Gloria Estefan won’t perform a standard Latin pop concert opening night of the 30th annual University of Miami Frost School of Music’s Festival Miami.
Instead, the global Conga queen will sing the standards written by George Gershwin ( Embraceable You), Alan Jay Lerner ( I’ve Grown Accustomed to His Face) and Charles Chaplin ( Smile).
Estefan, winner of seven Grammy awards, on Sept. 10 releases a new Sony album, The Standards, co-produced, arranged and orchestrated by Frost Music School Dean Shelly Berg. The album also features performances with singer-songwriter Laura Pausini, violinist Joshua Bell and saxophonist Dave Koz.
The concept for the new album, Estefan’s first in English since 2011, came after a UM/Frost School trustees dinner in which she “sat at the piano just for fun” and sang with Berg.
Estefan will perform selections from The Standards Oct. 1 at UM’s 600-seat Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. She’ll be accompanied by Berg and the university’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra.
The Standards is not Estefan’s first shot at singing the Great American Songbook. Twenty years ago, she performed on one of Frank Sinatra’s final albums, Duets, in which they sang Harold Arlen and Johnny Mercer’s Come Rain or Come Shine.
“Singing with one of my musical idols, Frank Sinatra, an icon of statuesque proportions, was not only a thrill and a privilege but definitely gave me an experience that has colored my style and most especially this new album, The Standards,” Estefan said in an email to the Miami Herald. “Sinatra always recorded live in the studio with the orchestra which is how most of the music of that era and genre was recorded and I chose to do that on The Standards, to capture that special magic that happens when you perform together with other musicians.”
Festival Miami kicks off Oct. 1 with the Estefan-Berg concert. Tickets are $60-80. Details at: www.festivalmiami.com or 305-284-4940.
The month-long festival also features artists including Bell, trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and bassist Christian McBride. It closes Nov. 1 with “Pink Panther at 50,” a Henry Mancini tribute starring singers Monica Mancini (the late composer’s daughter), Cyrille Aimée, Nicole Henry and Jon Secada, that also opens the 2013-14 Jazz Roots season at the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.