Meet Martin Bejerano: Grammy nominated musician, A4L Board Member and Arts Educator! In addition to serving on the A4L Board, Martin is an Associate Professor of Jazz Piano at the University of Miami Frost School of Music. Read Martin’s full bio here.

What inspired you to join the A4L Board of Directors?
Living in South Florida most of my life, I had recently come to the realization that it was (past) time that I became involved in something that provided service to my community. Once I initially met with A4L and learned of all the incredible things they do for our community, I was immediately hooked. I was inspired by the passion that Shiela and Abraham had for fostering arts education, and I wanted to be a part of this wonderful organization as well!

Why do you think A4L programming is important to our community?
Every year it seems that the arts in our schools are more and more left behind or pushed to the side. Yet it is an indisputable fact that arts education for young people can be one of the most beneficial and enriching experiences a child can have. A4L Is helping to fill this gap – especially in communities that need it the most.

What is the artistic accomplishment you’re most proud of?
Being nominated for a Latin Grammy award for my album “#CubanAmerican” is something I never expected, and am very proud of.

Can you tell us about the moment you knew you wanted to pursue the arts as a profession?
When I was about 11 or 12 years old, I went to my mom’s office one day, and she paid me $25 to help out with filing, “stuffing press kits,” and similar types of things. Soon after, I began earning money from playing the piano at church, local theatre shows, etc. There was no comparison, and I knew from that moment on that I would make music my career!

What has been a life lesson you’ve learned through the arts?
Working in the arts my entire life, I have seen time and time again how the arts bring people – often from very different backgrounds, persuasions, and beliefs – together, like nothing else in the world. It constantly reminds me that we are so much more alike than we think we are.

Can you tell us about interesting projects you’ve participated in this year, and any coming up for this spring/summer of 2024?
I am currently super excited about my next album release: “The Purple Project: Reimagining the Music of Prince” featuring my arrangements of the music of Prince (one of my biggest musical influences) for jazz piano trio, voice, strings, and percussion. It is a project I have been thinking about for 20 years! Most of the album has been recorded, and I will be tracking strings and percussion Spring/Summer of this year, with a projected late 2024/early 2025 release.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our students, parents, partners and community supporters?
Please support or continue to support this incredible, and necessary part of our community – they truly do incredible work!

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