Little Havana Social Club: Danzón Cubano! A Golden Age Throw-Back at the Koubek Mansion & Gardens

Miami, Feb. 5, 2018 – Put on your dancing shoes! Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Koubek Center is back with its popular Little Havana Social Club series, which opens the season with a  1940s-style ballroom social dance, Danzon Cubano! The al fresco event will feature Federico Britos y su conjunto with the Emmy- winning Miami Dade College Symphony Orchestra, led by director Alberto Bade in a tribute to legends Barbarito Diez, Benny More, and Cachao  at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb.  17, at the Koubek Center Gardens.

Danzón is a a musical genre of Cuba and a slow, partner dance with concise footwork and elegant pauses allowing couples to stand listening to virtuoso instrumental passages. Also revered in Mexico and Puerto Rico, the danzon’s characteristic look has become iconic: the closeness of partners, the swaying hips, and the minimal use of floor space, limited to  a single floor tile (ladrillo). As exalted in The Gaurdian, “The elegant three-step can be traced back to Matanzas on Cuba’s northern shore, in 1870. The father of danzón, Miguel Failde, mixed European and African rhythms to which couples moved gracefully and precisely, gently flirting with each other, storytelling with their bodies. The women, holding a fan or flowers, are dipped and twirled, but with only fleeting touches and eye contact.“

Just in time for Valentine’s Day weekend, the Koubek Center channels these sweeter times with a romantic evening of slow dancing, beautiful attire, old-school manners and glorious music paying homage to the genre’s legends. The Koubek Center will offer a  complimentary pre-concert dance lesson and will be blending specialty cocktails for purchase.

The Little Havana Social Club series then continues the following month with the sounds of Pacific Colombia in a Chirimia street-style party featuring Rancho Aparte on Saturday, Mar. 24; and in the spring with Betsayda Machado, “the Voice of Venezuela, ” offers up the spirit-shaking vocals and percussion of Afro-Venezuelan soul on Saturday, Apr. 21.

About Federico Britos
Federico Britos is regarded as a titan of the violin, equally adept within the world of jazz as he is in the classical realm. Born in Montevideo, Uruguay, Britos began playing violin at the tender age five, and by eleven, had one of his musical pieces premiered by the renowned Romanian violinist George Boulanger. His talents grew as such that he came to serve as principal chair, soloist, and ultimately, concertmaster with some of the finest symphony orchestras in Uruguay, Venezuela, Peru, Cuba and South Florida.

Britos has performed with some of Latin America’s greatest musicians— Astor Piazzolla, Bola de Nieve, Cachao, Joao Gilberto, Dorival Caimi, and Vinicio de Moraes, as well as jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Duke Ellington, Nat King Cole, Benny Goodman, Charlie Haden and Charlie Byrd. He’s composed and recorded countless works for orchestra, chamber ensemble, ballet and dance as well as music for films, TV and theater, and has won several Grammy awards for his work with Charlie Haden, Bebo Valdes and Israel “Cachao” Lopez.

The powerhouse violinist has played most major jazz Festivals, including Montreux Jazz Festival; San Francisco Jazz Festival; International Jazz Festival in Espoo, Finland; Bern and Basile Jazz Festival (Switzerland); and Django Reinhardt Festival at Birdland Jazz Club in New York, ans was a special guest in The Grappelli Legacy on December 1998 at Carnegie Hall on the first anniversary of Stephane Grappelli’s disappearance. He’s also performed at the Kennedy Center with Cachao, Nestor Torres, Jose Feliciano, Juan Luis Guerra, Gloria Estefan and Paquito D’Rivera, in a program produced by James Edward Olmos called “Americanos.”

About Alberto Bade and the Miami Dade College Orchestra
Bade is a professor and director of the MDC Orchestra. A dedicated advocate of music education, he founded the MDC Honors String Festival and is a regular guest clinician and conductor for local youth orchestras. He also frequently serves as a guest conductor in orchestras in Madrid, Berlin, Munich and St. Petersburg, Russia. He’s has won two Emmy Awards for his televised orchestral performances with the MDC Symphony Orchestra, and has received the Educational Outreach Award and the Miami Dade County Mayor’s Maestro Award for his performances and educational contributions to the city of Miami.

Recognized for his dynamic style, drive and musical passion, Bade has established a reputation as an outstanding young conductor. His charismatic stage presence and powerful interpretations of a wide repertoire  have garnered him national and international attention and his diverse approach has led him to work with artists from both the classical and jazz world, as Ed Calle, Trio de Negroni and Federico Britos.

Bade is an MDC alumnus, He later obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in studio music and jazz and a Master’s Degree in music from the University of Miami  before moving to New York to begin graduate studies at the Juilliard School. He’s studied with some of the most acclaimed conducting educators, including Vincent La Selva, Kenneth Keisler and the legendary Jorma Panula.

WHAT:         Little Havana Social Club: Danzon Cubano! with Federico Britos y su conjunto & the Miami Dade College Symphony Orchestra

WHEN:        Saturday, Feb 17 at 8 p.m.

WHERE:      Koubek Center 2705 S.W. 3rd St, Miami

TICKETS:    $20 advance / $25 Day-Of


About The Koubek Center
The Koubek Center is an intellectual, cultural, and community hub in the heart of Little Havana. A historic landmark in South Florida, the revitalized mansion remains true to its pioneering heritage—celebrating its multicultural community with workshops, art exhibitions, theater performances, literary readings, concerts and more. In addition to the mansion, the iconic space includes glorious gardens, the Koubek Theater, the ArtSpace gallery, classrooms, and mini performance spaces.

The programs of Koubek Center are made possible with the generous support of: Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council; the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissionaires; the State of Florida, Department of State , Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; Southern Exposure: Performing Arts of Latin America, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts; and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

MDC Live Arts Contact: Alexa Burneikis, 305-237-7733,