Several years ago, a young man who grew up in Homestead, Jacomo Rafael Barios, met Samuel Hyken while both were musicians with the Singapore Symphony. Sam played the trumpet and Jacomo was on the tuba. A great friendship was born in Singapore and they soon discovered that both men shared a desire to create music that would inspire both young and old.
Sam Hyken and Jacomo Bairos eventually returned to the USA and reunited in the Miami area. It was here that they decided to form what is now called, “Nu Deco”. Jacomo explained, “Whenever I would come to Miami, Sam and I would always talk about what would the history of classical music be for this period and how we could change it…make it exciting for all.”
This week, young and old in the South Dade area will have the opportunity to hear the music arranged by Hyken and see Homestead’s own Jacomo conduct the group. Nu Deco Ensemble has made arrangements with local schools to perform three concerts for area students on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday, at 10am. Nine schools and over 1,200 students from 4th and 5th grades as well as middle school, will experience classical music over the three performances. Students from Arthur and Polly Mays Conservatory of Arts will participate in one of the numbers. In addition, on Thursday, May 26th, at Noon, there will be a free concert for the public. All performances will be at the Seminole Theatre in Homestead.
Hyken excitedly explained, “Through a compelling, innovative and interactive performance, Nu Deco Ensemble will inspire children to dream, think and connect to music in a meaningful and palpable way. Nu Deco Ensemble will perform both newly created and signature works that demonstrate how Rhythm is not just the foundation of all music, but of life itself. Through classical music traditions, jazz influences, and American popular forms, Nu Deco will explain how rhythm is the unifying factor that both connects and distinguishes different genres of music. Having the kids interact with the orchestra, by clapping, singing, and counting, Nu Deco will engage their souls and minds while transforming their understanding of what a classical orchestra can be.”
“It’s finally happening!” exclaimed Bairos like a child on Christmas morning. “These concerts in Homestead represent the culmination of my and Sam’s life’s work in music to be able to give back and bring high-quality, classical inspired live performances to the south. Having been raised in Homestead, there’s no greater joy in being able to return the gifts that were given to me.”
Bairos continued, “The success of Nu Deco ensemble and our first full year has been an absolute dream for all of us. The community has embraced, supported and nourished us in ways we could not have possibly imagined. Our main goal is always to give back as much as we can.”
The program will run the gamut including American composer, Aaron Copland’s Hoe Down, from Rodeo Ballet Suite, the English rock group Radio Head’s 15 steps thrown in with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Bach’s Toccata Y Fuga.
Currently, Bairos is the music director/conductor of the Amarillo Symphony Orchestra with further engagements with eminent orchestras in the U.S. and across the globe including the Symphony Orchestras of Iceland, Singapore, Leipzig (Germany), Jacksonville (FL), North Carolina, Charleston (SC), Greater Bridgeport, Tallahassee and Bangor (ME). Mr. Bairos has also worked with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, Orquesta National do Porto (ONP, Portugal), Lake Forest Symphony, and the Florida Orchestra.
Hyken is a teaching artist for the Miami Music Project and is on faculty at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami, where he teachers Pop Music Composition and Ear Training.As a composer, Sam’s music has been commissioned by several symphony orchestras, such as the Kansas City Symphony, the Louisiana Philharmonic, the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, and the New World Symphony. He is currently composer-in-residence with the Miami Symphony Orchestra (MISO). Other ensembles who have performed his work include the Milwaukee Symphony, the Toronto Symphony, the Charleston Symphony, the Jacksonville Symphony, the Amarillo Symphony, and the world renowned Orquesta Sinfonica Simon Bolivar of Venezuela.
“We hope this is the beginning of what will be a long-term relationship in giving back to the south, as well as nourishing everyone’s soul through the art of music.” explained Bairos.
Tickets are free for Thursday’s community concert at noon at the Seminole Theatre in Homestead and will be available on seminoletheater.org. A large parking lot is behind the old police station.
Writer’s Note – I have personally experienced Jacomo Bairos conduct the Florida Orchestra and have experienced the music of Nu Deco in concert and heard Hyken’s arrangements. It is amazing to me that Bairos, this Homestead boy, my son from another mother, has taken his first music experience at Homestead Middle School and has nurtured it into a career. We are very proud of these young men.