At Miami Salsa Congress, Afro-Cuban Artist Marisol Blanco Embraces African Foundations
For the last 12 years, Marisol Blanco has been fighting against numbers. Specifically, she has been hard at work dispelling the notion that dancing Salsa is about counting steps and following a mechanical style. "That's just atrophying the brain of dancers," she says. For this Havanera , who hails from the the culturally rich Guanabacoa neighborhood, it's all about understanding the African history of Cuban music, how it has created its percussion and steps. Then the rest – and the body – just follows. “If you know where you come from,” Blanco says. “You know why you manifest yourself this way.” Blanco is one of the dancers and instructors who will be participating in the Miami Salsa Congress and offering a Master Class workshop. The annual event, which will take place from July 26 to 28 at the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, features Latin dance workshops with local and international experts, top-of-the-line showcases, and huge dance parties late into the night. Blanco, who leads the
Brazilian Artists Keep João Gilberto's Bossa Nova Legacy Alive In South Florida
The Portuguese word saudade [pronounced sau-DAH-jee in Brazilian Portuguese] has no translation in English or any other language. It’s described as a deep, sad longing for that which has been lost indefinitely or for a time – a loved one, a place, a feeling. On July 6, Brazilians in South Florida – where a significant portion of Brazilians live in the United States – felt saudade for João Gilberto , the founder of what is arguably Brazil’s largest cultural export: Bossa Nova. Gilberto, a guitarist and singer, passed away at 88 after a musical career spanning over 50 years. As a 27-year-old from the state of Bahia, considered the birthplace of Afro-Brazilian culture and Samba, Gilberto recorded 12 songs that transferred the loud, hectic rhythms of Samba onto softer, quieter tones on his guitar. The result was his 1959 album “Chega de Saudade,” considered a defining moment for Brazilian music. He continued his musical innovations with his recordings of “The Girl From Ipanema,”
Key West Via Marimba: Composer Reflects On Residency In Music
For the last several weeks, Chicago-based composer and percussionist Ben Wahlund has been a resident artist at The Studios of Key West, absorbing the island and its people, both the tourists and the service workers who provide the only-in-Key West experiences for them. Wahlund's observations and encounters have been transformed into a dozen musical compositions that he's calling "Mile Marker Zero." WLRN's Nancy Klingener talked to Wahlund about his work and got a preview of some of the pieces he'll be performing on Saturday, July 13, at The Studios of Key West .
Coconut Grove Native Directs New Toni Morrison Documentary
Toni Morrison is among the most revered American authors of modern times. One of only two female writers to ever win the Nobel Prize for Literature, Morrison’s works have been read by millions of people all across the globe. Her life story is captured in the new documentary, " Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am ." And director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders was born in Miami and attended Ransom Everglades School in Coconut Grove. In 2017, Ransom Everglades presented him with the Founder's Alumni Award for Distinguished Service to the community. Aside from film, Greenfield-Sanders has a long career in photography, capturing portraits of adult film stars, celebrities and even presidents. Sundial host Luis Hernandez spoke with him about his childhood in Miami, his experience in photography and his vision behind the Toni Morrison film. WLRN: There is this long history of talented black writers in the U.S., but I think what made Toni's style so unique is that she was intentionally writing to a
This Mystery Writer And Teacher Loved Freaking Out His Students
Betsy Willeford lives in a home surrounded by books. Her prized item is a photograph of her late husband, Charles Willeford. He's sitting on a curbside, glasses in hand, as he stares directly at you. What is he thinking at the moment the camera snapped?