Press Release Piano Slam - Celebrating 15 years of Hot Music - April 19

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County and the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation present


Celebrating 15 Years of Hot Music, HOT Miami during National Poetry Month

April 19, 2022 at 7:30 p.m.
Knight Concert Hall

Miami – March 8, 2023 - The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County (@arshtcenter) and the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation (@dranoff2piano) are proud to present PIANO SLAM 2023, now celebrating its 15th anniversary of performances in the Center’s Knight Concert Hall. Taking place on April 19, audiences will be treated to a FREE poetry slam of Miami’s top teen poets who will share their original spoken word mash-ups paired with classical and hip-hop music around the theme – Hot Music, HOT Miami.

Piano Slam finalists, selected as part of a County-wide, music-based poetry competition, will perform with international and local classical musicians, Piano Duo Spektra, Miami's hottest dance band Afrobeta, and professional poet Arsimmer McCoy.

Admission to PIANO SLAM 2023 is free. First-Access Passes, which give guests early access to general admission seating, can be reserved for the performance now. Reserve passes online at or by calling the Adrienne Arsht Center box office at 305- 949-6722.

PIANO SLAM 2023's music and poetry theme is Hot Music, HOT Miami. Students from 6th – 12th grades in Miami-Dade County Public Schools were asked to showcase their writing skills, penning poems about the music that makes them cool in their hot hometown. Miami's extreme heat has inspired the writing and creativity of these young artists. Students entering Piano Slam’s STEAM track will be writing about Miami’s extreme heat during afterschool education provided by Piano Slam’s partnership with Miami-Dade County Office of Resilience and Chief Heat Officer, Jane Gilbert. The Chief Heat Officer position, the first in the nation, was created through the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.

PIANO SLAM is a creative writing project in Miami-Dade Public Schools that presents live concerts, poets, scientists and hip-hop spoken word to teens in Miami’s middle and high school classrooms culminating in a countywide poetry competition based on the role of music in their lives. Out of thousands of creative
submissions, 16 semifinalists are chosen to perform in the Grand Finals concert and competition on the Arsht Center’s Knight Concert Hall stage. Prizes of $1,000 are awarded to the top student poets.

"This is an extra special year as we celebrate Piano Slam's 15th anniversary and showcase the incredible talent of Miami's youth. The hot music theme captures the essence of Miami and the diverse sounds that make this city so unique," said Carlene Sawyer, Piano Slam creator and producer.

For over a decade, the Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation's PIANO SLAM has been bridging the creative divide between teenage music enthusiasts and professional performance artists across Miami-Dade County, from Hialeah to the beaches and Miami Gardens to Homestead. The event is co-presented with the Adrienne Arsht Center and sponsored by some of Miami's most respected institutions, including Miami-Dade County, Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Books & Books, The Children's Trust, and the Miami HEAT.

PIANO SLAM is directed by Tanisha Cidel with music direction by Martin Bejerano. PIANO SLAM's wildly popular County-wide music-based poetry competition has worked with more than 105,000 Miami-Dade Public middle and high school students making classical music fun and an inspiration for their own creative

About the Dranoff 2 Piano x Adrienne Arsht Center Partnership
The partnership between The Dranoff Foundation and the Adrienne Arsht Center dates back to 2006, when the Arsht Center had just opened. The Dranoff Foundation, which aims to discover young artists, nurture their talent, and provide them with a platform to showcase their music, joined forces with the Arsht Center
to establish a community school-based outreach program in the performing arts. This program was designed to serve young people and their families in the neighborhoods surrounding the new performing arts center.

In the very first year of the PIANO SLAM program, five middle schools located in Overtown, Liberty City, Brownsville, and Little Haiti - participated. Today, more than 100 middle and high schools in Miami Dade Public Schools enjoyed in-school professional artist programs and performances and submitted student poetry to the music-based competition.

Over the 15 years in partnership with the Arsht Center’s community engagement and education initiatives, Dranoff 2 Piano Foundation has brought artists, musicians, scientists and educators into over 100 middle and high schools and every school and community district in the county. The ArshtCenter has partnered
in teacher professional development, training educators in all core subjects to use music and arts-integrated curriculum in their classrooms.

Dranoff 2 Piano and the Arsht Center provide performance, art, music, writing, coaching and training for students participating in PIANO SLAM. The Adrienne Arsht Center provides a world-class community-based platform for students and top professional artists to perform in the finals competition concert in the Knight Concert Hall. Tens of thousands of families throughout Miami Dade County have become part of Miami’s art scene through PIANO SLAM in the schools and the Dranoff 2 Piano performances with award-winning musicians, dancers and top theater professionals as part of a student and professional artist extravaganza of great entertainment in the Knight Concert Hall.

For more information on Dranoff 2 Piano, please visit

@ArshtCenter                                                       #ArshtCenter

*All programs, artists, ticket prices, availability, dates and times are subject to change without notice. Visit for up-to-date information.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Arts and Culture and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from individuals, corporations and local, state and national foundations.


About Us
Set in the heart of downtown Miami, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is committed to welcoming and connecting ALL people to the arts, to the Arsht Center and to each other. Our stages are alive year-round with artists from around the world, innovative programming from our resident companies and local arts partners, free community events that reflect Miami’s unique identity and arts education experiences for thousands of Miami children each year.

Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center, a 501C3 non-profit organization, has been recognized as a catalyst for billions of dollars in new development in the downtown area, a leader in programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, a host venue for historic events and Miami’s hub for arts education.

Each year, we serve more than 60,000 young learners and offer more than 100 culturally diverse and inclusive education programs — many enhanced by the Arsht Center’s relationship with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, local teaching artists and Miami-based arts organizations.

The Arsht Center is also a home stage for three resident companies — Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony — and a launch pad for local artists to make their mark on the international stage. Our 300+ events each year include the Center’s Signature Series of classical, jazz, Broadway, local theater and much more. We present a robust series of touring Broadway musicals direct from New York, the largest jazz series in South Florida, a major annual Flamenco Festival and an award-winning Miami-based theater program. In addition, our Family Fest, Free Gospel Sundays, CommuniTEA LGBTQ+ celebration and Heritage Fest are among dozens of free events that bring together people from all corners of our community. For more information, visit

About Dranoff
For 36 years, the Dranoff International 2 Piano Foundation has been the world’s leading champion of exclusively two piano repertoire and artistry. It is the only international foundation, accredited by the World Federation of International Music Competitions, to discover, promote, and award honors to top professional duo piano artists through its competition, commissions, and presentations of duo piano concerts. The Dranoff promotes awareness in a new generation of students of the transformational power of music and
the arts through its multi-disciplinary, educational, and inspirational concert program, PIANO SLAM.

About the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Resilience Center
The Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center (Arsht-Rock) at the Atlantic Council builds individual and community resilience in the face of climate impacts. The Center is driven to action by the critical need to address the widespread and intensifying consequences of climate change and related risks — threatening our communities, natural ecosystems, economic development, and political stability. The Arsht-Rock pledges to reach one billion people around the world with resilience solutions to climate change by 2030. For more information visit

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Marcia Gomez