Now On View at Weeks Library: Frank Sinatra Centennial Exhibit

Frank Sinatra cropped

The Weeks Music Library presents a selection of materials from its collections that highlight the profound, multifaceted cultural influence of the artist—perhaps best reflected in the assortment of nicknames including “Chairman of the Board,” “The Voice,” “Ol’ Blue Eyes,” and others by which he is still remembered. This exhibition spans his many memorable musical hits as well as his acting achievements, including his involvement in the Rat Pack, and other influential endeavors throughout his life.

Born December 12, 1915, Francis Albert Sinatra began his career performing as a big band crooner before finding fame as a popular singer and actor, culminating in his 1953 Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for From Here to Eternity.

Though his popularity dwindled somewhat in later years, he stepped back into the spotlight with his 1980 cover of “(Theme from) New York, New York.” After a brief “retirement” in 1971, Sinatra continued performing and touring until his death in 1998.

Infamous for his membership in the “Rat Pack,” his alleged Mafia connections, and his ties to such political notables as John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan, Sinatra remains a beloved and fascinating figure of American popular music and culture.



Now On View: An Entrée to Regional Fares and Flavors

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Three exhibitions explore the rich culinary traditions of South Florida, Cuba, and the Caribbean as documented in library collections and outside works, from family recipes and photographs of kitchens to cookbooks, restaurant postcards, and iconic menus.

Tropical Gastronomies: Documenting the Food Cultures of South Florida

Surveying the complex food history of South Florida starting with the earliest uses of tropical crops, this exhibition highlights restaurants of the tourism boom, the emergence of Caribbean flavors, and the local impact of modern fresh-food trends. This exhibit is located on Richter Library’s first floor.

Food and Memory: An Exploration of Cuban Cooking, 1857-today

Featuring books, ephemera, and photographs from the Cuban Heritage Collection that illustrate the idea of a distinct Cuban cuisine and how this cuisine shaped the way Cuban culture developed. This exhibit is located on Richter Library’s second floor.

Spare Beauty: The Cuban Kitchen

Highlighting the work of food and travel photographer Ellen Silverman from her travels to Cuba, where she was welcomed into people’s kitchens and found “sparse spaces where time has stopped.” This exhibit is located on Richter Library’s second floor.



UM’s Cuban Heritage Collection Celebrates the Legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa

by Rosa Monzon, Cuban Heritage Collection

The exhibit includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of performances conducted by Maestro Ochoa.

The exhibition includes a digital component through which viewers can watch videos of Ochoa’s performances.

Maestro Manuel Ochoa, a Cuban exile musician, choral and orchestra conductor, and founder of the Miami Symphony Orchestra, was the focus of a reception at the Cuban Heritage Collection (CHC), at the University of Miami’s Otto G. Richter Library. The event served as the official launch of an exhibition that includes Ochoa’s greatest works and documented memories, which are preserved and available for research at the CHC in the Manuel Ochoa Papers.

Ochoa is recognized internationally not only for his numerous contributions to classical Cuban music in the island but also his work in Spain, Austria, and the United States.

Curated by Meiyolet Mendez, librarian at the CHC, the exhibition displays photographs, letters, publications, music scores, and concert programs of Ochoa’s personal life and career. Included is a photograph from the beginning of Ochoa’s career, at the age of 17, conducting members of the Holguin Choral Society, which he created in 1942, even before he had any formal training. Another photograph shows Ochoa leading the Belen Jesuit Choir in Havana years later. Ochoa’s lesson plans and notes on working with child choir singers also are on display.

“One of the most exciting parts of working on this exhibit was the opportunity to bring to life Maestro Ochoa’s entire career,” said Mendez. “I discovered a person who was passionate about music and music education, and who loved sharing that passion with others.”

Also on display is a paper program of the Concierto Sacro, sponsored by the Cuban Catholic Artists Guild, featuring Ochoa’s Coro de Madrigalistas (Madrigal Choir), popularly noted as the best choir in Cuba, in 1956, Havana.

A driving force and inspiration in Ochoa’s life was always his family. One of the highlights of the exhibition is a photograph of his mother, Caridad Ochoa, who was a trained opera singer, plus a tear sheet from The Miami Herald with an article by David Lawrence Jr. celebrating Ochoa as well as his wife and biggest supporter, Sofia Ochoa.

“She was at his side every step of the way,” said their son, Manuel Ochoa Jr. “My father always said she made it easy for him to just stand at a podium and conduct.”

CHC recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Esperanza Bravo de Varona (left), former chair of the CHC, and current chair Maria Estorino recognized Sofia Ochoa (right) during the event.

Sofia’s unwavering support for her husband continued after his death, in 2006. She not only donated his collection but also contributed countless hours as a volunteer in the processing of these records.

“When my mother and I thought about how we would remember and commemorate my father, we wanted a living memorial,” said Ochoa Jr. “We wanted to share his life story so that others, especially young Cubans and Cuban-Americans would be inspired to continue his musical legacy.”

After studying and working in Cuba, Vienna, Spain, and Rome, Ochoa settled in Miami following the Cuban Revolution. On display are photographs of Ochoa’s performances in Miami, such as the first Festiva Symphony Concert at the Colonel Hotel in 1989. There is also a photograph of acclaimed Cuban pianist Zenaida Manfugás, from the same concert.

In Miami Ochoa also created the Society of Arts and Culture of Americas, but his greatest contribution to the city’s cultural development was the creation and leadership of the Miami Symphony Orchestra for more than 25 years. Multiple playbills from its concerts are displayed in the CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, as well as audio and videos of performances.

Guests at the reption.

The celebration of Ochoa’s life and legacy took place at CHC’s Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion, where the Manuel Ochoa Papers are now permanently housed and available for research.

Considered “the highlight of his tenure with the orchestra,” said Ochoa Jr., was a concert in Carnegie Hall in June of 2000, also represented in the exhibition.

“Maestro Ochoa’s legacy lives on in the Miami Symphony Orchestra he founded and in the lives that he touched through his various cultural activities,” said Maria Estorino, chair of the CHC. “But it also lives on here, in the library, where through his own papers, his life, his work, and his passion can be discovered.”

The CHC is home to thousands of books, manuscripts, photographs, and other materials that document the rich history and culture of Cuba and its diaspora. The legacy of Maestro Manuel Ochoa, as well as countless other Cubans and Cuban-Americans, “will not only be preserved here, but it will be shared with our students and with the community,” said Estorino.

“I hope the Maestro Manuel Ochoa Collection continues to inspire and educate future generations to become musicians and conductors, and keep alive the rich tradition of classical music,” Ochoa Jr. said.

The exhibition is available for viewing through the end of summer. For more information about the Cuban Heritage Collection and its events, please visit www.library.miami.edu/chc.

View more photos from the event here.

Photos by Andrew Innerarity.

The exhibit will be available at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through summer 2015.

The exhibition is on view at the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion through the end of the summer.



New digital collection of maps of Cuba pre-1923

 Editor’s Note: A version of this post authored by Lyn MacCorkle, Digital Repositories Librarian, appeared in the University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections Newsletter in December 2014.  

The University of Miami Libraries Digital Collections recently debuted a new online collection of over 100 maps of Cuba dating from the 16th century to 1923. Drawing from the Cuban Heritage Collection’s holdings, the new digital collection includes general maps of the island, provincial maps, city and town maps, tourist maps, and other specialized map formats in a variety of scales, colors, and artistic styles.

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The online platform gives researchers enhanced access to the materials, allowing them to browse and search through the collection and zoom in on fine details. Digitizing these resources also helps preserve the maps by reducing the need to handle originals.

Stay tuned for more. Maps still in copyright are also being digitized and will be available for online consultation in the Roberto C. Goizueta Pavilion.

 





Did you know…

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Sarah Vaughan

… that the Weeks Music Library has nearly 7,000 jazz CDs, and is adding more all the time? Our collection highlights the full spectrum of jazz history, from legends such as Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan (left), and Oscar Peterson, to contemporary and up-and-coming artists like Jason Moran, Mary Halvorson, Daniel Szabo, and Cécile McLorin Salvant. The collection also features a variety of jazz styles and sub-genres, including cool jazz, bebop, swing, and avant-garde.

To see what albums have been recently added to our collection, check out the “New Acquisitions” pages for Jazz CDs. You can browse by performer or by CD title.

If we don’t have a jazz CD, and you think we should, let us know using the “Suggest a purchase” form.

For more jazz recordings, check out the Naxos Music Library Jazz Collection.