), Olli Hirvonen's New Helsinki, Gabriel Zucker's Weighting, and Onyx Collective's Lower East Suite Part One. Adam will also be featured on upcoming albums from Mary Halvorson, Anna Webber, Raf Vertessen, Thomas Champagne, and Idan Morim.
Adam studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He's studied trumpet with Jim Seeley, Nathan Warner, and Thomas Smith, and composition with Reiko Fueting and Curtis Macdonald. In 2014, O'Farrill won 3rd place honors at the Thelonious Monk Institute Jazz Trumpet Competition. He was also a recipient of the ASCAP Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award in 2013.