Updated 07/20/2009 09:05 AM
Jazz Musician Commissioned To Pen Song For Sotomayor
Local musician Arturo O'Farrill has been asked to pen a new composition in honor Judge Sonia Sotomayor. NY1's Stephanie Simon filed the following report.
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Even before she's been confirmed as the new Supreme Court judge, it seems the celebrations have begun.
It looks like Bronx-native Sonia Sotomayor will soon have her own song. Jazz great Arturo O'Farrill has just been commissioned to compose a new work in her honor.
"This is an incredible commission and a chance for me to explain how I feel about having our first Latina Supreme Court justice," he says. "It's an amazing moment. I can't tell you how proud I am for her, for us, for [President Barack] Obama. It's a real turning point in the history of our nation."
Two big city arts organizations; Symphony Space and the Bronx Museum are commissioning the new work, along with private donors. O'Farrill believes writing music for such a historical event is a powerful way to mark the occasion for Latinos and all Americans
"Honestly, to pay tribute a woman who has shown incredible progressive judicial prowess, someone who has distinguished herself on so many levels," says O'Farrill, "Let alone come out of the Bronx, out of a housing project, and done such incredible and amazing things, it's an opportunity of a lifetime."
O'Farrill's just begun the creative process, but says he will pay tribute to Latin culture with flourishes of mambo and cha cha.
"I'm going to stay away from heroic themes because that's such a kind of easy route to go," he says. "I think more celebratory. I mean there's just all this noise inside my head – a lot of brass, a lot of explosions of sound of just pure, unbridled energy of joy."
O'Farrill doesn't have a title yet, but hopes to premiere the work in November at Symphony Space on the Upper West Side.