April 17, 2013

Last night I had the treat of attending an intimate concert with Gloria Estefan at the New World Center in Miami. She performed songs from her upcoming album, The Standards, accompanied by the Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra under the direction of Shelly Berg. It was a perfect evening of timeless music beautifully and impeccably performed at a world-class performing arts venue. And it was great to hear Gloria sing better than ever.

Many of you may wonder why I have opted to write about this topic, as concert reviews are not typically included in the content I cover. The reason, though, is that I was particularly moved by the concert and this particular project given the timing in Gloria Estefan's career. Leading up the concert, I was curious about The Standards and what I was going to hear, and I decided to do a little research. I learned that the album will be a celebration of tunes from the Great American Songbook, performed in a several languages to appeal to her diverse and global fan base. A press release promoting the album quoted Gloria Estefan as saying she waited until this time of her life to produce this album so as to have "enough life under my belt since there are so many torch songs requiring life experience to deliver them with proper credibility". That statement struck a chord with me, as it speaks to the importance and true value of having the maturity and experience to bring to one's work. We have all seen Gloria's rise to stardom and witnessed the many ways her career helped infuse Hispanic sensibilities into American pop culture. With this latest project, our culture will officially make its mark on the Great American Songbook.

Appropriately, the concert was sponsored and hosted by AARP, whose current branding campaign encourages all of us age 50 and over to continue exploring life's possibilities. Thanks to this concert, I got a sneak peek at the tracks on The Standards, and was able to see first hand how Gloria Estefan continues to explore her own possibilities. ¬°Felicitaciones, Gloria!

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