Los Angeles Philharmonic conductor Gustavo Dudamel, pop star Franco De Vita and actor and salsa icon Ruben Blades will perform as part of a massive concert in Venezuela called "Viva la Musica," which is being billed as a "concert for peace." Some 200,000 people are expected to attend.
Although the Venezuelan government is not sponsoring or presenting the concert, it has allowed the use of La Carlota Air Base in Caracas for the July 22 event, which is supported by the National Orchestra system. Founded by Jose Antonio Abreu, "El Sistema" has taken classical music education to thousands of children in Venezuela, including Dudamel, who is a product of the system.
The show will feature performances by De Vita, who is closing his world tour with this stop, and by Dudamel, conducting the 140-member Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra with guest singer Ruben Blades. The repertoire includes "Maestra Vida," a salsa opera written by Blades that was originally released on the Fania label over two decades ago. "Viva la Musica" is being produced by entertainment production company Evenpro, which has offices in Miami, Venezuela and Brazil and produces major shows throughout Latin America and the U.S. -- its recently announced dates include Tony Bennet, Maroon 5 and Vicente Fernandez. Plans are to record the show and release it as a CD/DVD, although no label or exact date has been set.