Life & Culture

Explore: Free Post-Sandy Sounds at “Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles”

Senior-Planet-Afro-Latin Jazz-Orchestra-Photo by John Abbott

It’s been one helluva week, hasn’t it? Started with stormy weather and now limps its way back to normalcy in spite of flooding, power outages, a crippled mass-transit system and the mayor’s heartfelt (if comic) attempts at speaking Spanish in press conferences. It’s true that the effects of Hurricane Sandy are still much in evidence, but this is how a major city reboots.

Pianist Arturo O’Farrill is offering another example of New York resilience. The bandleader’s terrific Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra has been in residence at Symphony Space for several years now, offering swinging music that percolates with the rhythmic energy of O’Farrill’s Cuban heritage. This week on Friday and Saturday, as an acknowledgement of Sandy’s continued impact on New York, O’Farrill is offering the remainder of the engagement’s concert tickets at no cost. (Tickets are available first come, first served at the box office. Those who already bought tickets are being offered a refund.)

It just so happens that the music on the program, which is entitled “Falafel, Freilach, and Frijoles: From Mambo to Borscht,” is a unique example of the link between two of the city’s most vibrant communities. O’Farrill’s 17-piece band performs the kind of Latin fare that was all the rage in the mid-50s among self-professed Jewish “mamboniks”—folks who packed the popular 1959 album Bagels & Bongos by pianist Irving Fields, now 98, for their holidays in the Catskills. The evening’s special guests, among them trumpeter Steven Bernstein and the genius Jewish salsa icon Larry Harlow, will also oversee arrangements of klezmer versions of Latin classics.

Think of this as an evening where Yiddish meets Español—a perfect opportunity to make the best of a bad situation.

The Lowdown

What  A lively evening of music to help you dance the storm away—in mind, if not in body.
Where  Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway.   212-864-5400. 
  November 2 and 3 at 8pm.
How Much  Free. We recommend that you pick up free tickets in advance from the Symphony Space box office, which is open Tue-Sun 1-6pm and 2 hours prior to every performance.
Wheelchair Accessible? Disabled seating is available by request at the Symphony Space box office, by phone at 1-212-864-5400, and at the Symphony Space box office.
Senior Friendly? Yes


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