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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..

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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..

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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..

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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..

TransAtlantic Festival Creative Mix of Local, International Stars

Photo: Symbi Roots
Written by: Tracy Fields
Article Rating

This year’s TransAtlantic Festival features local dance music stars, a Malian guitarist known as “the Hendrix of the Sahara,” and something unique: a Haitian rara band comprised entirely of women.

Lauded last year by Miami New Times as Best Festival, the two-day event presented by the Rhythm Foundation offers vendors and activities around the North Beach Bandshell in addition to much-anticipated music from the nations of the Atlantic Basin.

This year’s festival opens Friday with homegrown sounds. “The Made in Miami night is a first,” said Rhythm Foundation director Laura Quinlan. Performers include A.C.H.E. -- the Afro Cuban House Experiment, featuring DJ Oscar G, Oba Frank Lords and Katiahshe.

Oscar G is cofounder of the dance music label Murk Records. According to Beatport, Lords was introduced to percussion as a 10-year-old by a neighborhood Santero. With vocalist/priestess Katiahshe, the group taps into ache – a Yoruba concept that may be understood as a divine force existing in everything.

“I heard the A.C.H.E. on the radio a few months ago, a live broadcast of their first show, and it blew me away,” said Quinlan. “Of course DJ Oscar G is a big part of the story of music in Miami, as is Oba. It has also been very special to connect with Katiahshe, their singer -- she has a great energy.

“They come from the Murk Records family, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, total innovators of Miami’s creative house music scene.”

Also appearing Friday will be the Afro-Cuban rumba group Los Herederos - founded by percussionist and vocalist Philbert Armenteros -- and Lazaro Casanova, a fixture on the dance music scene who works with Oscar G.

The festival reached across the water for Saturday’s acts. Quinlan said organizers had a wish list for this year’s performers and one name on it was Sinkane.

The group’s leader, born Ahmed Gallab in London of Sudanese descent, lived with his family in Utah for a time; he now resides in Brooklyn. Among his credits is the Atomic Bomb Supergroup, which included David Byrne, Damon Albarn, and jazz legend Charles Lloyd, among others.

Also performing on Saturday is Vieux Farka Touré, who followed in the footsteps of his late father, the Grammy-winning Malian guitarist Ali Farka Touré.

According to Vieux’s website, the two come from a tribe of soldiers. Recalling his struggles with tradition, Ali did not welcome Vieux’s desire to become a musician, but ultimately gave his blessing shortly before his death in 2006. Vieux’s latest album, “Samba,” was released earlier this month.

Saturday’s third act was supposed to have performed at a Big Night in Little Haiti event last fall, but Hurricane Matthew prevented timely processing of visas for the women of Symbi Roots. They play rara, a genre associated with street festivals in Haiti and performed almost exclusively by men.

“I am so proud to be able to present their U.S. debut!” Quinlan said. “Also, the festival comes just after Easter week, and rara is a Lenten tradition, so it really fits with this time of year.”

This is the 15th edition of the TransAtlantic Festival. “The festival began in 2003 as a way to bring young people and club-goers into the cultural programming that Rhythm Foundation does,” Quinlan said. “It has been a great way for us to stay fresh, keep the circle open to new music, new collaborations.”

The TransAtlantic Festival Friday and Saturday, starting at 6: p.m., at the North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets $15 per night or $25 for a two-day pass, available by phone, 305- 672-5202, or  http://TransAtlanticFestival. com.

    
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About The writer

Tracy Fields is a reporter, writer and host of Evenin' Jazz

A member of the South Florida media for more than two decades, Tracy Fields has been a reporter/editor for The Associated Press and a freelance wordsm..

About the Writer

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