Performances & Entertainment
Limón Dance Company
Excerpts from Mazurkas
These dances were composed after a visit to Poland in 1957, as a tribute to the heroic spirit of its people.
Choreography: José Limón (1958)
Music: Frédéric Chopin
Staging and Direction: Sarah Stackhouse
Danced by: Aaron Selissen, Kathryn Alter, Dante Puleio, Roxane D’Orleans Juste, Raphaël Boumaïla.
Excerpt from Come With Me inspired by the music Bombardino, Ladies in White, Dreams and Freedom Dance
Choreography: Rodrigo Pederneiras
Music: Paquito D’Rivera, composed for the dance
Danced by: The Company
Vanessa Perez – pianist
About Venezuelan-American pianist Vanessa Perez, The Washington post said, “Vanessa Perez is not to be taken lightly.” Perez is a product of the same energized musical culture in Venezuela that produced such international stars as conductor Gustavo Dudamel and pianist Gabriela Montero. Praised for a bold, passionate performing style allied to musicianship of keen sensitivity, Perez has been championed by iconic performers. Conductor Zubin Mehta said of the pianist: “Her level of musical perception and artistic awareness impressed me as much as her total command of the keyboard.”
This spring of 2012, Perez made her Telarc/Concord debut with the release of an all-Chopin studio recording that features the 24 Preludes. American Record Guide describes this recording as “ This is exceptional Chopin Playing…This is emotionally bold yet finely nuanced playing , the combination you need for this repertory” ….”The Prelude (Op.45) sings with dark passion, one of the most compelling performances since Michelangeli’s…On one of her release concerts performing the Op.28 Preludes , the Washington Post said“ Perez dove into the Preludes as if discovering them for the first time, flinging them out into the hall with a kind of wild intensity that was often breathtaking”.
The Dortmunder Zeitung described Ms. Perez as “a virtuosa wild at heart and with a gentle touch,” combining “spontaneous freshness and poetic expression.” The Miami Herald, witnessing Perez in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 2, marveled at her “youthful fire” and “rapt lyricism.”
In recent years, her performance highlights have ranged from an appearance in the International Keyboard Institute & Festival in New York and a collaboration with the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra under John Axelrod in Germany, to concerts with the Orquesta de la Juventud Simon Bolivar under Gustavo Dudamel in Caracas, with the Orquesta under Diego Matheuz in Puerto Rico’s Casals Festival . and most recently together with Conductor Nikolaj Znaider and the Teresa Carreno Youth Orchestra
A frequent performer throughout the Americas, Perez has performed in the cultural capitals of Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Uruguay and Peru, as well as with symphony orchestras in the U.S. from Miami to Minnesota to Vermont and in recital from Manhattan to Miami to San Diego. She has performed at the Palau de la Música in Barcelona, the Montpellier Festival in France, the Beethoven-Haus in Germany, the Wigmore Hall in England and the Gothic Hall in Belgium, as well as the famed Teatro Colon in Buenos Aires.
She began her studies in Caracas, and by age 11 was invited to make her professional concert debut performing Grieg’s Piano Concerto with the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal and conductor Carlos Riazuelo for a sold-out 2,500-seat auditorium. By 1998, the president of Venezuela had awarded Perez the Jose Felix Ribas Prize, the highest honor accorded a young performer for contributing to the artistic enhancement of the country.
Boys & Girls Harbor Conservatoire
This year, the José Limón Dance Foundation have the pleasure to invite the Boys & Girls Harbor Conservatoire, participant school from the project Limón4Kids, to perform at the Gala.
About Boys & Girls Harbor: The mission of Boys & Girls Harbor is to empower children and their families to become full, productive participants in society through education, cultural enrichment, and social services. A key component of the Harbor’s education philosophy, the Harbor Conservatory for the Performing Arts exemplifies our deep belief in the power of the arts to transform lives and give expression to our shared humanity. The Harbor Conservatory’s music, dance, and theater programs combine classical arts instruction with the vital cultural roots of Harlem, creating a rich curriculum and a powerful training experience. The Harbor’s innovative education-arts model — designed as a continuum — integrates preschool and afterschool programming, the performing arts, and a strong public charter school partnership. We nurture each child’s creativity and intellectual character while giving them perspective beyond a 10-block knowledge. Learn more at theharbor.org.
The students who are performing are: Arianna Mendez, Brianna Maysonet, Kennedi McLane, Skye Jackson-Williams, Rebecca Roman, Nadira Moore.
Nina Klyvert-Lawson, Artistic Director
Thomas Howard, Jr., Ed.D., Executive Director
Alí Bello & Mambo Blue
Venezuelan born Alí Bello has become one of the most dazzling and sought after violinists, distinguishing himself for his versatility among different music styles in addition to his well-found classical training and multidimensional improvisational skills, which have made him a top violinist of the Latin jazz arena.
He has collaborated and performed with such figures as Paquito D’Rivera, Eddie Palmieri, and Tito Puente as well as being a regular member of the well-known groups Típica ’73, Orquestra Broadway, and Johnny Pacheco’s Band. Alí has recorded and collaborated with groups of great tradition such as Fajardo y sus Estrellas and Africando as well as modern fusion bands like Alfredo Naranjo y El Guajeo, La Clave Secreta, and Los Jóvenes del Barrio.
It is much beyond the amazing Afro Latin rhythms that Alí’s strings reach. He has become a sultry sound in tango, regularly performing with Grammy winner bandoneonist Raul Jaurena and collaborating scores with flamenco guitarist Pedro Cortés. His repertoire stretches even more to include gypsy jazz and American folk music, as a member of Doc Severinsen’s touring band. He has also infused his playing into the popular rhythms of R&B, performing live with The Roots, Beyoncé, and Jay-Z. Alí can be heard arranging and collaborating dance beats with Grammy winner producer Louie Vega and percussionist Luisito Quintero, as well as recording with award winning groups Aventura and Don Omar. His violin has backed up amazing singers of the stature of Mercedes Sosa, Susana Baca, Gilberto Santa Rosa, and Cheo Feliciano among others, as well as being a featured soloist of the Birdland Big Band and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.
He could be heard regularly with his Latin Jazz sextet, The Latin Jazz Liaisons, and is currently working on the production of his new musical concept, The Sweet Wire Band – a blend of different music styles, which include all his multicultural collaborations as well as expose his Afro-Latin roots and Venezuelan heritage.
From international performances to New York City local events, from tropical Afro-Caribbean beats to swing and jazz, from arrangements in salsa to collaborations in Middle Eastern music, from Carnegie Hall performances to innovative recording sessions, and from guajiro folkloric phrases to electric funk grooves, Alí Bello has proven himself as a musician with a skillful repertoire to be reckoned with and much more to come.