International music festival takes UM by storm

Artists from around the world have joined to perform at the 20th annual Festival Miami held at the UM Gusman Concert Hall. The international lineup includes artists from Brazil, Cuba, China, Africa, Israel, England, Poland, Chile, and Spain. Last week marked the Festival’s second week.
Among the performers was UM’s own and festival favorite, The Bergonzi String Quartet, performing Mendelssohn’s Quartet in A Minor and Ginastra’s Quartet #1.
According to Festival producer, Philip DuBois, the quartet, which has performed at Festival Miami since 1992, is a favorite because of the members’ familiarity with one another.
“They have a real cohesiveness and great timing that comes from experience of playing together,” DuBois said. “They feel where they are each going with the music.”
Senior Kelly L. Jackson, a performer with the UM Symphony Orchestra, attended the concert for her love of chamber music and to watch her professor, Scott Flavin, perform.
“When you have lessons you don’t really get to hear them [professors] play,” she said. “This is an opportunity to see and admire what they can do.”
Other highlights in the second week of the festival included a performance by saxophonist David Liebman with the UM Concert Jazz Band entitled “Sax Appeal,” a U.S. premier of the Polish jazz trio, Jagodzinski Trio, and their Chopin and Jazz program, and a free concert by pianist’s Daniel Gledhill and Misha Dacic.
Alex Barberis attended “Sax Appeal” and thought the performance was a flawless blend of different jazz styles.
“It was the diversity of jazz styles together in one evening that made the performance very impressive,” Barberis said. “It was good stuff.”
With 15 shows remaining before the festival finale on Oct. 25, DuBois encourages all to take advantage of the variety of shows being presented directly on campus.
“Festival Miami is a great place to see the best music from all around the country if not the world,” DuBois said.
Jackson agrees that this year’s Festival Miami is unique.
“I really like the variety of concerts they are presenting this year. It’s not just one type of music; each concert is completely different from any other,” she said.
On Oct. 10 and 11, African Sanctus will perform with a fascinating blend of the Latin Mass mixed with authentic traditional African music collected by composer and ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe on his legendary journey up the Nile. Ghanaian master drummer, Sowah Mensah and famous soprano Marvis Martin will share the stage with composer and ethnomusicologist David Fanshawe, the Miami Children’s Chorus and the UM Chorale, under the direction of Jo-Michael Scheibe.
Then on Oct. 13 the UM Wind Ensemble, conducted by Gary Green, in a world premiere performance of Thomas Sleeper’s Concerto for Trumpet and Wind Ensemble. Craig Morris, former Principal Trumpet in The Chicago Symphony and new UM faculty member will make his Miami debut as a soloist. Also being performed is Michael Daugherty’s Rosa Parks Boulevard and Andrew Rindfleisch’s The Light Fantastic.
For tickets or for a complete schedule of events, visit the Festival’s website at or call 305-284-4940.

Paul Fajardo can be contacted at