Festival Miami showcases multicultural rhythms

Fans can snap their fingers and tap their feet as the “swinging Brazilian jazz machine,” Nosso Trio, jams through the evening. They can also dance to the rhythmic beat of salsa music performed by Hansel Y La Orquesta Calle Ocho, or treat themselves to a performance of Haydn’s “The Creation” by the Frost Symphony Orchestra and Frost Choral. Whatever the choice, music lovers can enjoy a culturally diverse musical setting at this year’s 24th annual Festival Miami, which begins this Saturday and runs through Nov. 10.

The festival, founded in 1984 by William Hipp, former dean of the Frost School of Music, has drawn in music followers from all over South Florida for the past 23 years. Serving as an educational and entertainment forum, Festival Miami offers live performances by jazz, classical and Latin musicians from around the world, including award-winning staff, faculty and students of the university.

Shelton “Shelly” Berg, the Frost School’s new dean, will be among this year’s performers. As a world-renowned jazz pianist, conductor, composer and arranger, Berg has collaborated with a wide array of artists, including KISS and Ray Charles.

In his Oct. 11 performance, Berg will join forces with the Bergonzi String Quartet, Luciano Magnanini and Don Coffman, all faculty members of the university.

“This festival is a great cross section of just about every type of music featuring everything from world-renowned outside performers, to our own world-renowned faculty, to our very best students,” Berg said. “I look forward to the mixture of all those people coming together and bringing great culture to this campus.”

Many students are curious to find out what Berg can do.

“He’s the dean of the music school, so he should be an awesome musician,” freshman flute player Alyssa Kassler said. “I think he’s setting a really good example. It makes me want to perform. Next year, I want to do Festival Miami.”

Performances will be take place at the Maurice Gusman Concert Hall with tickets ranging from free to $60 depending on the seats and the event.

For tickets and information visit www.festivalmiami.com or call (305) 284-4940

Click here for a schedule of events.

Joshua Newman may be contacted at j.newman4@umiami.edu and Brittnay Starks may be contacted at b.starks@umiami.edu.