Last year’s Miami World Music Festival featured music from Germany, Cuba, Spain, Argentina, and Russia. This year’s festival once again selects Earth as the world to be its focus, going with performances from France, Cuba, Spain, Venezuela, North India, and nations across Africa. Better luck next year, Neptunians.
Somewhere beyond the asteroid belt, tentacled creatures are swaying their eyestalks to an R. Kelly performance, a local boy done good who is even more popular on his home planet than on Earth (possibly because the aliens back home die at 14 unless provided with an adequate urine supply). As usual, all the best tours are bypassing Miami. Sigh.
The Miami World Music Festival seeks to remedy this problem, not by luring R. Kelly with intergalactic broadcasts of early Degrassi reruns, but by hosting five concerts of classical world music at FIU’s Wertheim Concert Hall (10910 SW 17th St., Miami). The venue has only 600 seats, so it’s a rather intimate way to see some of the world’s best musicians who are not R. Kelly.
French composer Claude Bolling’s flute and guitar compositions will be played by an ensemble including Grammy-winning flutist Nestor Torres and the Frost School of Music’s director of guitar studies, Rafael Padron. Singer and guitarist Luz Marina will play some of her own songs and traditional Venezuelan music along with South Florida band Menage. Venus Rising is an all-female drum and dance group that will play African roots music, while Jeff Deen and Vicki Richards will deliver Indian raga in another show. And “Estampas de Zarzuela” is a collection of some of the most acclaimed songs, scenes, and dances of the zarzuela style from Spain and Cuba.
Meanwhile, R. Kelly is supposedly recording a country music album. Which country? Who knows?
Sept. 19-22, 2013