Festival Miami brings jazz, classical, pop and more

Arts season is officially in full bloom in Miami now that the temperature is cooling down, and with it brings the 31st season of the fabulous Festival Miami, a month-long, live music extravaganza featuring a wide array of world-class performers sharing their skills alongside faculty and students from the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music.

From Friday through Nov. 8, more than 25 concerts and events showcasing instrumentalists, orchestras, singers, songwriters, composers and other musical icons will descend upon UM’s Coral Gables campus. The stellar shows are organized into four genre themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas and Creative American Music.

The fun kicks off with the Frost Symphony Orchestra presenting “Made in America” featuring Thomas Sleeper conducting works by American composers including Barber, Bernstein, Creston, Ives and Ruggles, with globally revered saxophonist Dale Underwood and virtuoso violinist Michael Ludwig.

Other highlights throughout the month include opera star Dawn Upshaw and composer Maria Schneider in the Florida premiere of their three-time Grammy Award winning project Winter Morning Walks; a solo piano recital by Vadym Kholodenko, Gold Medalist of the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition; the virtuosic duo Bass Extremes, featuring bassists Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten; singer Patti Austin performing a tribute to Ella Fitzgerald with the Frost Studio Jazz Band; rising country music star Craig Campbell singing hits including “Outta My Head” and “Keep Them Kisses Comin’”; legendary singer and guitarist Jorma Kaukonen, founding member of ‘60s psychedelic rock band Jefferson Airplane; a jazz tribute to Ray Charles; and blues singer and guitarist Keb’ Mo’ performing selections from his latest album “BLUESAmericana” to close out the festival.

Concerts are held in UM’s Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables, unless otherwise noted; tickets start at $15; for more info visit www.festivalmiami.com or call 305-284-4940.

8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 10: Festival Miami Opening Night: Frost Symphony Orchestra Presents – Made In America!
Thomas Sleeper conducts Barber, Bernstein, Creston, Ives and Ruggles, with internationally acclaimed saxophonist Dale Underwood and virtuoso violinist Michael Ludwig as soloists.

8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 11: Craig Campbell – On Tour, On Fire!
Country music singer-songwriter Craig Campbell performs up-close and personal with catchy hits including “Outta My Head” and “Keep Them Kisses Comin’.”

6 p.m. Sun., Oct. 12: Time for Three – Classical, Jazz, Bluegrass and more
Trio whose latest recording is described by NBC as “glowing…very hot,” performs music from Bach, Brahms, The Beatles, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Justin Timberlake.

8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 14: Bass Extremes – Steve Bailey and Victor Wooten
High-energy concert pushes the limits of the bass in an incredible fusion of funk, jazz, rock and reggae. Bass aficionados will love the fast thumb and two-handed tapping techniques and awe-inspiring harmonics and chords.

8 p.m. Weds., Oct. 15: Pulse Chamber Music – A Passport Journey
Travel to the North, South, East, and West as this inventive chamber group featuring Margaret Donaghue Flavin (clarinet), Scott Flavin (violin) and Marina Radiushina (piano) present a diverse repertoire representing China, Cuba, Hungary, Russia and the US.

8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 16: Leon Foster Thomas – Steel Pan Virtuoso
Gifted jazz musician originally from Trinidad and now based in Florida, blends the music of his Caribbean roots with the music of North and South America into a lively mix all his own.

8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 17: The Jazz Cruise All Stars – Straight-Ahead Jazz at its Finest
Top-flight jazz stars including music director Shelly Berg, singer Niki Harris, clarinetist Ken Peplowski, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon and bassist Chuck Bergeron perform sensational standards and sizzling solos.

8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 18: Percussionist Sammy Figueroa and Glaucia Nasser – Fiery Latin/Brazilian Fusion
Two-time Grammy nominee Figueroa teams up with captivating and charismatic Sao Paulo-based singer Nasser for a Festival Miami exclusive.

3 p.m. Sun., Oct. 19: In the Nick of Time – Children’s Concert
Nick Deysher, whose kids’ albums have earned Parents’ Choice awards and his YouTube video “The Dinosaur Song” has almost a million hits, keeps the little ones entertained.

8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 21: Concierto De Aranjuez & Concierto Andaluz – Guitar Masterworks
An intimate guitar and string orchestra concert featuring Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Fantasía para un gentilhombre” with guitarist Rafael Padrón; Concierto de Aranjuez showcasing Rene Izquierdo; and Concierto Andaluz, Isaac Bustos, soloist.

8 p.m. Weds., Oct. 22: Patti Austin Sings the Music of Ella Fitzgerald with the Frost Studio Jazz Band
When Patti Austin sings, people listen. When she sings Ella Fitzgerald, they swoon! Enjoy Patti’s sensual  voice as she performs a vibrant tribute to the First Lady of Song.

8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 23: Songwriter’s Showcase – New Songs and Inspiration
Students in the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music program perform, judges and the audience pick their favorites, and the winner opens our Friday night concert.

8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 24: Jorma Kaukonen – Acoustic Rock Legend
Founding member of Jefferson Airplane and one of America’s finest singer-songwriters performs classics and traditional blues while displaying his finger-style guitar.

7 p.m. Sat., Oct. 25: Dawn Upshaw, Maria Schneider – Winter Morning Walks
Met Opera star soprano Dawn Upshaw and composer-conductor Maria Schneider present their three-time Grammy-winning project with the Frost School’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra and Frost Opera Theater singers.

6 p.m. Sun., Oct. 26: Cellist Dave Eggar – YoungArts Alumni Concert
One-of-a-kind concert features notable alumni from the National YoungArts Foundation, which identifies and supports the next generation of artists.

8 p.m. Mon., Oct. 27: Emerging Composers – Competition Winners
Winners of the Frost School of Music’s 2014 Emerging Composers Competition present new works for varied instrument and vocal combinations; at the Weeks Center for Recording and Performance, Clarke Recital Hall.

8 p.m. Tues., Oct. 28: Jazz Guitar Summit – Guitars, Guitars, Guitars!
An unbelievable gathering of amazing jazz guitarists features recording artists John Hart, Diego Figueiredo, and the cutting-edge New West Guitar Group.

8 p.m. Weds., Oct. 29: Genova and Dimitrov – Two-Piano Favorites
Piano duo brings unforgettable artistry and passion to highly admired two-piano masterworks by Chopin, Arensky, Borodin and Liszt.

8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 30: John Clayton Swings
Extraordinary bassist shares his outstanding musicianship with the award-winning Frost Concert Jazz Band, both as guest soloist and conductor.

7 p.m. Fri., Oct. 31: Frost Band of the Hour – Homecoming Parade
Unite with fellow Hurricanes on Alumni Avenue during Homecoming Weekend, welcome new director of athletic bands Jay Rees as he pumps up the Frost Band of the Hour in the Homecoming Parade, and enjoy a grand fireworks show. At the UM Coral Gables Campus, Eaton Lakeside Lot; tickets at www.miami.edu/alumniweekend.

8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 1: Emilio Estefan Presents – Fantine
Meet Fantine—a sensational singer fluent in Spanish, Russian, English and French with a style that reflects her cultural d
iversity.

3 p.m. Sun., Nov. 2: Gershwin, Gershwin, Gershwin! – Frost Wind Ensemble
Gary Green conducts an all-Gershwin wind ensemble extravaganza that features Cuban Overture, Fascinating Rhythm, a suite based on Porgy and Bess, and the classic “I Got Rhythm” Variations. Featuring National Broadway touring star Alicia Hall Moran, bass-baritone Kevin Short, violinist Mark O’Connor, and more.

8 p.m. Tues., Nov. 4: Vadym Kholodenko – Van Cliburn Gold Medalist
Praised for his “absorbing melodic shadings” and “glittering passage work,” Kholodenko performs solo piano works by Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, Debussy and Balakirev.

8 p.m. Weds., Nov. 5: Gretchen Parlato – With Frost JV1 Ensemble
Mesmerizing jazz singer Gretchen Parlato, whom Herbie Hancock describes as “a singer with a deep, almost magical connection to the music,” performs with Frost JV1 Ensemble directed by Kate Reid and also in a duo setting with pianist Shelly Berg.

8 p.m. Thurs., Nov. 6: Gaby Moreno – Latin Grammy’s Best New Artist
Guatemalan singer-songwriter and YouTube sensation lights up the stage with hit songs in both Spanish and English.

7:30 p.m. Fri., Nov. 7: Seraphic Fire – Vivaldi: Gloria
Festival Miami recommends Seraphic Fire in Vivaldi’s choral masterpiece the Gloria, with The Sebastians, a NY-based period orchestra praised for its “energetic, youthful, vigorous performing style” by The New York Times; tickets at 305-285-9060 or www.seraphicfire.org.

8 p.m. Fri., Nov. 7: Jazz Roots – Georgia On My Mind – Celebrating Ray Charles
Festival Miami recommends this tribute featuring Take 6, Clint Holmes, Nnenna Freelon, Kirk Whalum, Shelly Berg, Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute Big Band and Miami Mass Choir. At the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Knight Concert Hall; tickets at 305-949-6722 or www.arshtcenter.org.

8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8: Festival Miami Closing Night – Keb’ Mo’ – BLUESAmericana
This superb musician with a soothing voice and impressive guitar chops draws on the old-fashioned country blues style of Robert Johnson, balanced with touches of soul, R&B and rock.

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