Best Of 2016

Best Brand-New Cultural Center: Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts

Best Brand-New Cultural Center

Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts

1905 Kentucky Ave., Winter Park,

They say if you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. So that's what musician Chris Cortez, painter Melody Cortez and composer Mark Piszczek decided to do — they wanted a venue with great sound for jazz, classical, big band and world music (and maybe theater and dance too, at some point), so they created one almost from scratch. In a cavernous 5,000-square-foot SoFa district warehouse – once upon a time, it was a piano repair facility – the trio put in loads of sweat equity to create an acoustically balanced performance space and recording studio within the original metal shell. Now fans of forward-looking music have a place to gather almost every night of the week.