As part of his new chief musical curator gig at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar (WKB), Latin Grammy award-winning jazz flautist Nestor Torres will treat patrons of the artsy restaurant to twice-monthly performances, starting tomorrow night. Father/daughter owners Tony and Jessica Goldman (of The Goldman Properties) are delighted at the collaboration with Torres, who is a Miami resident and longtime friend of the Goldman family. “I’ve known [Tony] for over twenty years. He’s quite an artistic and creative being. His vision and example are very compatible with my desire to make music an integral part of a community's cultural and social transformation,” said Torres.
The globally acclaimed musician’s resume is stacked, to say the least: he’s performed with icons like Tito Puente, recorded with pop heavyweights Ricky Martin and Gloria Estefan, and even composed a concert for the Dalai Lama. As curator at WKB, Torres will oversee musical programming for indoor and outdoor spaces, as well as assist in event coordination for the restaurant’s outdoor mural park, Wynwood Walls. We caught up with Torres to find out which musicians and styles of music he’ll bring to WKB.
What are you main initiatives for the musical program at WKB?
NESTOR TORRES: Together with Tony and his daughter Jessica, my goal is to elevate the function of music in a dining setting—[to go] from musicians acting as ‘living human jukeboxes’ to a place where the music becomes a key, nourishing item on the WKB experience menu. Additionally, I want to support and share my musical philosophy with other artists, so that they are able to reignite their passion and commitment to their own music making. If artists want to thrive, not just survive, they must be keenly aware that their musical career must be treated as both a calling and a business.
Which local musicians will you tap?
NT: There is a great array of musical talent in South Florida, from pianist Silvano Monasterios to singer Big Brooklyn Red, among many others. My goal is to feature them in a way they have not been presented before, as well as present young talent that has yet to be discovered.
Are there any genres or musical styles you will focus on?
NT: Part of what makes my role as musical curator so exciting is that I will be able to bring many different genres of music to the guests: jazz, Brazilian, Caribbean, Argentinian, and classical, just to name a few, as well as different mixtures and blends of styles.
Wynwood’s Art Walks have come under scrutiny for “not focusing on the art.” You’ll be performing with DJ Zoel during the April 14 Art Walk. What is your take on the criticism?
NT: Art for its own sake always runs the risk of becoming self-indulgent and irrelevant. On the other hand, art as nothing but an excuse for people to go hang out without any sense of appreciation for what brought them there is a lost or under-appreciated treasure. The music I will be presenting—and how it will be presented—will reinforce the artistic component during the walks.
Nestor Torres will perform with pianist Silvano Monasterios on Thursday, April 12 at 8PM and with DJ Zoel on Saturday, April 14.2550 N.W. 2nd Ave., Miami, 205-722-8307