July 31, 2014 — Coral Gables, FL — Presenting its 31st Season along with new presenting sponsor UHealth at Coral Gables the University of Miami Frost School of Music’s acclaimed Festival Miami – Florida’s premier live music festival – stages a stellar line-up of acclaimed performing artists in a diverse blend of styles and cultural backgrounds this October 10 through November 8. World-class instrumentalists, orchestras, singers, songwriters, composers and other musical icons showcase their artistic prowess alongside astounding faculty artists and students from the Frost School of Music. More than 25 concerts and events are organized into four genre themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas, and Creative American Music.
Opening week heats up with world-class Latin artists of the Music of the Americas series, beginning with steel pan virtuoso and gifted jazz musician Leon Foster Thomas as he brings his unique Caribbean, jazz and Latin musical fusion to the festival stage on October 16. Originally from Trinidad and now based in Florida, Thomas blends the music of his Caribbean roots with the music of North and South America in a lively meld all his own. A drummer, percussionist, composer and arranger with nine albums to his credit, this colorful artist shines with first-rate programming, phenomenal musicianship and warm stage presence. He is joined onstage by superb jazz musicians Martin Bejerano, piano, Mike Piolet, drums, and Kurt Hengstebeck, bass.
The vibe continues to sizzle into the weekend on October 18, with a fiery Latin-Brazilian fusion that pairs multi-percussionist and two-time Grammy Award nominee Sammy Figueroa with captivating and charismatic São Paulo-based singer Glaucia Nasser. Figueroa is a superb conga artist who has performed with everyone from Miles Davis to Mariah Carey; together their tasteful renditions of Brazilian songs and originals are intoxicating, playful, and free. This Festival Miami exclusive showcases the electricity of two extraordinary artists as they combine for a night of exceptional invention highlighting Latin Jazz rhythms and sounds.
On October 21, classical guitar buffs will enjoy the ever-popular Concierto de Aranjuez and Concierto de Andaluz, along with other guitar masterworks by Spanish composer Joaquín Rodrigo featuring guitar virtuosi Rafael Padrón, Rene Izquierdo, Isaac Bustos and Federico Musgrove. They will be supported by fabulous string musicians from the Frost School of Music conducted by J. Steven Moore. Cuban-born guitar virtuoso Rafael Padrón opens the program with Fantasía para un gentilhombre. Rene Izquierdo, praised by Classical Guitar Magazine for his “unforgettable versatility, sensitivity and sublime musicianship,” is showcased on Rodrigo’s ever-popular Concierto de Aranjuez. The concert culminates with Concierto Andaluz for four guitars and orchestra, with multi award winning Isaac Bustos in the solo chair—hailed by Guitarra Magazine as “an extraordinary ambassador of the classical guitar.”
Padrón, Izquierdo and Bustos also present a classical guitar master class the day prior, Monday, October 20 at 5:00 p.m. in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, free and open to the public.
The following week on November 1, meet Fantine—a sensational singer fluent in Spanish, Russian, English and French and a unique talent with a musical style that reflects her cultural diversity. A fusion of indie, dance and electro soul, with a “swampy yet sultry” voice, her debut album project I Am Fantine with original new songs in both Spanish and English is produced by Emilio Estefan. A must-hear new artist quickly climbing the Billboard Dance Club charts, be among the first to hear Fantine, one of the most exciting female artists to hit the Latin music scene in decades.
Festival Miami’s Music of the America series closes out with Latin flair as Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, recipient of the 2013 Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist, lights up the stage with hit songs in both Spanish and English on November 6. Her latest album Postales is hugely popular, and her YouTube video of “Fuiste Tú” with Latin legend Ricardo Arjona has over 100 million views. Moreno’s original blend of jazz, soul, blues and 1960s rock keeps her touring across the globe with sold out dates in Canada, the USA and Europe. Launching onto the scene in 2006 by winning the Grand Prize at the John Lennon Songwriting Contest; she was also nominated for an Emmy Award in the Outstanding Main Title Theme Music category for co-writing the original theme of the TV series Parks and Recreation.
About Festival Miami
Festival Miami has set a precedent over the last three decades by providing a series that blends artistically and culturally diverse music with educational opportunities. The festival offers 20-30 concerts each season, providing for people of all ages the chance to be enriched by live musical performances. It is unrivaled in its scope of musical presentations and is known throughout South Florida, the U.S., and the international community for its cultural contributions while expanding academic opportunities and cultural enrichment to all of South Florida and its visitors.
The Festival’s concert series features the Frost School’s widely known artist-faculty and student ensembles, and an educational mission that includes children’s concerts, master classes, lectures, forums, and concerts that highlight historically significant events.
About the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music
The mission of the Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant, and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings. http://www.music.miami.edu
About the University of Miami
The University of Miami is the largest private research institution in the southeastern United States. The University's mission is to provide quality education, attract and retain outstanding students, support the faculty and their research, and build an endowment for University initiatives. http://www.miami.edu
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