Monday, March 30, 2009

Rome's Auditorium Parco Della Musica a must for lovers of music and/or architecture.

I finally made it up to this concert hall located north of Villa Borghese Park. One of my friends works there and got us tickets for the Wayne Shorter Quartet concert last weekend. Saturday night I went to see Cuban singer Omara Portuondo.

The hall opened in 2002 was and designed by world famous (and sometimes controversial) Italian architect Renzo Piano. It is beautiful and strange looking. I will take more photos of the structure when I return during the day time.

I can see why it's one of the most popular concert halls in the world. The acoustics are AMAZING. Seriously outrageously so.

I love jazz but Wayne Shorter is on a whole different level. The first two pieces went completely over my head. I was with two hard core jazz heads and after the concert we were trying to figure what the heck happened. While the music was very esoteric I appreciated the musicianship.

It's interesting to me how jazz, a true American art form, is more popular in Europe and Asia than in the United States, why is that?

Omara Portuondo is 79. She was born in Havana. Her mother was from a wealthy Spanish family and created a scandal when she ran off and married a black professional baseball player.

She has been performing for over 60 years. Her popularity in the States increased after she was featured in the film/CD Buena Vista Social Club. Several of the members have died and she dedicated a song to Ibrahim Ferrer.

Her show was one of the best concerts I've been to in a long time. The hall was packed. Portuondo's voice is still strong and her range is incredible. Her band was phenomenal. It was nice to see her highlight these young talented Cuban musicians. Two surprise guests, Italian musicians Joe Barbieri & Gino Evangelista joined her for one number.

The crowd was on their feet for several of the upbeat numbers. Portuondo was visible moved during the extended standing ovation.

I was on a high the rest of the weekend. Portuondo is touring Europe this spring. If you get a chance to catch a show please do.

Outside the main hall.

I'm not sure what a "math festival" is but it seemed to be popular with children.


Anonymous said...

*sigh* i was watching saturday's episode of "giada" at home and she made a lovely feast for a picnic in the park where the local symphony was playing. i wish i could go listen to some great music outdoors!!

Anonymous said...

that was me by the way


nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - maybe you August. But then again, DC in August, outside? hmmmm