September 2014, Volume 18, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight


Hitting the Right Note

They’ve won and been nominated for numerous Grammy Awards. They’ve played with the biggest names in music. Now they’re bringing their talents to Miami Dade College as part of the Jazz at Wolfson Presents music series.

Celebrating its 17th year, the only continuously running jazz series in Miami-Dade County is bringing a stellar slate of musicians for another exciting season of free community concerts at MDC’s Wolfson Campus.

“It’s hard to believe that we are in our 17th season, and we are once again able to present a year of creative jazz music in our renovated auditorium that continues to develop enthusiasm among our students, faculty, staff and our local community,” said MDC Professor Dr. Mike Di Liddo, who is founder and director of the concert series. “A wide variety of jazz artists representing many styles are planned, and this season’s lineup will once again connect with the College’s recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month in October, Black History Month in February and Women’s History Month in March. In a world of increased use of technology-based music, I am happy to be able to present a musical alternative with innovative, live jazz music.”

All-Star Lineup

The season kicks off with the MDC Jazz Faculty Quintet, featuring saxophonist Dr. Ed Calle, guitarist Di Liddo, pianist Jim Gasior, bassist Gary Thomas and drummer Rodolfo Zúñiga. They’ll present a diverse repertoire of original songs and select compositions from jazz greats.

This top act will be followed in October by another group of premier South Florida musicians when the World Music 5 ensemble takes the stage with an acoustic sound that blends jazz with Afro-Latin American and Caribbean rhythms, world genres and European harmony.

November will treat audiences to the sounds of talented MDC students when the College’s three Wolfson Jazz Ensembles perform, in addition to Jazz pianist and composer Andy LaVerne, a recipient of five jazz fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and a former winner of the John Lennon Songwriting Contest.

Hailed as one of the most durable and dynamic musicians of his generation, saxophonist Mike DiRubbo will surely delight in December with his mastery of melody, mellow tones and lightning speed.

The new year kicks off with a bang with Kyle Koehler on the B-3 organ in January, MDC alumnus Andrew Atkinson on drums in February and a return of the Wolfson Jazz Ensembles in March. Also in March, the University of Miami shares its talents when award-winning vocal ensemble Extensions performs. The group will feature female vocalists in honor of Women’s History Month. Ending the season on a high note will be vibraphonist Christos Rafalides in April.

Jazz Under the Stars

Jazz lovers also won’t want to miss the ever-popular Jazz Under the Stars event at Kendall Campus, which will be headlined this year by 10-time Grammy Award winner Eddie Palmieri, whose career spans more than 50 years as a bandleader of salsa and Latin jazz orchestras. Hundreds flock to this annual, open-air event, which will bring several other great acts to the stage.


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