July 28, 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.
Festival Miami’s Jazz and Beyond series kicks off on October 14, 2014 with virtuosic duo Bass Extremes featuring bassists Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten in a high-intensity opening week concert. Bailey, who will be honored as the 2014 Frost Distinguished Alumnus, is known for his three-fingered bass technique and awe-inspiring command of harmonics and chords. Wooten, a founding member of Béla Fleck & The Flecktones and a five-time Grammy Award winner, has been called “the most influential bassist since Jaco Pastorius.” Drummer Derico Watson, one of the hottest musicians on the scene today, adds his fire to the mix.
Bassists Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten will also present a master class at 2:00 p.m. the afternoon preceding their concert, Tuesday, October 14. The master class is free and open to the public in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, located at 5501 San Amaro Drive on the UM Coral Gables campus.
Turning up the heat with another opening week concert on October 16, steel pan virtuoso and gifted jazz musician Leon Foster Thomas brings his unique Caribbean, jazz and Latin musical fusion to the festival stage. 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 CDs 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.
Next, The Jazz Cruise All-Stars tear it up on October 17, as Festival Miami serves up a fine sampling of The Jazz Cruise experience, which departs each winter from Ft. Lauderdale, as its passengers sail side-by-side with an all-star lineup of nearly 90 straight ahead jazz greats. This specially created show features a fine selection of top-flight jazz stars that will be appearing on The Jazz Cruise 2015! With Shelly Berg at the helm as music director along with bluesy jazz singer NIKI HARIS plus clarinetist/saxophonist Ken Peplowski and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, the sets are sizzling and the atmosphere electrifying.
The weekend continues to heat up 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. This Festival Miami exclusive showcases the electricity of these two extraordinary artists as they come together for a night of exceptional invention highlighting Latin Jazz rhythms and sounds.
For big band lovers, beloved vocalist Patti Austin performs a vibrant, high-energy tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with the Frost Studio Jazz Band on October 22. Hear live in glorious color the beautiful renditions of Ella’s favorites that earned Patti Austin a Grammy nomination for Best Jazz Vocal Album for her album For Ella, with big band arrangements by the legendary Patrick Williams performed by the Frost Studio Jazz Band. A Grammy Award winner with nine total nominations, Patti performs classics such as “Too Close for Comfort,” “Honeysuckle Rose,” “Our Love is Here to Stay,” “A-Tisket, A-Tasket,” “Miss Otis Regrets,” “Satin Doll,” “The Man I Love,” and “How High the Moon.” Join us and bask in the glow of Patti Austin’s sensual voice, swinging groove and vivacious audience interplay.
On October 28, Festival Miami offers up an exclusive Jazz Guitar Summit featuring acclaimed recording artist John Hart, famed Brazilian jazz guitarist Diego Figueiredo, plus the fresh, cutting-edge New West Guitar Group. This unbelievable gathering of amazing jazz guitarists in a not-to-be-missed evening of guitar reverie and revelry, showcasing the astonishing artistry and creativity in a mash up of international jazz giants.
Next up on October 30, celebrated Grammy award winning jazz bassist, composer, arranger, and producer John Clayton performs and conducts the Frost Concert Jazz Band, fresh off their winning performance at the Monterey Jazz Next Generation Festival. Clayton has worked with many musical greats including Diana Krall, Paul McCartney, McCoy Tyner, Milt Jackson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gladys Knight, Dr. John, Queen Latifah, The Clayton Brothers Quintet and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. Here, he shares his outstanding musicianship with the award winning Frost Concert Jazz Band, both as a guest soloist and guest conductor.
A consummate educator, John Clayton will also present a master class at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 29th, preceding his concert. The master class is free and open to the public in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, located at 5501 San Amaro Drive on the UM Coral Gables campus.
Jazz lovers will also enjoy the colorful and spirited Frost Wind Ensemble as they present an all-Gershwin Sunday afternoon program at 3:00 p.m. on November 2 under the direction of Gary Green performing a new arrangement of Gershwin’s Fascinating Rhythm featuring violinist Mark O’Connor, pianist Shelly Berg, bassist Chuck Bergeron, and drummer Steve Houghton, as well as a transcription of the classic “I Got Rhythm” Variations. The concert also includes Donald Hunsberger’s adaptation of Gershwin’s Cuban Overture as well as his multi-movement suite based on Porgy and Bess featuring soprano Alicia Hall Moran, national Broadway touring star in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess and international bass-baritone Kevin Short, who regularly appears at The Met, Florida Grand Opera, Houston Opera, Los Angeles Opera and more.
Steve Houghton and Chuck Bergeron will also present a master class following the concert on Monday, November 3 at 12:30 p.m. The master class is free and open to the public in the Foster Practice Building Room 206, located at 5501 San Amaro Drive on the UM Coral Gables campus.
Mesmerizing American jazz singer Gretchen Parlato tops off the Jazz and Beyond series on November 5 with the spectacular Frost Jazz Vocal 1 Ensemble directed by Kate Reid, and performs a special duo set with pianist Shelly Berg, one of her early jazz mentors. Winner of the 2004 Thelonious Monk International Vocal Competition, Parlato is considered one of the most inventive vocalists of her generation. In her fast-rising career, she has performed and recorded with Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Barron, Esperanza Spalding, Terence Blanchard, Marcus Miller and Lionel Loueke. Herbie Hancock describes her as, “A singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music.”
Gretchen Parlato will also host a master class featuring outstanding singers and musicians from Frost’s prestigious studio music and jazz program, free and open to the public on November 4 at 4:30 p.m. in the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, located at 5501 San Amaro Drive on the UM Coral Gables campus.
Festival Miami’s closing weekend is presented in collaboration with Jazz Roots—A Larry Rosen Jazz Series with Jazz Roots: Georgia on My Mind—Celebrating Ray Charles, staged at the Adrienne Arsht Center, on November 7. This spectacular tribute program features an all-star roster of special guest artists including Take 6, Clint Holmes, Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum, and Shelly Berg, with exclusive arrangements featuring the University of Miami Frost School of Music's Henry Mancini Institute Big Band and the Miami Mass Choir. Tickets are available through the Arsht Center Box Office at 305-949-6722 or online at http://www.arshtcenter.org
To view the entire Jazz and Beyond concerts, please click here.
Concerts are held in the intimate 600-seat UM Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus, unless otherwise indicated. Tickets start at $15 and several free events are also offered. Season packages will be available to the public starting July 21 and all individual tickets will be available to the public starting August 4th. For tickets and the full Festival Miami 2014 schedule, visit festivalmiami.com, or call 305-284-4940.
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. 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. www.miami.edu
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