Adam O'Farrill / Stranger Days

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant Recipient

Adam O'Farrill / Stranger Days

Recipient Information


Brooklyn, New York

Year of Award


Grant or Fellowship

Jazz Road Creative Residencies Grant

Grant Amount


About the Project

Stranger Days will stay in rural Bethel ME hosted by Morning Glory Farm to rehearse and infuse new work through the inspiration of organic farming. New music will be rehearsed and performed at the local Gem Theatre as well as the surrounding Albany Mountain Trail and Bethel Community Forest.

Residency Location

Bethel, ME

About the Artist

Brooklyn-bred Adam O'Farrill, 26, has emerged as a “rising star as a player and composer” (PopMatters) and “a blazing young trumpet talent” (The New York Times). Hailing from a father who is Cuban, Irish, and Mexican, as well as a mother who is African American, Lithuanian, and Polish, Adam lives up to his complex background through the breadth of his artistic choices, and his willingness to break stylistic conventions. Beginning his career as a teenager performing with his father, the pianist and composer Arturo O'Farrill, Adam has gone on to work with a wide range of artists including Mary Halvorson, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Anna Webber, Mulatu Astatke, Brasstracks, and Samora Pinderhughes.

O'Farrill's music is both abstract and personal with compositions that reflect subjects such as being mixed race, growing up in New York, family history, and spirituality. As a bandleader, he has released two albums with his quartet, Stranger Days, including their eponymous debut (Sunnyside Records, 2016) and El Maquech (Biophilia Records, 2018). The latter received critical acclaim, including from the Wall Street Journal, who wrote that “the band presents rambunctious music that is equally rustic and modern,” as well as receiving Best of the Year mentions from The Boston Globe and the NPR Jazz Critics Poll. The album featured modern arrangements of folkloric Mexican music, as well as covers of Irving Berlin, Thelonious Monk, and Gabriel Garzon Montano. Adam will be releasing a third album with Stranger Days in the Fall of 2021, reuniting with Biophilia Records.

O'Farrill has received awards and recognition for both his trumpet playing and composition. In both 2019 and 2021, he won the Downbeat Critics Poll for Best Rising Star Trumpeter. Adam has also received commissions and grants from organizations such as The Jazz Gallery, The Shifting Foundation, as well as winning the ASCAP Herb Alpert Young Jazz Composer Award.

Adam's first trumpet teacher was Jim Seeley, who had worked extensively with Chico O'Farrill, his grandfather. Since then, he's studied with Nathan Warner, Ambrose Akinmusire, Thomas Smith, and Laurie Frink. He has also studied composition with Reiko Füting and Curtis Macdonald. In 2016, O'Farrill received his B.M. in Jazz Performance from the Manhattan School of Music. Prior to that, Adam attended the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for Music and Art and Performing Arts.