The Frost School of Music’s concert jazz band joined Latin Grammy-award winning flautist Nestor Torres on stage Saturday to celebrate art of all media at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival.
The UM band performed for about four hours, featuring songs of varying genres, from salsa music to contemporary pieces like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”
The jazz band, which includes saxophones, trumpets, trombones, drums, a bass, a guitar and a piano, brought to life the works of several artists, including some UM alumni.
Torres joined the band at the end of their set and shared stories with the audience about the pieces he and the band played.
Junior Michael Piolet said the festival had a “cool vibe.”
Piolet, who filled in for the band’s usual drummer, said working with Torres was a valuable experience.
“He was with us in rehearsals all last week, guiding us and making sure we were playing right,” Piolet said.
This was not the first time Torres has worked with UM. He has collaborated with the university for other events, including the Festival of Miami. Torres also played a special event for the University of Miami in 2010 called Flute Journey, in which he performed with students in the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
“It is always a pleasure working with the University of Miami,” Torres said.
UM’s jazz band is directed by Professor Dante Luciani, who is also a UM alumnus. He said the university and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival have worked together for a long time.
Luciani remembers when he performed for the festival during the ‘80s as a UM student. At the time, the festival was a “clothesline” art show that featured a handful of artists as part of promotion for the Coconut Grove Playhouse.
The festival ends Monday and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tickets cost $10; however, residents who live in the 33133 zip code can purchase tickets for $5. For more information, visit cgaf.com.