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 »
Presented annually since 2003, the Rhythm Foundation’s TransAtlantic Festival is going big this year with four days of live modern world music. Starting Thursday with a performance by Miami’s own Psychic Mirrors at downtown venue Blackbird Ordinary and ending Sunday with a BBQ at Wynwood watering hole Gramps, the fest will feature performances at the North Beach Bandshell on Friday and Saturday by Argentine/Uruguayan electrotango collective Bajofondo, Bogota-based Bomba Estereo, the duo of Brazilian emcee Zuzuka Poderosa and San Francisco-based beatmaker Kush Arora, and Miami-based electro-indie-dance group Krisp (visit transatlanticfestival.com for full details).
To enter to win a pair of passes to both nights at the bandshell, simply shout PA’ BAILAR! on the Beached Miami Facebook page with a link to this post. We will announce the winner via Facebook on Wednesday afternoon. Until then, here’s Bajofondo to give you a sultry sense of the scene you can expect this weekend.
As expected, Paco de Lucia’s performance at the Fillmore Miami Beach Thursday night, organized by the Rhythm Foundation, was the epitome of passion, intensity, and musicality. Paco’s tour-de-force guitar playing set the stage for an incredible flamenco dance and vocal performance, complete with syncopated clapping, that brought the packed house to its feet for a standing ovation. Here are our photos from the concert.
The World Music connoisseurs at The Rhythm Foundation are kicking off their annual TransAtlantic Festival tonight with electro dub tango group Tango Conspiracy at Bardot. On Friday, the festival relocates to the North Beach Bandshell for a night of trip hop-cum-samba-jazz-soul by Sau Paulo singer Ceu and latintronica by Tiajuana-based Bostich + Fussible. Then, Saturday night at the bandshell, horn-heavy Afrobeat outfit Antibalas take the stage fresh off anchoring the Broadway production of Fela, which is based on the life story of the genre’s Badass in Chief, Fela Kuti. Antibalas have had other impressive gigs in their career, including opening for James Brown and Trey Anastasio.
Now, I don’t know what happens when you cross samba with trip hop, but after being blown away by the Rhythm Foundation’s inaugural Big Night in Little Haiti, I have a lot of faith in the local non-profit to put on a damn good show. But even if you still have your reservations, fear not! We have two free tickets to give away to the Antibalas show Saturday night, which will otherwise cost you $20 in advance or $25 at the door. All you have to do is scream ANTIBALAS! on our Facebook page to enter the contest. We will announce the winner of the two tickets tomorrow morning. In the meantime, you can check out a few Antibalas tracks on Last.fm.
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.