MIA gets cultured: it’s festival time!

The wonderfully diverse city of Miami offers just about any cultural experience a curious student or older resident could desire. And last week, one of the year’s highlights, Festival Miami, kicked off to bring different genres, styles and artists to our musical and eclectic city. The festival is currently in its 25th year, and will run until Nov. 3, so make sure you take the opportunity to see one of its many performances.

The festival kicked off last Thursday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, and featured some of UM’s most talented students performing the work of famous composer John Corigliano. Corigliano is an Academy Award-winning composer who has made a big name in the classical world, and took time out to work with Frost’s scholars.

One of the evening’s performers, Carey Goldenberg, was ecstatic about working with the American master.

“He came in and worked with us, and we did one of his choral pieces. The wind ensemble also did one of his pieces, and so did the UM orchestra,” Goldenberg said. “Getting to work with him was amazing – he’s just so knowledgeable.”

Some students may feel that Miami lacks in cultural and musical diversity compared to cities like New York. But sophomore Erika Rashke believes the Frost Music School at UM is doing a good job of persuading those students otherwise. “[Festival Miami] is really cool, and it goes on for like a month. It really puts out a lot of classical music and other genres to a wide audience,” she said. “It’s a great festival to have in Miami because it definitely brings a lot more culture into our lives.”

With so many shows at so many locations, there should be no reason a student seeking some culture should miss out on Festival Miami. And with headline performers that even the least musically knowledgeable students should know of, there’s something for everyone at this year’s festival.

On Oct. 17 Grammy-nominated and acclaimed saxophonist Joshua Redman will perform with the Joshua Redman Trio at Gusman Concert Hall. Then on Oct. 19 hometown heroes The Spam Allstars will bring their dub/funk/hip-hop creative blend to Gusman. Other highlights include Grammy Award-winning blues legend Honeyboy Edwards, world salsa champions Isaac and Laura Altman and famed pianist Bruce Hornsby.

To go along with the slew of performances, Festival Miami will be offering master classes that are completely open to the public. These master classes are basically classes for advanced music students to learn from legends that will be performing during the Festival Miami run. The classes are free of charge and are open on a first-come, first-serve basis. Some of the instructors of the classes are Ning An, Joshua Redman, Tierney Sutton and Eddie Palmieri, among others.

Carey Goldnberg had the chance to go to a master class with conductor John Corigliano before her performance.

“It’s incredible that a lot of these guest artists are willing to come work with us,” she said. “[John] gave us one of his songs to play, and he sat and really listened to us and gave us his opinion and corrections.”

According to the event’s Web site, over 24,000 people attended the festival over the past two years. And with such a star-studded lineup for this year’s Festival Miami, they can expect even more. For additional information about tickets, performance dates or artist biographies, check out Festival Miami’s website at www.music.miami.edu/festivalmiami/.