Grammy Award nominee and Latin Grammy Award-winning jazz flute player Nestor Torres will perform at the Timucua white house on Sunday, June 4. Presented by the Timucua Arts Foundation—an arts and culture organization that presents diverse, high-quality musical performances, usually free of charge—the program takes part in the effort to exhibit acts of love and kindness in the spirit of Orlando United Day, honoring the memory of the victims of the Pulse tragedy.
Born in Puerto Rico, Torres took up the flute at age 12; in his teenage years he moved to New York City for jazz and classical music studies at Mannes School of Music, and later at Boston’s New England Conservatory of Music. He takes inspiration from artists as stylistically wide-ranging as the jazz and classical giant Hubert Laws, the crossover virtuoso James Galway, and the folk prog-rocker Ian Anderson, from Jethro Tull.
With 15 solo records, four Latin Grammy nominations (including the 2001 winner This Side of Paradise album), and one Grammy nomination, the 60 year-old flutist has collaborated with a diverse roster of artists, including Gloria Estefan, Dave Mathews, Herbie Hancock, Kenny Loggins, Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo Sandoval, and Tito Puente. His father introduced him to the music of the late Puente, a towering figure of Latin jazz, and the king of the timbales. Torres has also performed with the Cleveland and Singapore orchestras, and with the New World Symphony.
“Our programming committee at Timucua has made Latin music a priority,” says Christopher Belt, executive director of Timucua Arts Foundation. “Nestor is known for performing classical, jazz, and folkloric music, which is a perfect fit for the diversity of styles that we present. He immediately came to mind as a perfect fit.”
Torres’ technique grew alongside his natural affinity for improvisation in charanga, a style of Cuban dance music that shaped his distinctly melodic and danceable sound. His polished and highly accessible style has positioned the Miami-based artist in the crossover realms of pop jazz and smooth jazz. Having grown up in the Puerto Rican municipality of Mayagüez, his sound is carried by an infectiously rhythmic Latin groove. Torres also performs and records classical repertoire and is the recipient of two honorary doctorate degrees for his commitment to youth education and cultural initiatives.
Scheduled one week before Orlando United Day—designated June 12, the one-year mark of the Pulse tragedy, which took the lives of 49 innocent people—the performance will consist of dance, prayer and meditation, in remembrance of the victims of the most vile hate crime against the LGBT+ community. The majority of the victims were Hispanic; most of them were Puerto Rican. “Support and healing is something that is important to Nestor,” said Belt. “He wanted to do something to show love and kindness as we approach Orlando United Day.”
A pillar of Orlando’s cultural fabric, Timucua Arts Foundation presents diverse, high-quality, and usually free-of-cost musical performances, welcoming all audiences on a nearly weekly basis since 2007. The majority of these unique events take place at the celebrated “white house,” an intimate and acoustically refined music venue and recording studio, located minutes from downtown Orlando.
Called Orlando’s “Best Saving Grace,” and ranked number 3 on the list of “100 Things to Do in Orlando Before You Die” by the Orlando Weekly, the Timucua white house presents musicians from around the world from the fields of classical, jazz, rock, folk, electronic, and beyond. Timucua also collaborates with select local organizations and festivals that foster and promote art music, including Accidental Music Festival, Civic Minded Five, Orlando Brass Festival, Canines for Veterans, and the Central Florida Composers Forum.
A 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, the Timucua Arts Foundation’s mission is to present and inspire great music and art in Central Florida through performance and education.
Timucua Arts Foundation Presents Nestor Torres
Dances, Prayers & Meditations: An Evening of Music, Poetry & Dialogue
Sunday, June 4
7 p.m. doors; 7:30 p.m. show
$10-$20 suggested donation. Please bring food or wine to share.