Arcade Fire beat out Eminem, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Lady Antebellum for Album of the Year at the 2011 Grammys. With each new album, the band tours the world, playing venues like Madison Square Garden. But on Thursday, Oct. 24, Arcade Fire, one of the biggest bands in the world, performed as “The Reflektors” at a community center in Little Haiti. Read the rest of this entry »
On this week’s podcast, we take a sonic journey through the weekend-that-was in Miami, with the spinning spokes of La Noche Criterium (March 17), the mournful melody of Big Night in Little Haiti (March 18), and the sublime strings of the New World Symphony’s Mendelssohn mini-concert (March 19). For those of you who noticed and, bless your hearts, lamented that we did not post a podcast last Thursday, we are planning to do them every two weeks from now on to give us more time to do the job right.
Make sure to subscribe to our podcast RSS feed to get a free mp3 download beamed your way every other Thursday morning. If you have any suggestions — a person to interview, an event to forecast, a worthy reupholsterer to send Michael Tilson Thomas’s way — please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can’t say I had high expectations for the first Big Night in Little Haiti, a(nother) Knight-funded culture infusion produced by the Rhythm Foundation that I decided to go to last second and would have jilted for any this-or-that that presented itself. Set at the Little Haiti Cultural Center, billed as a bridge between a “beleaguered” neighborhood and Greater Miami, this thing had orchestrated fun (i.e., not fun) written all over it.
Turns out, it was the shit.
Pokito & Jean P Jam opened things up with a set of world beat music. (I don’t know what “world beat music” means, but that’s what Pokito calls it.) That was solid. But things really got good when a small woman in all white and a knotted headdress sang plaintively into the breezy dusk for an hour straight as dancers acted out a ritual I’m powerless to interpret or describe other than to say it involved draping a stricken child with a Haitian flag, fire eating (not to be confused with its less mind boggling cousin-feat, fire breathing), and a Lazarus-like raising of the dead of said stricken child, who I believe symbolized Haiti herself.
In a word, Vodou.
Eventually, a very full band — horns, percussion, bass, a guitarist named Buffalo, three torch-bearing backup singers — took the stage led by keyboardist and dreaded dynamo Rara Kuyu, who, at about five-foot-flat, successfully put the “Big” in “Big Night” with an hour of Caribbean-Afro fusion.
Perhaps too big. Big Night in Little Haiti is scheduled for every third Friday of the month, and it is hard to see how the next go-round will top the first. But after last night, I wouldn’t put it past La Petite Haïti.
Here are some photos from the event.