By Daniela Ortega, Contributing Reporter
MIAMI BEACH, FLORIDA – For its third year in a row, presented by FAENA Live and American Airlines, the Summer Jazz Series debuted this past May 15th and will showcase monthly performances until September, at the Faena Theater at 3201 Collins Avenue in Miami Beach.
The concerts are hosted by renowned Grammy-nominated percussionist and 88.9FM personality, Sammy Figueroa and produced by Grammy-nominated record producer, Rachel Faro.
The installments feature some of Jazz’s most recognized stars as well as “exciting new faces and emerging jazz artists.” The full artists line-up was selectively picked by Rachel Faro.
She commented “It’s wonderful to be able to present these great artists to South Florida jazz lovers in an elegant and glamorous setting. Our vision is to present the greatest emerging national artists, those who are right on the verge of stardom, and occasional established masters whose music does well in this intimate venue.”
Faro also commented on presenting at the 3,000 square, 150-seat venue designed by Alan Faena, “It’s such a beautiful theater and the Faena staff are so professional that the whole project is a real pleasure to produce.”
Adding, “Artists like Jazzmeia Horn, Veronica Swift, Alicia Olatuja and Christian Sands have already performed. We’re bringing the incredible Matthew Whitaker back in August and we’re looking forward to our fourth season next year.”
The remarkable setting at the Faena reminisces European opera houses, mixed with the glamour of the 1950’s Miami Beach era. Artists such as Bon Jovi, Macy Gray, and Grace Potter among others, have performed here.
The marvelous line-up of artists for the Jazz Summer Series started with Brandon Goldberg on Wednesday May 15th at 8PM, followed by Veronica Swift & The Shelly Berg Trio on June 19th, and Alicia Olatuja on July 17th.
The next performance, not to be missed is by Matthew Whitaker on August 21st at 8PM. Matthew is only eighteen years young, and has been blind since a very early age, however, he has gained international recognition for his “awe-inspiring talent” and performances in the world’s most famous stages, such as Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center.
When he was only ten years old, Whitaker opened at the Harlem’s Apollo Theater, for legend Stevie Wonder’s Hall of Fame introduction. He was also gained the love of many through his performances in popular shows, such as “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and “Showtime at the Apollo” where he won first place.
Figueroa is a famed percussionist who has played alongside musicians like David Bowie, Miles Davis, Chaka Khan and Mariah Carey.
Grammy-nominated Maria Rivas has been referred to as Venezuela’s Queen of Jazz and has been described by colleagues as “one of the greatest vocalists on the world scene today.”