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A Witness To History: Guest DJ Arturo O'Farrill
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A Witness To History: Guest DJ Arturo O'Farrill

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A Witness To History: Guest DJ Arturo O'Farrill

A Witness To History: Guest DJ Arturo O'Farrill
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Arturo O'Farrill conducts during recording sessions in Havana last winter. i

Arturo O'Farrill conducts during recording sessions in Havana last winter. David Garten/Courtesy of the artist hide caption

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Arturo O'Farrill conducts during recording sessions in Havana last winter.

Arturo O'Farrill conducts during recording sessions in Havana last winter.

David Garten/Courtesy of the artist

Few of us get to witness a true historical moment — the kind that can change the world. On August 14, the moment the U.S. flag was raised over a newly opened U.S. Embassy in Cuba, Arturo O'Farrill witnessed one of those moments.

The Cuban-American musician was one of a handful of invited guests who watched the dramatic flag-raising ceremonies. On this week's episode of Alt.Latino, he joins the show to describe how the event affected him on a personal level. O'Farrill's family roots in Cuba date back 200 years, but he says it was the spirit of his late father, the legendary producer and arranger Chico O'Farrill, that gave him a sense of calm homecoming throughout the event.

Naturally, Arturo O'Farrill discussed plenty of music during this visit to Alt.Latino. He's just released a new album, Cuba: The Conversation Continues, which he recorded with the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. That record was made in Havana, just two days after President Raul Castro announced to the island nation that he and U.S. President Barack Obama had agreed to normalize relations after a 54-year standoff.

This week, we discuss how the countries' cultural exchange never stopped, even amid an economic and political blockade between the two countries. We also play O'Farrill tracks by contemporary Cuban musicians we've been following on Alt.Latino. So tune in — and, as always, let us know what you think.

Hear The Songs

Cover for Cuba: The Conversation Continues
06Guajira Simple
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    Guajira Simple
    Album
    Cuba: The Conversation Continues
    Artist
    Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
    Label
    Motéma Music
    Released
    2015

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Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

  • Song: Guajira Simple

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Song
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Album
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Artist
Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Label
Motéma Music
Released
2015

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Dizzie Gillespie, Afro

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Dizzy Gillespie

  • Song: Manteca Theme
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Cover for Cuba: The Conversation Continues
07Alabanza
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    Song
    Alabanza
    Album
    Cuba: The Conversation Continues
    Artist
    Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
    Label
    Motéma Music
    Released
    2015

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Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

  • Song: Alabanza

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Song
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Album
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Artist
Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Label
Motéma Music
Released
2015

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Cover for Cuba: The Conversation Continues
03Afro Latin Jazz Suite, Movement II: All of the Americas
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    Song
    Afro Latin Jazz Suite, Movement II: All of the Americas
    Album
    Cuba: The Conversation Continues
    Artist
    Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
    Label
    Motéma Music
    Released
    2015

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Arturo O'Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Suite

  • Song: Afro Latin Jazz Suite, Movement II: All of the Americas
  • by Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

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Song
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Album
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Artist
Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Label
Motéma Music
Released
2015

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Dayme Arcocena, the Havana Cultural Sessions

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Dayme Arocena

  • Song: Madres
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Polvo De La Humedad

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Danay Suárez

  • Song: Lágrimas De Soledad
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Song
Polvo De La Humedad
Album
Polvo De La Humedad
Artist
Danay Suárez
Label
Universal Music Latino
Released
2014

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Cover for Ibeyi

Ibeyi

  • Song: Oya
YouTube

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Song
Ibeyi
Album
Ibeyi
Artist
Ibeyi
Label
XL Recordings
Released
2015

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Cover for Cuba: The Conversation Continues
09Vaca Frita
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    Song
    Vaca Frita
    Album
    Cuba: The Conversation Continues
    Artist
    Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
    Label
    Motéma Music
    Released
    2015

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Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra

  • Song: Vaca Frita

Buy Featured Music

Song
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Album
Cuba: The Conversation Continues
Artist
Arturo O'Farrill & Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra
Label
Motéma Music
Released
2015

Your purchase helps support NPR programming. How?

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