PERU – Nestor Torres, a Grammy Award winning Latin American flutist, will headline the 13th Annual Flute Day in Peru on Saturday, Feb. 22. Torres will take part in workshops and also perform in concert.
Flutists of all ages are welcome to attend Flute Day at the First Congregational Church in Peru. The all-day interactive workshops will run from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and feature guest clinicians, Lynne Stukart, Altus Flutes performing artist; Gerald Carey, flute professor emeritus Western Illinois University; and Torres. The Music Shoppe of Normal will also be on site with instruments and other flute related items.
Flute Day is sponsored by Music Suite 408, Altus Flutes, and the Illinois Valley Flute Ensemble with support from North Central Illinois ARTworks. Registration materials may be downloaded at www.408fineartsfactory.com (click on the MORE tab) or contact Sue Gillio, coordinator at (815) 223-4408 or [email protected]
Following the workshops, Nestor Torres will present a 5 p.m. concert at First Congregational Church, 1431 Fourth St., Peru. Sponsored by Miller Group Charitable Trust, tickets for the concert ($12 adults, $5 students K-college with ID) will be available at the door.
Standing on the shoulders of flute giants from worlds as diverse as Rampal and Galway in classical music, Richard Egues’ Cuban Charanga style, rocker Ian Anderson’s Jethro Tull, Herbie Mann, and most influential of all, Hubert Laws as pioneers of jazz flute, Latin Grammy Award winning Nestor Torres’ rhythmic and mellifluous flute sound remains apart in a class all by itself.
His 14 recordings as a soloist; four Latin Grammy nominations, one Grammy nomination and one Latin Grammy Award; collaborations with diverse artists such as Gloria Estefan, Kenny Loggins, Dave Mathews, Herbie Hancock, Tito Puente, Michael Camilo, Paquito D’ Rivera and Arturo Sandoval; as well as performances with the Cleveland, Singapore, and New World Symphony Orchestras among many others, are testament to the remarkable journey of an artist who continues to grow and enrich the lives of those who experience his talents.
Born in Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, Torres moved to New York City, where he pursued classical flute studies at Mannes School of Music, jazz at Berklee College of Music and classical and jazz at New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. During that time, he also learned to improvise in the “Charanga” Cuban dance music style, which helped shape and develop his melodic and danceable sound.
His CD, “This Side Of Paradise” won the Latin Grammy award in the Pop Instrumental category and was scheduled to be presented on Sept. 11, 2001. This great achievement - and its timing on 9/11 - proved to be a major turning point for Torres.
“Of course, it was a great honor and privilege to win the Grammy. That being said, the fact that I was to receive it on 9/11 gave my work and my music a stronger sense of mission and purpose,” Torres said.
Since then, Torres has focused on transcending his role as a jazz flautist to that of an agent of change through crossover multi-media productions, compositions and performances. To that effect, his compositions “Successors,” “Marta y Maria” and “Disarmament Suite” (commissioned by the Miami Children’s Chorus, St. Martha-Yamaha Concert Series, and ICAP - International Committee of Artists for Peace - respectively), are variations on Torres’ multi-cultural fusion sounds as expressions of today’s world. Then again, his music has always been about that - a crossover fusion of Latin, classical, jazz and pop sounds that is rich and engaging, complex and exuberant, profound yet accessible.
In addition to his achievements in the studio and on stage, Torres is also the recipient of many awards, including two honorary doctorate degrees from Barry University and Carlos Albizu University, for his commitment to youth, education and cultural exchanges.
Music Suite 408 opened in 2012 with six educators and 80 students. The enrichment center of the Illinois Valley now also includes the Westclox Fine Arts Factory, Paintbox Gallery, and Music Suite Annex, all under the 408 Fine Arts Factory umbrella. It now has 29 educators, more than 700 students and 10,000 square-feet of space offering music instruction, art and photography classes, art exhibits, Chess Club, Fly Tying Club, creative writing classes, outreach master classes, camps and workshops. There also is a 2,200-foot multi-purpose space that can be rented for private classes and events.