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Artscape Concert Series Kicks Off Sunday

Collins Park Free Shows Continue For Third Season


LEFT: On Sept. 29, Tito Puente Jr. celebrates Hispanic Heritage; RIGHT: Nesto Torres kicks off the series Sunday, Feb. 24.

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LEFT: On Sept. 29, Tito Puente Jr. celebrates Hispanic Heritage; RIGHT: Nesto Torres kicks off the series Sunday, Feb. 24.

Michelle F. Solomon

The third season of the free Artscape Concert Series in Collins Park, Miami Beach kicks off Sunday with jazz flutist Nestor Torres.

"We wanted to bring entertainment and education to the public," says Chmura, who teamed up with musician Rafa Salono to create what's known as Global Arts Project. Ray Breslin, president of the Collins Park Neighborhood Association, jumped on board with the idea of hosting free concerts in the park.

Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Torres moved to New York City, where he pursued Classical flute studies at Mannes School of Music, Jazz at Berklee College of Music and Classical and Jazz at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During that time he also learned to improvise in the 'Charanga' Cuban Dance Music style, which helped shape and develop Nestor's melodic and danceable sound.

His CD "This Side Of Paradise" won the Latin Grammy award in the Pop instrumental category in 2001.

In addition to his achievements in the studio and on the stage, Torres is also the recipient of many awards, including two honorary doctorate degrees from Barry University and Carlos Albizu University, for his commitment to youth, education and cultural exchanges.

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The annual Global Arts Project Presents will feature four concerts outdoors in Collins Park, Miami Beach on select Sundays. The series showcases four internationally regarded artists with strong multicultural ethos, according to Chmura.

Torres kicks off the series on Sunday, Feb. 24 from 4 to 7 p.m. in Collins Park, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, to celebrate Mardi Gras.

The rest of the free concerts in the park series is as follows:

3/31 Rachelle Coba, Celebrating International Woman's Month

4/28 Nicole Henry, Celebrating International Jazz Day

9/29 Tito Puente Jr., Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

10/27 Lucy Grau, Celebrating Hispanic Heritage

Each show will open with a set by students of Dr. Ed Cale. Snacks and drinks will be available.

"A big thank you to all of our sponsors and supporters," says Chmura. "We all worked hard over the last three years and rose to the challenge. It has been our honor to provide arts and culture to the community."

Collins Park is next to the Bass Museum, where a free family admission on Sunday is from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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