Music

Miami International Jazz Festival returns with Lena Burke, Eric Lewis

Written By Fernando Gonzalez
February 11, 2019 at 3:41 PM

Singer and pianist Lena Burke, pianist ELEW (neé Eric Lewis), the Lao Tizer Quartet, featuring Karen Briggs, and singer Laura Taglialatela headline the sixth edition of the Miami International Jazz Festival Feb. 15-16 at the Manuel Artime Theater. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Artime Theater.

Over the years, the festival, founded by veteran producer Arturo Campa, has been a showcase for a broad variety of styles. It has featured figures such as the late trumpeter and conguero Jerry Gonzalez, Cuban pianist Omar Sosa, Miami-based vocalist Wendy Pedersen and singer Allan Harris. It has also featured local ensembles such as the University of Miami Frost Concert Jazz band and the Dillard Center for the Arts Jazz Ensemble.

Pianist Lao Tizer’s quartet offers an intriguing twist to contemporary jazz, with a pop sheen but also nods to tradition and global elements. The better festivals tend to offer, as part of their sampling, an unexpected revelation ready to receive greater recognition. Keep your ears open for Italian singer-songwriter Laura Taglialatela, appearing at the festival on Friday.

On Saturday, Miami-based Latin Grammy winner Lena Burke, daughter of Malena and granddaughter of Elena Burke and heir to a vocal dynasty in popular Cuban music, will provide a distinct pop feel to the proceedings. Eric Lewis, a dazzling virtuoso once firmly rooted in jazz, has moved to what he calls “rockjazz,” updating the standard repertoire by drawing from rock, neo-soul and pop. 

The Manuel Artime Theater is located at 900 SW First St., in Miami. General-admission tickets cost $25. VIP Contributor Packages are available for $500. For more information, go to Squareup.com/Store/Miami-International-Jazz-Fest-Inc.

Photo of Lena Burke courtesy of the festival.

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