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The Miami Jazz Co-op: Keeping Jazz Alive in South Florida


Aldo-Savlent-and-friends
Aldo Salvent and Friends – photo courtesy of Philip Avello Photography & The Miami Jazz Co-op

Jazz Rent Party

Jazz is alive and well in South Florida and we have the Miami Jazz Cooperative to thank for that. You can be sure to find me at their weekly Jazz rent Parties where the co-op founders curate an amazing selection of Jazz artists. Just this week, I got to see the phenomenal Brazilian Duo: Rose Max and Ramatis Moraes. They played samba, jammed with other Miami Jazz Co-op musicians, and took requests from the audience. One of those requests was mine! They played their take on Girl From Ipanema with an extraordinary impromptu rhythm section. Here’s a little taste of what you missed – a clip of the duo at the Broward Center of the Performing Arts in 2007.

But this week was no exception, last week the saxophonist and composer Aldo Salvent took over the rent party with his friends playing a unique blend of traditional and modern Jazz. It was a fantastic experience as well. The week before that was headlined by Jazz legends Joe Donato and Jesse Jones Jr. Each night is completely different so attending every Monday doesn’t get boring. It’s been four weeks since I discovered the Monday night Rent Parties and I’ve already heard traditional Jazz, Latin Jazz, Brazilian Jazz, and much more. It’s not just the variety, but the extraordinary talent of the musicians that has me walking home at the end of the night discussing my favorite parts of the evening. Even if you don’t think of yourself as a “Jazz Fan”, you should definitely give this experience a try. The artistry of the performers is simply undeniable.

The Miami Jazz Rent Party takes place every Monday at Open Stage in Coral Gables. Open Stage is located at 2325 Galiano St, Coral Gables. For more information about Open Stage, check out my review. Sign up to the Miami Jazz Co-op mailing list to receive updates on who will performing.

Vincent-Gardner-QuartetJazz Rent Party – photo courtesy of Philip Avello Photography & The Miami Jazz Co-op

The Miami Jazz Cooperative

The Miami Jazz Cooperative is a non-profit organization that has been working hard to unite local Jazz musicians and enthusiasts. In doing so, they have managed to carve out a thriving Jazz scene within the South Florida cultural landscape. Since the organization’s inception, the Miami Jazz Co-op has been adding local Jazz legends to the their roster of members. They also collaborate with local organizations to share Jazz with the community via concerts and events.

Jazz-in-the-gables2Jazz in the Gables – photo courtesy of Philip Avello Photography & The Miami Jazz Co-op

Jazz in the Gables

The city of Coral Gables has partnered with the Miami Jazz Co-op to share this music during lunchtime concerts. That’s right, if you work in downtown Coral Gables you can enjoy your lunch while listening to Jazz giants play your favorite tunes. The Miami Jazz Co-op holds Jazz sessions in the plaza of the Coral Gables Museum every Wednesday at lunchtime. They just ended their fifth season in April 2015 with a total tally of 67 concerts to date. The Miami Jazz Co-op is looking forward to their sixth season in January 2016.

Jesse-Jones-JrJesse Jone Jr. – photo courtesy of Philip Avello Photography & The Miami Jazz Co-op

The History of the Miami Jazz Co-op

Rick Katz, is one of the initial six board of directors of the Miami Jazz Co-op. When Rick was a college student at the University of Rochester, he attended his first jazz concert and fell in love with the music. The musician whom awakened the Jazz devotee within Rick had been none other than Dave Brubeck, the prominent Jazz pianist who wrote many pivotal Jazz compositions including “Take Five.” In 1972 Rick moved to Miami and attempted to continue his love affair with the cool music he had discovered; but at that time the Jazz scene was struggling in Miami. Nonetheless, Rick eventually met other enthusiasts including some key players in the South Florida Jazz community. Finally, in 2010 the first board of directors recruited no less than 100 additional musicians, educators, and broadcasters of the Jazz community as Founders of the Miami Jazz Co-op. The organization has been a huge success since inception, receiving the community’s collective excitement about the caliber and breadth of the Jazz that is represented within the organization.

Celebrating 5 Years

The Miami Jazz Co-op will be celebrating their 5th Anniversary at Open Stage on Monday, June 15th. The June 15th show is practically sold out. However, you have another opportunity to celebrate with the Miami Jazz Co-op. On June 18th the Miami Jazz Co-op will hold a benefit at Steinway Piano Gallery in Coral Gables to continue to raise funds for the organization. With five sets of music during the course of the evening, it will be a night to remember. Tickets will be $50 per person. Grab yours while they are still available at miamijazz.org.

  • Set 1: All Directors Past & Present will play including: Chuck Bergeron, Joe Donato, David Fernandez, Jim Gasior, Gary Keller, Jamier Ousley, Wendy Pendersen, John Yarling, Nicole Yarling
  • Set 2: Araya/Orta Latin Jazz Quartet
  • Set 3: Ariel Pocock and Aaron Lebos (Pianist & Guitarist)
  • Set 4: Miami Saxophone Quartet
  • Set 5: Shelly Berg World Class Pianist

After School Programs

Miami Jazz Co-op educators go out to middle schools and high schools to teach masters classes to band students with the help of band directors. The Miami Jazz Co-op has worked with about 15 different schools. If you would like your school to work with the Miami Jazz Co-op contact Rick Katz at rick@miamijazz.org

To find out more information or check out their upcoming events, visit the Miami Jazz Co-op website: miamijazz.org

About Author

I like to share my finds with the world and make friends along the way. I am always up to something including some of my current projects: Gables Guitar Studio, The Blogger Union, The South Florida Bloggers, & Dapper Animals.

7 Comments

  • Gissi J
    January 14, 2016 at 12:17 pm

    I live in the Gables but wished I work near it so I could attend one of the lunchtime Jazz sessions, it sounds so fun!

    Reply
    • Paola
      January 14, 2016 at 12:35 pm

      Aw it’s too bad you can see them at lunchtime but if you live in the gables you can catch them every Monday night at Open Stage :)

      Reply
  • itsapashion
    January 14, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    I love when you do cultural posts! This was a great red! XO, Ashley | itsapashion.com

    Reply
    • Paola
      January 14, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      Yay! Thank you :)

      Reply
  • klynch1230
    January 14, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    Wow! I had not heard about them yet. Will definitely make a point to check it out.

    Reply
    • Paola
      January 14, 2016 at 12:38 pm

      They have so many talented artists. It’s definitely worth it :)

      Reply
  • foodlvr66
    January 14, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    The Gables is such a beautiful city. Wonderful idea too. Woukd like to to skip work one day during lunch and catch jazz one of these Wednesday’s.

    Reply

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