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MDC Launches Latin Jazz Institute at Its Kendall Campus with a Jam Session

Latin Jazz Jam

Miami, September 11, 2008 - With two-time Grammy nominee and Miami Dade College (MDC) professor Ed Calle leading the way, a band of award-winning musicians, including Jose Negroni, Richard Bravo, Robert Carswell and others, held a jam session on Sept. 10 at the Kendall Campus’ Student Union Building Coffeehouse patio, where MDC’s trailblazing Latin Jazz Institute was officially launched.  

Housed in the college’s School of Community Education and based at the Kendall Campus, the Institute’s mission is to educate, explore, foster, preserve and celebrate the styles, traditions and artistry of Latin jazz music and musicians in partnership with the diverse and talented music community around the globe. It will offer master workshops and seminars, music business courses, student workshops, symposia and conferences, and concerts. The first concert will be the Second Annual Latin Jazz Festival which will be held at the Kendall Campus on the evening of Nov. 21, 2008 with many of the artists above and others such as Albita and Nestor Torres. 

“Last November we had the first Latin Jazz Festival here at the Kendall Campus and I was able to experience Latin Jazz at its best.   That night, Ed Calle and the musicians here today envisioned a Latin Jazz Institute which would become a hub for Latin Jazz, a place where musicians, music students and music lovers of all ages could come together to learn, explore and create their music,” said Dr. Gregory Gray, president of the Kendall Campus. “That initial conversation last year has become a reality and we’re extremely excited about the many learning opportunities the Institute will afford our community and beyond.” 

Taught by renowned Latin Jazz musicians, many of whom are Latin Grammy winners or nominees, master workshops and seminars will include the Evolution of Latin Jazz, Basic Elements of Latin Jazz Composition, Latin Jazz Styles and Rhythms, Percussion in Latin Jazz, Rhythms in Latin Jazz, Improvisation in Latin Jazz and much more.

In addition to master workshops covering aspects of performance, the Institute will offer courses dealing with the business aspects of Latin Jazz including Music Business Overview, Music and Copyrights, How to Succeed as a Solo Artist, and Promotions and Booking and others.

Student workshops, planned for next year, will also be an important part of what the Miami Dade College Latin Jazz Institute will offer to the community.  College, high school and middle school students will be able to understand the role of la clave in Latin Jazz, as they have the opportunity to jam with major recording artists in workshops sponsored by community businesses and organizations in partnership with MDC. 

In addition, symposia and conferences will become a major part of the Institute, with the “Future of the Recording Industry” Symposium and Conference being planned for 2009.  This first-of-its-kind event will bring together the musicians and the recording companies to discuss challenges and look into the future of the recording industry.

“Where better to have this important music hub than within the South Florida community, where the music, recording and entertainment industries continue experiencing major growth?” added Dr. Gregory Gray. “And, where better than at Miami Dade College, an institution which educates and inspires more people than any other in the nation.”

Miami Dade College has a long and rich history of involvement in the cultural arts, providing South Florida with a vast array of artistic and literary offerings including The Miami Book Fair International, The Florida Center for the Literary Arts, The Miami International Film Festival, the Cultura del Lobo performance arts series, The Cuban Cinema Series, the Miami Leadership Roundtable speakers’ series, numerous renowned campus art galleries and theaters, and the nationally recognized School of Entertainment and Design Technology. With an enrollment of more than 165,000 students, MDC is the largest institution of higher education in the country and is a national model for many of its programs. The college’s eight campuses and outreach centers offer more than 300 distinct degree programs including baccalaureate, associate of arts and associate of science degrees. 

For more information on Miami Dade College’s Latin Jazz Institute, please call Bernadette Denoux at 305-237-2723.

Media-only contacts:
Juan Mendieta, 305-237-7611,, MDC communications director
Sue Arrowsmith, 305-237-3710,, media specialist
Alejandro Rios, 305-237-7482,

Miami Dade College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges to award associate and baccalaureate degrees.
Contact the Commission on Colleges at 1866 Southern Lane, Decatur, Georgia 30033-4097 or call 404-679-4500 for questions about the accreditation of Miami Dade College.
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