Meet classical guitarist, composer, and instructor Alberto Puerto

Alberto Puerto

📸: Photo by Miri Paez Bolet  

¡Hola, Alberto! Let’s start with the basics: Who are you? What do you do?

I’m the founder of Alberto Puerto Music and AP Guitar School. As a performing artist and composer, I partner with local artists to create new works of classical and guitar music, provide guitar lessons to the next generation of musicians and aficionados, and organize musical events.

How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?

The interaction with artists of other nationalities who have different training and come from other points of view continually renovates the language of my art.

Wax poetic for a minute and tell us: what brings you most alive about this city?

Miami has become a series of “Miamis.” There are many Miamis to enjoy, many “pockets” of this young city, each with their own energies. Their sum total emerges at large scale, causing a state of constant creative flux. The need to adapt to this makes Miami one of the most vibrant places for emerging artists and new arts.

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

As a new immigrant artist playing at Miami Art Week during the events surrounding Art Basel, the impact of seeing so many thousands of people sharing in art was nothing less than inspirational. This was before the pandemic, and I was overwhelmed to see so many people enjoying the arts together, visiting fairs, galleries, and museums — it was powerful and motivating to see so many thousands in cultural dialogue with each other.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

I would put myself in the film “Ratatouille” again and eat the Filet Mignon at Pascal’s on Ponce. At Pascal’s, you can find elaborate and powerful cuisine, but in an aesthetic and homey restaurant.

Outside of the obvious stop above, share your other top three destinations for where you’d go on your perfect Miami day.

I would start the day at the Arsht Center for a morning concert with fab acoustics, then head over to Books & Books Gables for the outdoor cafe and to enjoy Raul’s hospitality and neighborhood chatter, and I would wrap up the evening with a coffee or wine and some jazz at The Globe.

What’s a project you’re working on and how can our readers help you with it?

I am in the process of recording my second album, a Latin American songbook, where I am moving popular Latin American songs to the classical and jazz space. In the spirit of celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, readers can help by donating via this link.

What’s an unpopular opinion you have about the city?

I grew up hearing that Miami was a “cemetery” of the arts. I have to confess that I was even somewhat afraid to move here. But my experience has shown me different. In fact, since I have come to Miami, I’ve been welcomed, and I’ve lived from my art from the first moment that I became part of this community in 2017.

What’s your favorite local social media account (Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or etc.) to follow and why?

I follow Sanctuary of the Arts on Instagram. I like the fact that they are an artist-led institution, which was greatly needed in the Coral Gables “pocket” of Miami.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

I would ask locals to attend live concerts. I think it’s a very different situation when you hear music live, and in a specialized space that also has the correct audio for music. There is nothing like experiencing all of the impact that sound can truly offer in person.

What are you looking forward to this year?

Publishing the album and playing it live! My first album was launched online, and admittedly I really missed the interaction with an appreciative audience.

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know, sponsored by Alberto Puerto Music. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2022.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.