Adam O’Farrill

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 Xavier Del Castillo, 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. In 2018 and 2019, Adam performed with his electro-acoustic nonet, Bird Blown Out of Latitude, performing at National Sawdust, The Jazz Gallery, and Threes Brewing.

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 2019, O’Farrill joined guitarist and composer Mary Halvorson’s band, Code Girl, and was featured on her critically acclaimed 2020 album, Artlessly Falling. Other albums he has been featured on include Rhombal (Stephan Crump), Goofballs (Stimmerman), LOI (Raf Vertessen Quartet), Lower East Suite Part One (Onyx Collective), and The Shape of Things to Come (Tarun Balani), and O’Farrill will featured on upcoming albums from artists including Anna Webber, Arturo O’Farrill, Ross McHenry, Almog Sharvit, and Thomas Champagne.

In 2019, Adam won the Downbeat Critics Poll in the Rising Star Trumpet category. Competing in the 2014 Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz Trumpet Competition, O’Farrill won 3rd place honors. He has also received composition commissions from The Jazz Gallery, YoungArts, and in 2013, won the ASCAP Herb Albert Young Jazz Composer Award

Adam studied at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School, and obtained his Bachelor of Music degree from the Manhattan School of Music. He has studied trumpet with Jim Seeley, Nathan Warner, Ambrose Akinmusire, Laurie Frink, and Thomas Smith, and composition with Reiko Fueting and Curtis Macdonald.