Festival Miami returns for the 33rd year; a month-long whirlwind of workshops, master classes, lectures, forums and performances that pairs students from University of Miami’s Frost School of Music with award-winning artists across multiple musical genres. This year’s packed itinerary features more than 20 events, with performances in four thematic categories: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas and Creative American Music, so there is something for everyone. Here are a few highlights of this year’s festival.
For the Festival’s opening performance, Emmy Award-winning composer Jeff Beal conducts the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra in his score to the Netflix series that exposes the seedy underbelly of American politics, “House of Cards.” They are joined by soprano Joan Beal (Jeff’s wife) and the performance will be accompanied by a video montage of scenes of intrigue and political deception from the show projected over the stage.
Mixing things up as part of the Creative American Music Series is this show by DJ Mark Farina, known for his distinctive blends of jazz, downtempo and house music and vocal samples. He will perform from his latest release, “Mushroom Jazz 8,” the latest installment of one of electronic music’s longest running compilations.
An upbeat and star-studded celebration honoring the centennial of the late great jazz icon Dizzy Gillespie. Director John Daversa leads trumpeter Jon Faddis, Jimmy Heath on saxophone, drummer Ignacio Berroa, pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Chuck Bergeron on bass and the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band.
Latin dynamic duo Mau y Ricky may be the sons of Venezuelan balladeer Ricardo Montaner, but they are not riding daddy’s coattails. The pair has composed songs for huge names like Thalia and Ricky Martin but decided to come out from behind the scenes. The duo takes to the stage with songs from their debut album “Arte,” including their seductive hit “Voy Que Quemo.”
The final show in the Great Performances Series has two premieres and a reboot of a premiere from 60 years ago. Thomas Sleeper leads the Frost Symphony Orchestra in a program including William Schuman’s epic “New England Triptych,” performed 60 years ago at the University of Miami. Also debuting: James Stephenson’s “there are no words,” a musical response to the violence perpetrated against nine members of the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015 and Richard Moriarty’s song cycle on the Civil War, “We That Wait,” featuring internationally acclaimed mezzo-soprano Robynne Redmon as guest soloist.