Carmen París Brings the Songs From Home to the World — and Vice-Versa

While introducing a song, halfway through her concert at Miami Dade County Auditorium, Friday, Spanish singer and songwriter Carmen París grumbled about globalization and what she saw as the resulting loss of traditional cultures. It was a curious observation for an artist who has built her career on blurring musical borders and subverting the tradition. Friday, París spent much of her show offering fascinating (and successful) global reimaginations of the jota, a traditional dance originated in Aragon, a region in northeast Spain, where she grew up.
Perhaps globalization is in the ear of the beholder.

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Brilliance And The Spirits at Global Cuba Fest, Miami

Drummer Dafnis Prieto and pianist Omar Sosa closed this year’s Global Cuba Fest at the Light Box in Wynwood, Miami, with shows on Friday and Saturday, respectively, that suggested a sort of musical yin and yang. For an annual festival that celebrates the music of Cuba and its diaspora, the weekend was a perfectly tuned statement — artistically ambitious, global in its vision and brilliantly executed.

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Chano Dominguez on an off night offers an unexpected treat

Chano Dominguez

VALENCIA. Pianist Chano Dominguez is in Valencia rehearsing a classical piece he wrote for brass quintet and piano for a July concert.(He’s working with Spanish Brass) But Chano, who has been living in the US for the past three years, decided he didn’t want to hang out at his hotel in the evenings so, without fanfare, he scheduled two nights of solo piano at Cafe Mercedes, an intimate club that feels like a living room. “I just want to play and see some friends,” he said in a sidewalk conversation before the show.

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Out And About. Omar Sosa, Paolo Fresu and Trilok Gurtu tell stories

Jazz With an Accent, May, 2017

Beautiful performance by the Omar Sosa, Paolo Fresu and Trilok Gurtu trio closing the 4th annual Miami International Jazz Fest, at FIU, Saturday. It seems redundant to speak of a very musical performance, but given that it was such a relief from the standard instrumental Olympics and that there was a lot of intense listening, use of dynamics and respect for space, sound and silence on stage, I´d say the point needs to be made. It was a truly musical performance.

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From the GroundUp, a Weekend of Music and Celebration

GroundUp-Festival

Artburst Miami, April, 2017

Halfway through his set at the North Beach Bandshell, singer David Crosby, 75, who has been to a festival or two in his illustrious career, paused between songs to reflect: “How about this festival? Some of my favorite musicians in the world are playing here this weekend,” he exulted. “It’s been fantastic!”

And that was just Friday night. It’s hard to imagine what he would’ve said Sunday night.

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Nu Deco Ensemble + Dranoff 2: No Labels, Good Music, Old and New

NuDeco

Knight Foundation Blog, January, 2017

At the Dranoff 2 and Nu Deco Ensemble concert at New World Center in Miami Beach on Sunday, solemnity lasted a few bars — just enough for the orchestra to unpack the famous theme of Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Tocatta and Fugue in D Minor,” and turn the piece into “Tocatta y Fuga en Re Minor,” as the program titled it. The arrangement by composer Sam Hyken, co-founder and co-artistic director of Nu Deco, quickly put Bach in the Caribbean, swaying in clave and leaving room for congas and a timbales solo — and off we were.

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