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Pearl Cleage’s play “Flyin’ West,” an M Ensemble production currently on stage at the beautiful new performing arts center in Liberty City, the Sandrell Rivers Theatre, is set in humble Nicodemus, Kansas, the only remaining western town established by African Americans during the reconstruction period following the Civil War. Set in 1898, the play focuses on the lives of Sophie (Brandiss ..

Esteban, (http://estebanlapelicula.com/en/) the debut of Cuban director Jonal Cosculluela being premiered at The Miami Light Project tells the story of a 9 year old, living in Havana with his mother, who’s raising him as a single parent, and his perseverance following his dream of becoming a musician. The challenges seem overwhelming. Esteban and his mother struggle to make ends meet (htt..

Desperate times call for desperate measures. For some, that might mean taking a second or third job. Or robbing a bank. Or moving in with family. For Casey, a straight lip-syncing Elvis impersonator in a Panama City bar, desperation means forsaking the King’s rhinestone-studded jumpsuit for leg hair-hiding pantyhose, fake boobs and big-hair wigs, the better to sell himself as a fa..

Writing about “Broken Snow,” the Ben Andron thriller now getting its world premiere at the J’s Cultural Arts Theatre (JCAT) in North Miami Beach, is a proposition almost as tricky as the play itself. The intricately structured 90-minute drama is loaded with surprises, twists and turns, all revealed at precisely the right moment so that the play builds to its shattering conclusion..

As this steamy spring melts into a sweltering summer, Actors’ Playhouse is inviting theater lovers to a wedding – a big, fat Jewish-WASP wedding, otherwise known as the Broadway musical “It Shoulda Been You.” Though the show seemingly takes place in the present, the piece by book writer-lyricist Brian Hargrove and composer Barbara Anselmi is an old-fashioned, stereotype-filled throwba..

'Death & Harry Houdini' Makes Another Magical Moment at ArshtDennis Watkins knows how to make an entrance. In the House Theatre of Chicago’s “Death & Harry Houdini,” now back at the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater five years after it first wowed Miami audiences, Watkins arrives onstage with the help of theater technology unknown in Houdini’s day. Dangling upside dow..

Director Carlos Lechuga’s masterful unspooling of time in his second feature film “Santa y Ándres” constructs a uniquely Cuban mix of tedium and despair, resulting in an emotionally intense experience that sneaks up on the viewer in plain sight. The film opens with the stillness of a landscape painting: the eastern Cuban countryside of 1983 – rugged, lush, and verdant. The statuesque..

Memory – deep-seated, fragile, slippery, mutable – is at the heart of Jordan Harrison’s “Marjorie Prime.” A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2015, the play is a family tragicomedy given a sci-fi makeover; in other words, this thought-provoking theater piece charts its own, fresh path. Now getting its South Florida premiere as the second professional production from the Main Street Players, ..

The stage is a fixed space. It is the axis around which story, conflict, and character revolve. When that fixed space shifts, new possibilities emerge. Starting Wednesday, April 23, a shifting site for theater emerges at Deering Estate, a 444-acre environmental, archeological, and historical preserve along the edge of Biscayne Bay in Palmetto Bay. Four local playwrights have collaborated ..

Nearly two years ago, Miami’s Zoetic Stage took its first trip into the world of Harold Pinter with an intense, superbly acted production of the Nobel laureate’s 1978 hit “Betrayal” in the Arsht Center’s Carnival Studio Theater. Now Zoetic is delving further back into the Pinter canon with a riveting production of “The Caretaker.” This 1960 work is, like “Betrayal,” a three-character ..

With a heightened emphasis on “Noise” as an innovative musical genre, this sixth installment of the Miami Performance Festival International (M/P’17), running June 23 to 25, challenges South..

After 17 years as a principal dancer with the esteemed San Francisco Ballet, dancing every major role and style possible, Lorena Feijoo is retiring from that company to embark on a new journe..

Miami choreographer Marissa Alma Nick is a storyteller. Her company Alma Dance Theater brings a particularly female inner world to the stage, through lush and sensual choreography. Nick’s..

Pools are ubiquitous in Miami. They dot the landscape like Jackson Pollock drip paintings. Residents swim or idle the hours away by or in the pool – and dancers of Momentum Dance Company also perf..

May’s “Mujeres” series of strong, multi-faceted, women-focused productions, commissioned for Miami Theater Center’s SandBox space, concludes with Spanish-born dancer-choreographer Carlota Pr..

One could say that Bistoury’s 305 & Havana International Improv Fest, which debuts this Saturday at Miami Theater Center, has been in the works for almost 20 years. In 1999 Cuban-born cho..

The process of creating “Shade,” choreographer Augusto Soledade’s latest full-length work, has been one of remembering and reconfiguring memory to discover new ways of talking about identity ..

Upcoming this week, Tigertail presents choreographer Myriam Gourfink and musician Kasper Toeplitz. Hailing from France, the two will be present for a 3-day residency at Subtropics’ South Beac..

From her home base at 6th Street Dance Studio in Little Havana, longtime Miami dance figure Brigid Baker has been slowly crafting a new performance piece. It’s not conceptual or political like con..

Of Jazz, Biking Tours, and Poetry

Photo: Photo credit: Kelly Jensen
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In the fall of 2014, Jazz composer Taylor Ho Bynum spent five weeks biking from Vancouver to Tijuana, with concerts stops along the way in an effort to re-envision the process of creating and consuming music while reducing his own carbon footprint. Surrounded by breathtaking sunrises and colorful sunsets, he played his cornet to both audiences of stoic ancient red wood trees and raucous jazz fans.

MDC Live Arts brings him and his Acoustic Bicycle Tour to Miami for a series of concerts, discussions, and improvisations at locations across South Florida -- including five of Miami-Dade Colleges’ campuses. The weeklong residency will allow Bynum to create deeper relationships with the local community and artists that live here.

“When I did the West coast bike tour,” Bynum says, “I realized once it was over, that one of my few regrets was not having the chance to have a deeper engagement with any particular community, because I was always on the go. So while the journey aspect of it was incredible, I felt I hadn’t fully tapped into the potential of connecting with a community, and sort of generating discussion.

“What’s been fantastic about this program, is that its become a really in depth collaboration, and that’s one of the things I’m excited about.”

Kathryn Garcia, MDC Live Arts executive director, who was attracted to the flexible nature of the work and the opportunity to engage the community in many different ways, agrees: “We jumped on the chance when we heard about this project because we knew that it would be perfect, as it doesn’t require any particular venue -- he can do performances anywhere. This piece is all about alternate thinking -- alternate ways of listening to music, so that for us, was really exciting.”

In addition to residencies and pop-up improvisations along his bike route to each campus, Bynum will also perform with his long-time ensemble. the Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette at WDNA studios on Friday, April 10. On April 11, he will lead an Emerge Miami bike ride through Little Havana, culminating in a concert with his 7-tette and local musicians at MDC’s Koubek Center.

“The chance to not just come to a town, play a gig and leave, but to work with the local artists who are there is something I find really exciting,” Bynum explains. “I think it’s really important, because I think we are all guilty of looking to the visiting artist as the exciting ones, and I think all of us always take for granted the musicians that are in our own backyard. The same way there has been a sustainable and local food movement, the way people are aware of where their food has come from, and trying to eat locally, and source locally, or source sustainably, I think we have to think about that in our art consumption.”

Bynum’s time in Miami closes on Sunday, April 12, with a collaboration with O, Miami and Miami’s Peddling Poets in a 16-mile bike ride that begins and ends at New World Symphony’s Soundscape Park. “We are going to do a ride, visiting places that they each have written a site specific poem for, I’ll improvise. The experience of getting there becomes part of the poem.”

By reconfiguring the context in which his music is consumed, and through collaborative residencies like his bike tours, Bynum has found himself more in touch with the music he wants to create and the way he wants to create it. “You come up as a jazz musician with a certain set of expectations and definitions and contexts in which you perform. And then you get to a certain point: does the music that I make really fit into this limited definition of what jazz is in this culture? How can I expand that? And how can I expand the context in which I am being presented and performing? Ultimately, I feel like the smoky bar is not where I want to perform my music.

 “For me, it means I have a deeper relationship to the outdoors, or to just people I meet on the street…. This bike tour has been a real affirmation of the choices I’ve made in that direction.”

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette performs Friday, April 10 at 8:00 p.m. at WDNA Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the door or call 305-662-8889.

Emerge Miami Bike Ride led by Taylor Ho Bynum, routing through Little Havana with stops at Domino Park, Los Pinarenos Fruteria and more, ending at the Koubek Center a performance, Douglas Metrorail Station, intersection of Douglas Road (S.W. 37th Ave) and South Dixie Highway (US-1), Saturday, April 11, 10:00 a.m.; free.

Taylor Ho Bynum 7-tette in concert with some of Miami's leading new music performers, creating a 15-piece ensemble, at the Koubek Center Theater, 2705 S.W. 3rd St, Miami, Saturday, April 11, 12:30 p.m.; free.

Site-specific poetry and music with the Taylor Ho Bynum and the Peddling Poets, starting and ending at New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach, on Sunday, April 12, 3 p.m.; free.

 Performance by Taylor Ho Bynum and poetry by The Peddling Poets at O, Miami's Poetry in the Park celebration, New World Symphony’s SoundScape Park, 500 17th St., Miami Beach on Sunday, April 12,  6:15 p.m.; free.

 

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