Live concerts are back at Frost with a star-studded lineup

The Frost Music Live concert series begins this weekend. Photo: Diego Meza-Valdes/University of Miami
By Amanda M. Perez

The Frost Music Live concert series begins this weekend. Photo: Diego Meza-Valdes/University of Miami

Live concerts are back at Frost with a star-studded lineup

By Amanda M. Perez
Students at the Frost School of Music prepare to perform with some of the best entertainers during this season’s Frost Music Live concert series.

The joy of witnessing live music is being reignited at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. The critically acclaimed Frost Music Live concert series is back, offering in-person concerts featuring award-winning Frost faculty artists and exceptional students performing an array of music. 

“COVID has limited live music, but it is time to finally rediscover how beautiful it is to come together, each hearing different things, while allowing us to collectively feel—which is so needed after distance being the default way to experience life,” said Janelle Finton, a junior majoring in jazz trumpet performance.  

Christian McBride. Photo by Anna Webber
Christian McBride. Photo by Anna Webber

Finton is one of several students who will have the opportunity to perform alongside some of the music industry’s best artists. On Sept. 15, Finton will play lead trumpet in the Studio Jazz Band with seven-time Grammy Award-winning bassist Christian McBride.  

“I am really excited to get to work with Christian McBride. Last year, I was part of the JAS Aspen Academy big band (in collaboration with Frost) and had the chance to work with him virtually. It will be so cool to perform music from a master of this music, with him here in person,” she said. “I am also grateful and excited to be performing alongside such talented peers, with a live audience open to the public for the first time post COVID.” 

Jaden Kim, a junior studio music and jazz performance major, will also be onstage performing alongside McBride in the Studio Jazz Band, playing the second trombone. He is grateful for the rare opportunity and hopes people come out to witness this special concert. 

“If I weren’t enrolled at Frost then there’s no way I would have been able to share the stage with Christian McBride,” explained Kim. “People should come to this concert because it’s not often that you get a chance to see a world-class musician on stage with the next generation of great musicians.” 

Shelly Berg, dean of the Frost School of Music, explained that opportunities like these for students are essential learning experiences for them to take into their professional careers. 

“Students are able to get up close and personal with these exceptional artists. It’s just like a college basketball player getting to practice with an NBA superstar like Stephen Curry,” said Berg. “You get to learn about that extra little bit of intensity that the great professionals have and it's very meaningful. It truly is an irreplaceable experience.” 

Berg explained that Frost loaded this season with some of the best guest artists to celebrate the return of live music. 

“We’re ecstatic to be welcoming live audiences to our concerts. Although we’re not at full capacity, we hope to expand our audiences as the semester goes on with all the protocols in place. ​​The Frost School of Music is deeply committed to the health and safety of our guests, performing artists, students, and concert staff,” he said. 

The new season begins on Sept. 11 with an “All Chopin Recital” featuring guest pianist Avery Gagliano, the 2020 Grand Prize winner of the National Chopin Foundation Competition.  

Aaron Tindall
Aaron Tindall

On Sept. 20, audiences can enjoy a night “At the Ballet.” Renowned Frost tuba professor and Sarasota Orchestra’s principal tubist, Aaron Tindall, will light up the stage with two of the most famous ballet masterpieces of all time including “Romeo and Juliet” and “Cinderella.” 

“Tindal is one of the greatest tuba virtuosos in the world and he’s going to be performing ballet music that has been rearranged for tuba and piano. It’s going to be very unique and spectacular,” Berg noted. 

The last concert for the month will take place on Sept. 24 when the Frost Studio Jazz Band will celebrate “The Musical Legacy of Melton Mustafa”, a pillar of South Florida's musical community. Grammy Award nominee Melton Mustafa Jr. and his uncle, South Florida Jazz Hall of Famer Jesse Jones Jr., will join Frost director Etienne Charles in celebrating the life of Melton Mustafa Sr. through music.

Melton Mustafa Jr.
Melton Mustafa Jr.

“Melton Mustafa was a legendary jazz trumpeter and jazz educator for decades in South Florida. Mustafa Sr. played with Count Basie, Duke Ellington, and Woody Herman,” explained Berg. “He was so important in teaching a large number of students of color who went on to professional careers because of his influence. This concert is going to be a very exciting but also very meaningful night for our school and for our artists.” 

Visit http://www.frostmusiclive.com/ for more information and to purchase tickets.