Fandango at the Wall Tues., March 24 | 6pm
FANDANGO AT THE WALL -BIOS
Jorge Francisco Castillo
Born in 1959, Jorge Castillo grew up in the City of Juarez, Mexico. He was inspired at an early age by his grandfather, Beto – who was a professional jazz & orchestral trumpet player. Jorge is a professional classical guitar player, having received his first training at home at age nine. He graduated from the University of Texas El Paso. During this time at UTEP, Jorge worked at the music library where he developed an interest in the librarianship career. Later, he became a professional librarian for more than 30 years, until 2017. During this time at the library, he was always involved in music; drawn to performing in some way, whether with friends or family. In 2006, Jorge was introduced to the fandango culture but it was not until the summer of 2007, after hearing the group Quemayama, from Veracruz, that he got a much better grip of its essence. This drove him to become the founder of the Fandango Fronterizo in 2008, held annually on the border of Tijuana and San Diego.
Varda Bar-Kar (director)
Award-winning activist director Varda Bar-Kar has directed an array of productions, including documentaries, episodic television, short films, and viral branded content. She is an activist filmmaker focusing her lens on meaningful stories exploring the breadth and diversity of the human condition. She faces society’s challenges with an uplifting approach that speaks into possibility. Varda transitioned into directing after working as a Script Supervisor for maverick feature directors like Jim Jarmusch, Wayne Wang, and Carroll Ballard. She developed her directing voice creating scripted short films, including the festival-winning Window starring Louis Gossett, Jr. Window screened at Cannes and aired across the United States on local affiliate stations in honor of Black History Month. Varda’s new music documentary Fandango at the Wall (Tiger Turn and Sony Music Latin) has been picked up by HBO. Fandango at the Wall is an exuberant feature music documentary that follows masterful son jarocho musicians from Veracruz, Mexico to the United States-Mexico border where they join renowned New York Maestro Arturo O’Farrill and his Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra for a transformational music festival taking place on both sides of the border. Varda’s documentary feature Big Voice screened at the United States Capitol in advocacy for Arts Education, broadcast on PBS winning a Bronze Telly Award, and streamed on Netflix. Her documentary A Million Spokes following a select group of cyclists riding across the state of Iowa in the largest, longest, oldest, bike tour in the world called Ragbrai. A Million Spokes aired nationally on the Documentary Channel.
Pianist, composer, and educator, Arturo was born in Mexico and grew up in New York City. He received his formal musical education at the Manhattan School of Music and the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. Arturo’s professional career began with the Carla Bley Band and continued as a solo performer with a wide spectrum of artists including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie, Wynton Marsalis, and Harry Belafonte. Arturo is a member of the faculties of both the Manhattan School of Music and the School of Jazz at the New School. In 2007, he founded the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the performance, education, and preservation of Afro Latin music. In December 2010 Arturo traveled with the original Chico O’Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra to Cuba, returning his father’s musicians to his homeland. He continues to travel to Cuba regularly as an informal Cultural Ambassador, working with Cuban musicians, dancers, and students, bringing local musicians from Cuba to the US and American musicians to Cuba.
Kabir Sehgal – Producer
Kabir Sehgal is the Founder & CEO of Tiger Turn Productions. Sehgal is the executive producer, producer, and co-writer of Fandango at the Wall a feature documentary that explores immigration between the US and Mexico through son jarocho music from Veracruz. Fandango at the Wall was nominated for an Audie Award for Best Original Work. Previously, he worked in corporate strategy at First Data Corporation, a global payments technology firm, which completed the largest IPO on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015. He was also a vice president in emerging market equities at J.P. Morgan and traveled to over twenty-five developing countries to generate investment advice for institutional investors. He helped place the Alibaba IPO, the largest in history. He began his career by founding an online educational network. He is the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of fifteen books including six non-fiction books. A Bucket of Blessings was adapted into a stage production at the Alliance Theatre. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, Fortune, Foreign Policy, Harvard Business Review, Newsweek, MarketWatch, CNBC, Inc., The Nation, TheStreet, Quartz, Reader’s Digest, Atlanta Journal Constitution, among other publications. He has appeared on CNN, PBS, NPR, C-SPAN, CNBC, Bloomberg and Fox News to name a few. Sehgal has won five Grammy & three Latin Grammy Awards as a producer. Some of his recognized productions include “American Dreamers” by John Daversa Big Band featuring DACA Artists; “Presidential Suite” by Ted Nash; and “Cuba: The Conversation Continues” by Arturo O’Farrill. He is also a jazz bassist, composer, and librettist who wrote an opera on the European financial crisis. He co-founded an arts non-profit organization that merged with the Afro Latin Jazz Alliance.