Sunday, August 19, 2018
Features and More

National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba performances in Tampa round off exchange

By John Fleming

Times Performing Arts Critic

When the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba arrives in the Tampa Bay area next week, its 70 or so musicians will have seen a lot of the United States — mostly by bus.

The itinerary of the Cuban orchestra's first U.S. tour, which started Oct. 16 in Kansas City, reads like a long-haul trucker's journal, with 13 scheduled stops so far in just over two weeks, from Urbana, Ill., to Worcester, Mass., to the Bronx; Union, N.J., to Opelika, Ala. This weekend, the orchestra is in Florida, with concerts in Daytona Beach, St. Augustine and Naples.

The Cuban National Symphony will be in the bay area on Tuesday — Election Day — and Wednesday as part of the Florida Orchestra's cultural exchange with the island nation. In what should be an event loaded with historic resonance, members of the Cuban and Florida orchestras will join to play a chamber music concert at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Cuban Club, the Ybor City landmark that served Cuban cigar factory workers during the industry's heyday. Nineteenth-century Cuban patriot José Marti gave speeches nearby to rally support for independence from Spain, and legendary Cuban musicians like Beny Moré performed at the club.

Tuesday night's program is likely to include several collaborations by musicians from both orchestras, such as the Bach Double Violin Concerto, a percussion ensemble and a trumpet quartet. The club seats 400. Tickets are $25 in the balcony and $40 on the main floor. Tuesday afternoon, several Cuban musicians are slated to give master classes at the University of Tampa. At 1 p.m. there will be a panel discussion on the Florida Orchestra's cultural exchange, with participation by several Cuban officials.

Cuban music director Enrique Perez Mesa, who made his U.S. conducting debut with the Florida Orchestra in May as part of the cultural exchange, will be on the podium for the full National Symphony concert at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Mahaffey Theater, St. Petersburg. $15-$45.

Ignacio "Nachito" Herrera, a well-known jazz pianist, will be the soloist in Tribute to Lecuona, featuring Malaguena and other songs by Cuban composer Ernesto Lecuona (who lived in Tampa for a while after the Fidel Castro revolution). Other Cuban works on the program are Jorge Lopez Marin's Danzon: "El Medico de Pianos" and Guaguanco by Guido López Gavilán (who will conduct). Also to be played are Gershwin's Cuban Overture, Mendelssohn's Italian Symphony and Beethoven's Fifth Symphony.

For information, contact the Florida Orchestra, which is presenting the Cuban National Symphony. (727) 892-3337 or toll-free 1-800-662-7286; floridaorchestra.org.

Comments
11 things to do on your trip to Central Oregon

11 things to do on your trip to Central Oregon

BEND, Ore.For outdoor recreation, Central Oregon seems to have it all. Snow-capped Mount Bachelor, the scenic Deschutes River, dozens of lakes and waterfalls, and miles and miles of hiking and biking trails offer endless opportunities for active adve...
Published: 08/17/18
Why did it take so long to see a cast like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?

Why did it take so long to see a cast like ‘Crazy Rich Asians’?

WEST HOLLYWOOD, Calif. In January 2017, the director Jon M. Chu announced an open casting call for Asian and Asian-American actors for his movie adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians. Recorded in the kitchen of his West Hollywood home (you can see his frid...
Published: 08/17/18
Tampa gets its own Bodega in Seminole Heights

Tampa gets its own Bodega in Seminole Heights

St. Petersburg eatery Bodega has built a reputation for its Latin street food and now the fast-casual concept has expanded to a second location in Seminole Heights.Its name Bodega, which means grocery in Spanish, represents the owners, George and Deb...
Published: 08/16/18
Local Craft Beer of the Week: The Falcon Brett IPA, Flying Boat Brewing Co.

Local Craft Beer of the Week: The Falcon Brett IPA, Flying Boat Brewing Co.

Just in time for its first anniversary on Saturday, St. Pete’s Flying Boat Brewing Co. has tapped a beer that pushes the envelope by combining two trends — New England-style IPA and Brett IPA — into one unique brew: The Falcon IPA.By now, you probabl...
Published: 08/16/18
South Tampa’s Village Inn features a family affair

South Tampa’s Village Inn features a family affair

How Emma Walker spent her summer vacation:Visited Chicago.Gymnastics.Went to the beach.And, by taking a summer job as a hostess at the Village Inn at 215 N Dale Mabry Highway, carried on a decades-long family tradition."I just wanted to make money," ...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/18/18
Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

Dining events: Bolts Brew Fest, Visit Orlando’s Magical Dining Month

BOLTS: BREW FESTI was going to list all the craft brewers whose wares will be on offer at 7 p.m. Friday at this year’s Bolts Brew Fest, a Tampa Bay Lightning benefit for the Humane Society of Tampa Bay. But with 50 local breweries alone, and another ...
Published: 08/15/18
Updated: 08/16/18
What’s on stage: Countdown Improv Festival, comics Michael Coylar and Alonzo Bodden

What’s on stage: Countdown Improv Festival, comics Michael Coylar and Alonzo Bodden

SAY YES: COUNTDOWN IMPROV FESTIVAL Since its debut in Tampa last year, the 3-2-1 Improv Festival has grown in size and scope, adding acts and changing its name. Now the Countdown Improv Festival, this three-day celebration of spontaneity brings 39 gr...
Published: 08/15/18
Busch Gardens, SeaWorld holding flash sale this week with BOGO admission

Busch Gardens, SeaWorld holding flash sale this week with BOGO admission

Busch Gardens and its sister park SeaWorld are having a flash sale this week that can save you more than $50 on admission tickets, but the offers expire Sunday. Calling it a BOGO Back to School sale, Busch Gardens announced Tuesday you can buy one s...
Published: 08/15/18
Expert advice on baking classic French tarts: recipes, tips and tools

Expert advice on baking classic French tarts: recipes, tips and tools

BELLEAIR BLUFFSTim Brown was dead right. It was time for tough love, right at the beginning of class: Most of us entertain, most of us can get our act together with some hors d’oeuvres, an appetizer and an entree with appropriate side dishes. But whe...
Published: 08/15/18
It won’t take long to fall in love with this fool

It won’t take long to fall in love with this fool

"Fool" might be an odd name for dessert, but it has been served for centuries, and no one is quite sure why it is called that. Making it, though, is a pretty smart thing to do considering how easy it is and the reward of doing so: a delightfully crea...
Published: 08/15/18