January 2009, Volume 13, Number 1

Cultural Spotlight

Latin jazz legends delight sold-out crowd

MDC’s Kendall Campus is quickly positioning itself as the hub for Latin jazz.

A sold-out crowd vibrated to the pulsating sounds of a stellar ensemble at the campus’ Second Annual Latin Jazz Festival, presented by GEICO.

More than 20 Latin jazz legends – including Arturo Sandoval, Albita, Ed Calle and Nestor Torres – strummed the perfect arrangement of popular rhythms of yesterday and today at the Fred Shaw Plaza, making this an unforgettable evening for South Florida jazz aficionados.

The concert was the crowning event of Kendall Campus’ 2008 Fall Fest. Also performing were Richard Bravo, MDC alumnus Roberto Perera, Edwin Bonilla, Negroni’s Trio, Palo!, Paquito Hechavarria, Federico Britos, Jeff Carswell and Mexican vocal group Undivided.

In an unprecedented musical showcase, the artists played together with the Kendall Campus Latin Jazz Allstars featuring Miami’s finest studio musicians and a host of MDC students and alumni.

A highlight of the evening was a special tribute to the late bassist, band leader and mambo pioneer Israel “Cachao” López, who died in March of this year. In celebration of his music and his contributions to the genre, Kendall Campus invited his daughter, María Elena López, to be a part of the tribute. She performed a song written by MDC music business student Daisy Muñoz, titled Cubano de Corazon (Cuban at Heart).

Cachao’s bass was placed on stage, paying homage to his work and life.

As a closing tribute to the legend, the ensemble of artists took to the stage for a rousing performance of Cachao’s Grammy-winning Ahora Si.

“The Latin Jazz Festival will be just one of the key notes identifying Kendall Campus on an international level for Latin jazz,” said Isabel Medina, Kendall Campus chair of community education.

They other component is the newly established Latin Jazz Institute, which offers a host of master workshops, seminars and courses taught by renowned musicians and industry experts.

— Lourdes Rodríguez-Barrera

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