In its debut year, the South Beach Jazz Festival will honor Ed Bell as a Champion of the Arts at a Jazz Brunch to be held at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, December 11 at Rare Bistro, 4101 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach. The award is in recognition of Ed’s 44 years of supporting the Arts in South Florida, most recently as host and producer at WLRN’s “South Florida Arts Beat.”
The event will feature a performance by the Reuben Hoch Chassidic Jazz Project, a unique sound consisting of a synthesis of jazz and chamber music that has appealed to audiences worldwide. Particularly captivating is the addition of viola and cello to a traditional jazz quartet consisting of saxophone, guitar, bass, and drums.
During his 16-year tenure as the host and producer of WLRN’s “South Florida Arts Beat,” Ed Bell was truly the voice of the Arts in South Florida, providing a forum for local arts organizations and musicians. He transformed “South Florida Arts Beat” into a vehicle to introduce national and regional musicians to National Public Radio listeners from Palm Beach to Key West, featuring more than 200 different arts organizations and/or events each year, as well as producing a dozen live, in-studio concerts each year. The Society of Professional Journalists honored him for his efforts in 2009, the same year he was recognized by the Miami Beach Arts Trust as a “Visionary of the Arts.” The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood also honored him in May, 2014, for his support of the arts in South Florida.
Ed Bell has been involved in the local music scene since getting his start on the air at the University of Miami’s WVUM in 1971. In the years that followed, he co-produced jazz legend “Symphony Sid” Torin’s show on the all-jazz, blues and rock station WBUS, hosted live broadcasts of jazz concerts on WTMI and worked alongside legends such as Dexter Gordon, Horace Silver, Dizzy Gillespie, Bill Evans and Maynard Ferguson as soundman at The Airliner Jazz Lounge. He joined WLRN, South Florida’s NPR affiliate, in 1977, frequently featuring South Florida’s Jazz, Blues and R&B musicians on his music shows.
Ed has spearheaded many initiatives in support of South Florida’s jazz and blues artists, especially in his work as a promoter and concert series producer. One of his most distinguished efforts as a jazz producer was his role as a principal co-founder of the Hollywood Jazz Festival. From 1983 to 1986, he transformed the festival into a memorable weekend of television and live radio broadcasts of top local, national and internationally known jazz musicians. He also co-founded the non-profit Sunshine Jazz Organization in 1986 and was its First Vice President for more than three years.
The Jazz Brunch on December 11th is one of several events taking place throughout the South Beach Jazz Festival. Over the course of four days, the festival will present 16 jazz artists throughout Miami Beach, with free concerts on Lincoln Road and ticketed events at the Colony Theatre. Musicians range from world famous name such as Diane Schuur, Raul Midon, Dr. Ed Calle and Mamblue, as well as beloved local talent performing at various venues in Miami Beach. Musical performances are produced by KCC Productions.
A benefit for Power Access, the South Beach Jazz Festival is an event unlike any other, in that each musical performance will showcase the artistry of at least one person with a disability. David New, who conceived the event, lost his sight 15 years ago, and has worked tirelessly to raise awareness of, and support, people with disabilities. “The festival is all about bringing our community together through the universal sound of music,” says New. “The talent of the artists at the South Beach Jazz Festival will promote the festival’s dual goal; to entertain, and to define others by ability, rather than disability.”
In addition to the performance by Reuben Hoch Chassidic Jazz Project, the event includes a sumptuous buffet with a variety of stations serving salads, sandwiches, pasta, omelets and a dessert crepe station. Tickets are $55 and are available at www.sobejazz.com. Sunday, December 11 at 11:30 a.m. at Rare Bistro, 4101 Pine Tree Dr. in Miami Beach. For further information, please call (786) 607-JAZZ.
Sponsors for the event include 1111 Lincoln Road, Ability Explosion, Access Now, Atlantic Broadband, City of Miami Beach, Curro Industries, Elite Tent, FIU School of Communication, Architecture & The Arts, Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jameck Development, Kagen Water, KCC Productions, Kersten Communications, Leon Cosgrove, Lincoln Road Business Improvement District, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Miami Dade Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce, Miami Dolphins, Miamiartzine, Nexxt, Outfront Media, Power Access, Pridelines, Ransome Multimedia, Rare Bistro, Regal Entertainment Group, Segafredo, South Beach Animal Hospital, South Beach Boxing, South Beach Group Boutique Hotels, Spris, The Beach Channel, W South Beach, WDNA and Whole Foods.
South Beach Jazz Festival Performance Schedule
Wednesday, December 7
Opening VIP Cocktail Party (Invitation Only), featuring The Lenard Rutledge Ensemble
Thursday, December 8
8:00 p.m. The French Caravan, Hotel Astor
Friday, December 9
8:00 p.m. Raul Midón Trio, Colony Theater
Saturday, December 10
Euclid Circle, Main Stage
1:00 p.m. Dr. Ed Calle Jazz Ensemble
2:45 p.m. Ricky Williams Quartet
4:00 p.m. Oriente
5:00 p.m. Mike Gerber Trio
6:00 p.m. Luis Mario Ochoa Ensemble
8:15 p.m. Karina Iglesias & The Nu Thang
9:45 p.m. Felipe Lamogila, featuring Afro-Cuban Beats
1111 Lincoln Road Stage
1:00 p.m. The French Horn Collective
2:45 p.m. Rolando Grooscors Ensemble
4:30 pm. Wendy Pedersen Quartet
Sunday, December 11 Colony Theatre
11:30 a.m. Jazz Brunch, with Reuben Hoch Chassidic Jazz Project, Bistro Rare
4:00 p.m. Diane Schuur & Dr. Ed Calle’s Grammy Award Winner Mamblue, Big Band