Jazz Concert on April 26 to Honor Longtime Jazz Piano Professor Michael Orta, Endow Money for Scholarships


The FIU School of Music is partnering with the Miami Jazz Cooperative to present a concert at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 26, 2019 at 8 p.m. to honor the late Michael Orta, a longtime jazz piano professor and a mainstay in the Miami jazz community. Proceeds from the concert go directly to the Michael Orta Jazz Piano Scholarship Fund.

Top jazz musicians including Paquito D’ Rivera, Nicole Henry, Sammy Figueroa, Gary Campbell, Jamie Ousley, Nicky Orta, Rose Max, Ramatis Moraes, and other special guests, will take to the stage to honor his memory and celebrate his lifelong legacy.

Orta was a faculty member at FIU from 1992 until his death in 2018. His talents as a composer, pianist, recording artist, educator, and author made him a favorite among his colleagues and students. He established himself as one of South Florida’s best jazz pianists and was regarded by many as the piano player of choice for many international artists. He won numerous competitions and performed, toured, and recorded with some major names in jazz and was nominated for a Grammy in 2006, and again, in 2007 for a recording with Sammy Figueroa.

Jazz Professor Michael Orta and the FIU Latin Jazz Ensemble


“This will be a very special evening,” said Karen S. Fuller-Veloz, interim director of the FIU School of Music. “The concert will bring together many world-class jazz musicians who have previously played with Mike and will now play to honor his memory and musical career. We are all pleased to be able to carry on his legacy through the Michael Orta Jazz Piano Scholarship Fund.”

The performance will take place at the Wertheim Performing Arts Center at FIU’s Modesto A. Maidique Campus, located at 10910 SW 17th St., Miami, FL 33199.

Tickets are on sale now and may be ordered online at music.fiu.edu/concerts or by calling (305) 348-0496. For media wishing to cover the concert, please email Michelle Vires (mvires@fiu.edu).

To make an online donation, please visit music.fiu.edu/michaelortascholarship or text FIUMusic to 41444.

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