Festival Miami feeds culture cravings

Fans of everything from jazz and salsa music to classical and Irish music will have their musical appetites filled at the 2004 Festival Miami concert series, from Sept. 25 through Oct. 30.

Created in 1984 by Dr. William Hipp, Dean of UM’s Frost School of Music, Festival Miami is the largest concert series put on by any university in the nation.

Festival Miami consists of over a month’s worth of concerts put on by stellar guest artists, the School of Music’s widely-known faculty and student artists, and an educational component comprised of open rehearsals, master classes, lectures, and free concerts.

In an effort to celebrate education and culture through music, Festival Miami includes world music, orchestral works, multimedia performance art, chamber music, jazz, choral, dance, and musical theatre concerts.

This year Festival Miami will have 26 concerts and will include Brazilian jazz legends Flora Purim and Airto, two world-renowned string bands, a traditional Irish music ensemble, Cuban guitarist Manuel Barrueco, a Flamenco dance troupe, and the Klezmer Conservatory Band, as well as UM’s DownBeat award-winning vocal group Jazz Vocal 1, among others.

Music students also enjoy the opportunity to perform for large audiences made up of members of the community that Festival Miami provides.

“As a member of Jazz Vocal 1 I got to perform with [Cuban jazz singer] Claudia Acuna, which I would never have had the opportunity to do otherwise,” Parasolle said. Acuna gave a master class open to all interested students during her previous Festival Miami visit to UM.

The Stamps Family Distinguished Visitor Series is also included as part of the Festival this year, although the Stamps Series continues throughout the school year. Dr. Elise Kirk, author and musicologist widely recognized for her research in the fields of performing arts and American cultural history, will give lectures Sept. 20 and 22 as part of Festival Miami.

“I enjoy the master classes, since I’m not in the School of Music, but I play jazz piano. It’s a chance for me to learn from the great players too, without being a music major,” Jermaine Bethune, junior and computer science major, said.

Most concerts are free for UM students, although for sold out performances students sometimes have to wait until all paid audience members are seated first. I

>> For tickets and other information, call 305-284-4940 or visit www.music.miami.edu.