Francisco Mora-Catlett comes to his visionary work naturally: born into a family of illustrious artists (Mexican painter Francisco Mora and African-American sculptress Elizabeth Catlett) he began his musical career in Mexico, where he grew up. He studied music at the Berklee School of Music, and subsequently played Sun Ra's Arkestra, from 1973 to 1980. He released his first album as a leader, the Latin project Mora!, in 1987and received a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts to study drumming and percussion with Max Roach in New York City. Mora-Catelett worked with Roach's advanced all-percussion ensemble M'Boom, appearing on two Blue Moon LPs, 1990's "To the Max" and 1992's "Live at S.O.B.'s New York".
The Afro Horn project was conceived by Mora-Catlett in Sun Ra's home, during a tenure with the Arkestra in the late 1970s. Afro Horn's 3rd Incarnation, which is starting a residency at Zinc Bar on June 28th, presents a dynamic collaboration between jazz and Latin elements: jazz is represented by saxophonists Abraham Burton, Alex Harding, and J.D. Allen, pianist Anthony Wonsey, Radu Ben Judah on bass; the celebrated Cuban folklorist/percussionist Roman Diaz on the Latin side; Francisco Mora-Catlett on drums. This debut performance of AFROHORN will feature the paticipation of four virtuoso percussionists from Santiago de Cuba - Eliaser Mendoza, Alexander La Rosa and Mikael Castellanos on bata drums and Jesus La Rosa, percussion and Lucumi vocals.