18-Piece Orchestra at Miami Carnaval

By
Allen Bush
February 23, 2010
Professor Bernardo Hernandez, also a Berklee alumnus, will conduct some of Berklee's top Latin musicians at Serenata a la Reina.
Joe Arroyo, Colombian tropical singer, will be the recipient of a musical tribute by an 18-piece Berklee orchestra.
Photo Allen Bush

A group of 16 Berklee students and two alumni will travel to Miami for the 2010 O/E Arts and Culture Foundation's Carnaval de Barranquilla en Miami. Directed by Bernardo Hernandez, associate professor of contemporary writing and production, this is the first Berklee group to perform at Carnaval. Hernandez has assembled some of the college's top Latin players to perform what is anticipated as a pinnacle of the festival: The tribute to influential Colombian tropical music singer and songwriter Joe Arroyo.

Serenata a la Reina: Berklee College of Music Pays Tribute to Joe Arroyo takes place on Thursday, February 25, at 8:00 p.m. at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, 174 East Flagler Street, Miami. Visit gusmancenter.org for ticket information.

Although Berklee has paid tribute to many Latin musicians—Ruben Blades, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Juan Luis Guerra, Rosa Passos, and Tito Puente among them—Arroyo is the first Colombian artist that Berklee musicians will serenade with familiar and new arrangements of his popular songs. Arroyo's music is a point at which many sounds of the Carribean converge—including salsa, compas, merengue, reggae, and soca—and this concert is going to be one of the most lively and inspiring of Carnaval. With Arroyo sitting front-and-center enjoying the career-spanning retrospective, who knows if he'll be moved to take the stage and join in the celebration?

Colombian singer/songwriter Maia will open for the Berklee group with folkloric music.

Serenata is the opening event of the Carnaval de Barranquilla en Miami, a festival that reflects the essence of the city where different Latin cultures gather to preserve and spread their cultural traditions. Proceeds from tickets will benefit a Barranquilla foundation called Fútbol con Corazón that seeks social transformation through the values of sportsmanship.