Since 2009, Piano Slam engages students of middle schools and high schools within the Miami Dade Public School System to be part of a transformational experience that uses music and language as a didactic tool.
The Dranoff works throughout the academic year with Miami Dade Public School educators and administrators to produce programs that will be integrated into classroom activities in preparation of the Piano Slam project.
Dranoff Laureates give classical piano performances in general assemblies at Miami schools. Following those concerts, students are invited to write poems inspired by music and submit them into a system- wide contest.
We engage published poets as jurors to select the winning poets of the contest. In the final step, Piano Slam brings together the community to enjoy a cutting edge cross-genre artistic performance and presents the winning student poets as part of a professional ensemble.
Piano Slam 8 will feature music by Michel LeGrand, Camille Saint-Saens, Claude Debussy and Jay-Z. The performers are pianists Maarten von Veen and Bobby Mitchell; the award winning actor/writer/director Teo Castellanos; the award winning DJ rapper Brimstone 127; a professional poet; the dancers of Hattie Mae Williams group and of course, Miami’s hottest young poets. The concert event will place at the Adrienne Arsht Center of the Performing Arts on April 13, 2016.
The title PIANO SLAM is a play on words borrowing from poetry slams.
Culture Shock Miami's YOU Review Crew followed Dranoff 2 Piano around town this past spring as it prepared for Piano Slam 6 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The performance featuring the stellar 12th Dranoff competition winners Duo Yoo and Kim, DJ Brimstone 127, and winning student poets from the Miami-Dade Public middle and high schools was held on May 15 with a capacity crowd and critical acclaim.
The YOU Review crew takes you behind the scenes with Dranoff Executive Director and Piano Slam founder Carlene Sawyer to see why the annual Piano Slam program is one of the most intensive multi-discipline cultural experiences for Miami-Dade students.
Special thanks to Richard Fendelman, Expect a Miracle Productions and the Miami Heat for additional video.