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Actors’ Playhouse has been a musical powerhouse for much of its history. Launching its 30th anniversary season at the Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables, the company is revisiting some of that history with a new production of a made-for-South Florida favorite: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice’s “Evita.” As it did in 2000 when recent Tony Award winner Rachel Bay Jones starred as Eva Duart..

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks won the Pulitzer Prize for “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. But as Zoetic Stage’s superb new production of the play at Miami’s Arsht Center demonstrates, her funny, shocking tale of two brothers struggling to survive is as potent today as it was 15 years ago. Maybe more so, given the country’s deepening divide. Parks’ harrowing drama examines the complex relation..

We are born. We live, have families, grow old. We die, leaving those who loved us to mourn. Playwright Thornton Wilder brilliantly captured the eternal verities of our journey through life in “Our Town,” his 1938 Pulitzer Prize-winning play about life, love and death in a small New Hampshire town at the turn of the 20th century. If you’re at all drawn to theater, you’ve probably ..

“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

Artistic director and founder of Juggerknot Theatre Company, Tanya Bravo, had her first brush with immersive theater in New York City when she met director Tamilla Woodard. Working on the play “Broken City,” Bravo and other actors led audience members on a theatrical journey through the streets of the Lower East Side. “I was so blown away by the concept and the lines that were crossed between ..

We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

After a tryout run in Chicago, 34 previews and 746 performances on Broadway, and a tour launch in Buffalo, “On Your Feet!” has finally opened in the place where Cuban-born music superstars Gloria and Emilio Estefan made their dreams come true: Miami. At Friday’s red carpet opening at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, with the Estefans and their extended family in atte..

Whether the comedy is high or low, performer-writer Steve Martin has been making moviegoers, “Saturday Night Live” fans and theater lovers laugh for more than half a century – hard to believe it’s been that long, but he started early. Martin’s way with both cerebral jokes and physical comedy is abundantly on display in “The Underpants,” his 2002 adaptation of Carl Sternheim’s once-ban..

Robert Schenkkan’s “Building the Wall” begins as a wary conversation between two strangers: Rick, a white male convict awaiting a likely death sentence, and Gloria, a black female historian and college professor. For 90 minutes, the two talk. She probes; he explains and justifies and slowly paints a picture of a man-made Seventh Circle of Hell. By the time the play ends, the audience ..

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ award-winning play “An Octoroon” layers an antebellum melodrama with 21st-century parlance and perspective. The result is an innovative play-within-a-play that skillfully reminds us of slavery’s horrible past and its ever-present legacy. Area Stage Company’s production, thoughtfully directed by John Rodaz, brings together a talented cast to ensure this melodra..

Promising a night of airiness and ardor, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami will bring “Ballet’s Pointe of Passion” to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, where the company joins an att..

Great friendships can nurture and prod an artist to make greater work. Think Pablo Picasso and Wifredo Lam, James Baldwin and Toni Morrison, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Such is also the case fo..

It’s a tall order to present a season as surprising as it is moving, as disturbing as it is delightful. Miami-Dade College’s Live Arts 2017-2018 season -- Ojala/Inshallah: Wishes from the Mu..

It was only a few decades ago that finding a professional, locally produced performance was an aerobic dance in itself. But after the Miami City Ballet (established 1985), the New World Schoo..

A 50th anniversary calls for gold in celebration. But Balanchine’s “Jewels”­—a sublime marriage of music and choreography from 1967—brings Emeralds, Rubies,and Diamonds. Those pre..

When the Limon Dance Company returns to Miami-Dade this weekend, it brings with it the powerful vision of founder José Limon. He was a man deeply concerned about and connected to the humanity..

When Cardi B, with her trademark no-filter attitude, raps in her recent hit “Bodak Yellow” – Now I don’t got to dance/I make money move – she has something to sing about, with her smash hit N..

Despite a packed show schedule, including performing with the Frankfurt Opera in “Rinaldo,” Sarasota native, dancer and choreographer James McGinn had a chance to discuss the upcoming dance-opera ..

Anniversaries usually celebrate the success of a partnership with symbolic gifts of crystal, china, silver and gold. For the Arts Ballet Theater of Florida, the company celebrates 20 years of..

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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