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Oct. 25, 2021 | Monday
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Cuban musical duo sell out Bravo! Niagara show at Stratus
Alfredo Rodríguez and Pedrito Martinez will perform to a sold-out show at Stratus Vineyards Saturday. (Supplied)

Bravo! Niagara is bringing the world of classical music to Niagara-on-the-Lake this weekend.

In an intimate setting at Stratus Vineyards on Saturday, Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez will take the audience on a journey through their critically acclaimed music.

Saturday’s sold-out performance features Rodriguez, a classically trained musician and the protégé of Quincy Jones, the famed producer, composer, musician and winner of 28 Grammy awards.

Rodriguez and Martinez have a new album out that was produced by Quincy Jones.

Chris Mori, Bravo! Niagara’s artistic director, said the company is eager to share the story of the performers’ personal history. 

“They are both from Cuba. Alfredo came to the U.S., with literally just his suitcase. Quincy Jones took him under his wing. Pedrito’s story is he played on the streets of Cuba.”

She said the contrast between how the two musicians came to their artistic excellence is a part of what makes the show unique. Mori said that, while Alfredo was more classically trained in the conservatories in Havana, Pedrito was performing on the streets and is now regarded as one of the top Latin performers in the world.

Sunday will bring Jamie Parker to the same venue, backed by up-and-coming artists, Brian Mangrum on the horn and Boson Mo on the violin.

“At Bravo! Niagara, we not only present world-leading classical and jazz artists, but we’re also dedicated to supporting the stars of tomorrow, the next generation of leading artists,” said Alexis Spieldenner, executive director and co-founder.

“We brought in Jamie’s brother before. The Parker family is a big Canadian musical family,” she said.

The Griffon Trio, of which Parker is a member, has played in the area. Spieldenner said she wanted to do a different project that includes Parker.

“When I heard about this New Gen project, I thought it was really perfect for what we support. We bring in some of the world’s greatest musicians, but we also support the next generation that’s coming up.”

Presenting 11 shows in intimate venues around Niagara last year, Mori and Spieldenner, the mother-daughter team behind Bravo! Niagara, said they want to bring something different to the stage.

“We’re actually trying to kind of revitalize the classical music, putting artists in these kinds of unconventional spaces. That is actually attracting new and younger audiences,” Mori said.

Bravo! Niagara is trying to encourage a younger audience by offering free tickets to students for Sunday’s performance. Free student tickets will also be available for the May 25 Piano Six Gala Concert at St. Mark’s Anglican Church.

Rodriguez and Martinez will perform at 7:30 p.m. on May 11, and Jamie Parker and The New Gen are onstage at 2 p.m. on May 12.