Afro Horn’s backstory is as spellbinding as its music. The Afro Horn project was conceived by drummer/composer Francisco Mora Catlett during his tenure with The Sun Ra Arkestra band in the late 1970s. Sun Ra Arkestra introduced Catlett to the writings of the African American writer and poet Henry Dumas and the short story “Will the Circle Be Unbroken.” The legend of the Afro Horns is at the core of the band’s beginnings.
Saxophonist Sam Newsome has been praised by jazz writer Nate Chinen of the New York Times for his “outsized command of the horn in the realm of extended technique, such as split-tone multi-phonics, slap-tongue articulation and seamless circular breathing.” Alto saxophonist Bruce Williams has been described as “one of the best young players on the scene” and a “future major league saxophonist.” Bassist, composer, arranger and elder statesman Rufus Reid’s distinctive sound and sonic imprint require no introduction. His sound epitomizes the ever evolving bassist.
Master percussionist Roman Díaz is the band’s storyteller, praise singer, and musician. Pianist Aruán Ortiz has been described as “one of the most dynamic and talented pianists in jazz today.” His ability to incorporate elements of Afro Cuban music and world music in the sounds of avant-garde jazz can be heard in his collaborations with Wallace Roney, Terri Lyne Carrington and Greg Osby, among others.