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My Barbarian wanted to take Miami on a boat ride. “We wanted to interact and be out in the public,” Alex Segade reveals over the phone from Los Angeles, where he just got out of rehearsal for My Barbarian’s first Miami show, coming up this Saturday at the Miami Light Project, as part of Miami-Dade College’s Museum of Art and Design’s “Living Together” performance series this season. ..

The time seems right for Karen Finley to be visiting Miami, to be performing in the black box space of the Miami Light Project at the Goldman Warehouse, and to present her latest performance-art manifesto about the current political landscape, “Unicorn Gratitude Mystery.” In the show, which she began developing as a response to the U.S. presidential election in 2016, Finley plays a unicor..

Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..

Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..

If you were to predict who might become a nationally famous – OK, world-famous – multiplatform sex therapist, Dr. Ruth Westheimer would probably not be your first choice. Born in Germany in 1928 as Karola Ruth Siegel, the 4’7” Dr. Ruth seems more like the doting Jewish grandmother she is than a woman who used her nationally syndicated radio show, TV shows and 40-some books to help hun..

Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..

We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..

“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

With the closing of Tigertail Productions last year, Miami lost one of its preeminent artistic champions. Under the direction of founder Mary Luft, Tigertail brought an endless parade of boundary-..

Anytime would be a good time to devote a dance program to the works of Jerome Robbins, our most versatile and celebrated American-born choreographer. But, given that 2018 marks the centennial..

Due to winter storms in the Northeast impacting travel, with great regrets the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company announced the cancellation of the Saturday, Jan. 6 performance. At age..

It is fitting at this time of the year that our thoughts often turn to what connects us not what divides us. Whether we are driven by religious or secular motives, many of us are in the spiri..

The end of the 19th century was a golden age for ballet. In 15 years of collaboration, two great Russian geniuses – choreographer Marius Petipa, and composer Pyotr Tchaikovsky – produced ballet st..

Here’s a riddle – name the 1892 box office flop panned by critics for lack of seriousness and for casting too many kids, which has now transformed into a force of nature timed to occur yearly..

It happens every year, right around Thanksgiving, productions of the Nutcracker pop up from coast to coast, marking the start of the holiday season. But on Saturday, Miami audiences have the ..

As Art Week approaches, Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick’s Alma Dance Theater is getting ready to add its distinctive voice, rehearsing for the upcoming performance of “Flowers” at the C..

Promising a night of airiness and ardor, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami will bring “Ballet’s Pointe of Passion” to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, where the company joins an att..

Global Cuba Fest Endures Beyond Politics

Photo: Danay Suarez
Written by: Neil de la Flor
Article Rating

Despite an end to the “wet foot, dry foot” policy and other changes in the Florida-Cuba dynamic, Global Cuba Fest 2017 will continue to satiate the souls of South Floridians with a month-long music fest and theater performances that promise to slay. The 10th Anniversary of Global Cuba Fest opens with Cuban musicians Dayramir Gonzalez and Danay Suarez, in collaboration with the Miami-based chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble, this weekend at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse.

Born out a decade-long collaboration between the Miami Light Project and FUNDarte, Global Cuba Fest seeks out, through cultural exchange initiatives and a ton of research, the best Cuban musicians from around the world.

“It’s a celebration of musicians from the Cuban diaspora, including artists who still live in Cuba and who are making music that is powerful and culturally relevant,” says Beth Boone, artistic and executive director of the Miami Light Project. “These are rising stars who identify as refugees and as immigrants, and are working in the States, Europe and Latin America.”

One of those rising stars is Danay Suarez. Suarez is the voice of a new generation of contemporary Cuban musicians whose sultry vocals conjure up images that transport the listener to the storied streets of la Habana Vieja. Although firmly rooted in a sound that is uniquely Afro-Cuban, Suarez transcends the dominant Cuban tropes of cigars, rumba and Celia Cruz and opens up a new pathway for musical genius to emerge. Think Mary J. Blige, not Gloria Estefan, singing in your ear as you’re walking down the street.

“Yo Aprendi” is a good example of Suarez’s contemporary vibe. She is currently working on her solo album “Palabras Manuales,” which will be released this month. (Check out the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqLhLDbm0d8. )

What makes Global Cuba Fest programming so unique this year is that Suarez’s music will be set to the 27 member orchestral marvel that is the Nu Deco Ensemble. “Nu Deco is like bringing Dom Pérignon to a really cool underground party,” says Boone. “They are so thrilling in every way. Artistically, they are at the top of their game. They are fun to work with. They are the ‘make Miami proud’ kind of organization like Tarrell Alvin McCraney [the playwright behind the Oscar-award-winning film “Moonlight”] is to Miami as an individual artist. Nu Deco Ensemble opens up an entirely different musical experience for the listener.” (Nu Deco Ensemble & Afrobeta: https://vimeo.com/133448120.)

If Nu Deco Ensemble is the Dom Pérignon of the party, then maybe Dayramir Gonzalez is the exuberant bubbly that makes champagne Champagne. Born in Havana, Gonzalez is an Afro-Cuban jazz pianist, composer, arranger and child prodigy whose resonant performances hark back to deep rooted musical traditions, which have won him world acclaim and even a slot on stage at Carnegie Hall. This week he’ll be at The Light Box channeling his deep reverence for musical tradition for three performances during the opening weekend of Global Cuba Fest. (At TEDxhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqBGS8mu0lI.)

If you can’t make the opening of Global Cuba Fest this weekend, it’s ok. The festival runs throughout the month of March. On March 18th, Ernan Lopez Nussa, the Picadillo Band and Carlos Puig Hatem, with special guests Ahmed barroso, Pavel Urkiza and Lillian Garcia, headline the mega Global Cuba Fest concert at the Miami-Dade County Auditorium (MDCA). The festival culminates the weekend of March 24 to 26, also at MDCA, with Argos Teatros’ “10 Million,” a bilingual coming of age performance about growing up in the aftermath of the Cuban Revolution.

“I think people’s minds are going to be blown,” says Boone. “These artists represent every fiber of what we aim for at Miami Light Project, which is inclusive, diverse and eclectic by design. The stars have aligned for Global Cuba Fest 2017 this year.”


The 10th Anniversary of Global Cuba Fest opens with Cuban musicians Dayramir Gonzalez and Danay Suarez, with Miami-based chamber orchestra Nu Deco Ensemble Global Cuba Fest, Thursday through Saturday, 8:00 p.m.;The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, 404 NW 26th Street, Miami; tickets: $35-45 | VIP $90; www.fundarte.us, www.miamilightproject.com.

 


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About The writer

Performance arts writer, teacher, photographer, magician

Neil de la Flor is a writer, teacher, photographer and Executive Director of Reading Queer. His publications include An Elephant's Memory of Blizzards..

About the Writer

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