Nu Deco Ensemble Wants to Up the Classical Music Game

Nu Deco Ensemble
Nu Deco Ensemble Courtesy of Wragg & Casas

Midway through Nu Deco Ensemble's second season, cofounder Jacomo Bairos couldn't be more pleased with the 21st-century chamber orchestra's success. "It has exceeded all our expectations." he tells New Times. "We never expected such loyal audiences. We've been selling out our concerts, so people who love us now know they have to buy tickets early."

With a Thursday-night performance at the North Beach Bandshell that will also feature Monsieur Periné, the Miami-based Nu Deco Ensemble will continue to stretch the boundaries of the styles of music an orchestra can play. Bairos says of Monsieur Periné: "They are a Latin Grammy-winning Colombian band who mix Latin flavors with European flavors. They sing in French in a throwback style with jazz, swing, and folk vibes. The singer is incredible!"

Like all of its shows, Nu Deco will mix traditional classical music with its takes on modern masters such as LCD Soundsystem and Massive Attack. "Now that we've been around, we know there are certain artists and songs that tap into something people can connect with. We have added some Latin music that people can stand up and dance to."

Bairos, who grew up in Miami-Dade and attended Homestead Middle School and Homestead Senior High, always knew Miami would be a perfect place to reinvent people's perception of what an orchestra can do and play. When he met cofounder Sam Hyken in 2004 at the Singapore Orchestra, he found a kindred spirit with the right amount of creativity and energy. "We bonded on a musical and personal level right when we met. We had an American sensibility toward the music we like. We both went to Juilliard, and we both had similar ideas of what the future of classical music could look like."

With 2017 barely underway, Nu Deco has found enough success that it can begin penciling in dates on its 2018 calendar, including a summer residency in New York City. Bairos confirms the orchestra plans to record an album and says Nu Deco is also finalizing a collaboration with Japanese violinist Kishi Bashi and the live scoring of a film. The only thing Bairos believes could slow Nu Deco Ensemble would be a lack of imagination.

"With our budgets growing, we're thinking bigger. It's our job to up the game."

Nu Deco Ensemble
With Monsieur Periné. 8 p.m. Thursday, February 16, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach;; 305-672-5202. Tickets cost $35 via

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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland