APRIL 2014

How do you square Jazz? On April 19, you can find out when we present Jazz Squared, the third public concert of our season. Like the others before, it is built around its own unique theme. Some of you have come to the previous performances and can now state unequivocally that 2 pianos produce quite a lot of different sounds.....

Classical Masters showcased some of the beloved music for 2 pianos written by Europe's and Russia's great composers; Masters of the 21st Centurey broadened the view and showcased composers of American and Asian origin. With Jazz Squared, we are shifting again, this time to the United States and the Caribbean.

Jazz is a uniquely American musical expression. Countless explications have been written about this; no need to add my own. But let us think about the origins of jazz - it is a big jar filled with bits of African rhythm and line, vernacular musical dialect, memories from European musical heritage; it has distinctly spiritual coloring, both of the local and the grand, overarching religious traditions. It melds forms and expressions and although there are rules, the real excitement about jazz is the fact that is all about flow and improvisation.

All this is so well mirrored by the artists involved in Jazz Squared. Stephanie Ho, a Taiwanese native, and Saar Ahuvia from Israel were brought together by their studies at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University. A keen interest in programming innovative and thought-provoking repertoire has led them to explore a wide range of compositions. Their great love for the works of Beethoven and Bach is not antithetical to being open to tonight's challenge. On the contrary, the great improviser, Johann Sebastian Bach, father of 13 children and the Suites for Solo Cello, could probably be considered the greatest mentor for this kind of performance.

There will be a world premiere. The Bacardi Choice commission, Fantasía de Tres Mundos for 2 pianos, draws on Miami-born Martin Bejerano's heritage of three worlds: American jazz, the European classical tradition he was trained in, and the Afro-Cuban heritage of his roots. A graduate of the New World School of Music, Florida State University and the University of Miami, where today he heads the jazz piano program at UM, he also has a very active performance career.

"The Bacardi Choice commission reflects the Bacardi commitment to creativity in music - in our being part of a celebration of life, our core philosophy about supporting the arts, and our passion for helping Miami culture flourish," says Robert Furniss-Roe, Regional President of Bacardi North America. We are delighted about this new relationship

We want to thank our presenting sponsors, Mercedes-Benz of Cutler Bay and Fidelity Investment for their generosity in helping us present our first concert in the beautiful South-Miami Dade Center for Cultural Arts. What better place to present our first Jazz Squared concert! And, as always, a great thank-you to Steinway.

Don't forget to put our last concert on your calendar, on May 15 at the Adrienne Arsht Center. It is Piano Slam 6, the culmination of our incredible outreach project in partnership with the Miami-Dade Public Schools and the Adrienne Arsht Center for Performing Arts. It combines poetry, music and dance, all directed by Teo Castellanos. It gives teenagers a voice.

Warm regards,
Gabriele Fiorentino


 
 

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