Celebrating its 30th Anniversary Season this October, the University of Miami Frost School of Music’s Festival Miami announces that its acclaimed month long music festival will open in grand style this year with seven-time Grammy Award-winning international superstar Gloria Estefan performing a unique jazz-influenced program on Oct. 1, 8 p.m., at UM’s Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr. on the Coral Gables campus.
The multi-media concert promises to be a memorable evening of music featuring the singer-songwriter-entrepreneur performing standards from the American Songbook that have special significance to Estefan and are featured on her upcoming album (to be released on Sept. 10 by Sony International), The Standards, arranged, orchestrated and co-produced by Grammynominated jazz arranger and dean of the Frost School of Music Shelly Berg.
South Florida concert-goers will enjoy new renditions of timeless classics such as Good Morning Heartache, Embraceable You, I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face, Smile, and What a Wonderful World, plus Latin American love songs El Dia Que Me Quieres and Eu Sei Que Vou Te Amar.
The program also will feature behindthe- scenes video footage from the studio recording and highlights from the upcoming PBS Standards concert that Estefan recorded with the Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra conducted by Berg at the New World Center in Miami Beach. This concert is featured as part of the Festival Miami’s Music of the Americas series.
“I grew up listening to Frank Sinatra, Johnny Mathis, Henry Mancini and great romance recording artists in Cuba,” Estefan said. “This genre is right up my alley, since music is always a catharsis to me.”
She waited until now to do a standards album to get “enough life under my belt,” she added, “since there are so many torch songs requiring life experience to deliver them with proper credibility.”
The concept really took off at a trustee dinner at the University of Miami’s Frost School of Music, where Berg, who has produced and arranged for artists including Patti Austin, Elliot Smith and Arturo Sandoval, serves as dean.
“We sat at the piano just for fun and he asked me to sing a song,” Estefan said. It was during this evening that she also sang Good Morning Heartache, the Billie Holiday classic that is now featured on The Standards
“This album brings everything full circle for me,” she said, adding that the tracks were all chosen “by my heart and what I feel.” She brought a list of standards to Berg that “spoke to me personally and made me cry.”
“From the first moment of going through songs with Gloria I got that goose bump feeling that told me this was going to be a very special and important recording,” Berg said. “The artistry and heart that Gloria brings to The Standards will resonate with people across a spectrum of generations and cultures. With this recording she has given us a beautiful gift.”
Festival Miami — South Florida’s premier live music festival — annually presents unique programming by a diverse blend of award-winning performers in a variety of genres who showcase their artistic prowess alongside astounding students and faculty artists from the Frost School of Music. More than 25 concerts and events are organized into four themes: Great Performances, Jazz and Beyond, Music of the Americas, and Creative American Music.
For the full Festival Miami 2013 schedule, visit www.festivalmiami.com.
Festival Miami concerts are held primarily in the intimate 600-seat UM Maurice Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., on the University of Miami’s Coral Gables campus. Tickets to opening night with Gloria Estefan start at $60 and went on sale Aug. 1. For ticket details visit www.festivalmiami.com or call 305-284-4940.