Daniela Mercury: Brazil's reigning queen of "samba reggae," Daniela Mercury (no relation to Freddy) brings her sizzling brand of dance music to the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) for a 9:00 p.m show tonight. Those who recall last year's show at the Coconut Grove Convention Center can attest to Mercury's penchant for motivating butts out the seats and into the aisles. Her eleven-piece band goes heavy on the percussion, combining the rhythms of Carnaval, candomble, and samba to support Mercury's sultry vocal lines. The diva is on a nationwide tour in support of her fourth disc, Feijio com Arroz (Beans and Rice). Tickets run from $25 to $50. Call 358-5885 in Dade for more information, 954-523-3309 in Broward. (SA)
Martini Bash: The Historical Museum of Southern Florida hosts a martini bash to toast history (apparently all history, not just that of the Rat Pack's favorite cocktail) tonight at the National Hotel (1677 Collins Ave., Miami Beach). This shindig boasts jazz artist George Tandy, complimentary drinks, caviar, hors d'ouvres, and a Finlandia Vodka recipe contest. Tickets are $30 in advance for museum members, $35 for nonmembers, and $40 at the door. Proceeds benefit the museum. The tippling starts at 8:00 p.m. and is scheduled to run until 11:00 p.m., although you never know with those crazy history toasters. For information and tickets, call 375-1492. (JO)
Jamizon: To all you sports fans wondering what former hoops great Earvin "Magic" Johnson has been up to since retiring from the NBA (again), here's the answer -- Jamizon: the Urban Entertainment Extravaganza and Concert Festival! It's not just a concert, it's a multimedia, multilevel marketing opportunity intended to showcase -- and we quote -- "urban music, fashion, sports, and art." What does that mean? Uh, we're not sure exactly. But at the very least, there will be a performance by today's hottest urban music stars Keith Sweat, SWV, Kenny Lattimore, and Brownstone. Also included in the mix is an attraction called Q's Jook Joint that will feature food, drink, and performances by up-and-coming regional and national acts, comedians, and poets. Style Crib will host fashion exhibitions and Magic's Sport Center will display, well, lots and lots of Magic memorabilia. The whole shebang goes down tonight at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE Second Ave.). The festival starts at 4:00 and the concert at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are $23.75 and $27.50. For more information call 561-832-6397. (SA)
Great Florida Duck Race: Rub-a-dub-dub, ten thousand ducks in a tub. Not really -- they're actually in a river. Hosted by the American Cancer Society at Esplanade Park on the New River in Fort Lauderdale, it's definitely a sight to see thousands of rubber ducks "racing" toward the finish line. You can get your own duckie for five dollars at any of several locations in Broward County (First Union Bank branches being the easiest to find). In addition to contributing funds to find a cure for cancer, you'll get a chance to win airline tickets, passes to Disney World (take your winning rubber duck along and introduce him or her to Donald), and other prizes. Other festivities include music, face painting and clowns for the kids, and appearances by radio and television personalities. The fun begins at 11:00 a.m. and runs until 3:00 p.m.; the actual race is scheduled for 1:00 p.m. Call 954-564-0880 for more information about how to obtain your very own lean, mean, racing ma--, er, duck. (JO)
Dance Across America: Anybody else think this outdoor music festival thing is getting out of hand? And in the South Florida summer, no less! Well, if you've still got the energy to stand around in the hot sun for hours on end with hordes of other sweaty, stinky people (an amazing number of whom are not wearing shoes), have we got a concert for you. Power 96 (WPOW-FM 96.5) plays host to national acts La Bouche, Quad City DJs, Amber, Robin S., Crush, and Jocelyn Enriquez, in addition to a variety of local Latin acts today at Tamiami Park (11201 SW 24th St.). Of course, they'll also have the usual vendors and side "entertainment" offered at this sort of thing, although we can't see this crowd getting into the Genitorturers. The gates at the park open at 3:00 p.m.; tickets are $12.50 in advance, $15 at the door. Call 358-5885. (JO)
Emerald Dreams: Interesting how more women than men are keen on the art of belly dancing (most belly dancers are women), and yet men (if they are straight) are generally quite keen on belly dancers. The Mideastern Dance Exchange gives both genders something to wriggle about tonight at 8:00 p.m. at the Colony Theater (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) with an evening of Middle Eastern dance. Twenty-five artists perform Arabian as well as Tunisian, Persian, Moorish, and Egyptian folkloric dances in this lavish production, with works by choreographers Tamalyn Dallal, Fathe, and Virginia Mendez. Tickets cost $18. Call 538-1608. (GC)
Celebrating Drug-Free Living: A Day of Family Dialogue: Gov. Lawton Chiles and HBO have organized a day of activities aimed at encouraging a family dialogue on drugs. Planned activities include screenings of the HBO series Faces of Addiction; discussion groups on topics such as family communication, controlling anger, resolving conflicts, and recognizing the signs of drug use; panels on drugs and gangs; four anti-drug plays presented by youth groups; motivational speaker M.K. Durand Farley; and music performances. The event runs from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) and admission is free. Call 954-765-2000 for more information or directions. (JO)
Music in Film Series: We've all heard how dangerous it is to yell "Fire!" in a crowded movie house. Well, thanks to WDNA-FM (88.9), the Bill Cosford Cinema on the University of Miami campus in Coral Gables is going to be smokin' every Saturday night for the next four weeks as the station kicks off its Music in Film Series. Tonight WDNA will show documentaries devoted to legendary blues and jazz singer Alberta Hunter and sax legend Sonny Rollins. Alberta Hunter: My Castle's Rockin' begins at 8:00, with Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus slated for 9:30 p.m. Tickets cost ten dollars per evening (not per film), with a two-buck discount for WDNA members and students. (Children under twelve get in free.) This outlay should be considered a donation, as all profits will be used to help keep community radio alive in Dade County. Upcoming films include El Tango Is Also a History, and Machito: A Latin Jazz Legacy (August 2) and Art Blakey: The Jazz Messenger, and Thelonious Monk: Straight No Chaser (August 9). For more information or to reserve tickets in advance, call 662-8889. (SA)
Tom Sawyer: Having a hard time getting the kids to read some books this summer? Yeah, it was a lot easier to stick a book in front of a kid's face on rainy summer days before cable TV and Super NES. But Broward Community College's Children's Theatre Workshop can help. The Theatre Workshop presents Mark Twain's classic story about a daring young boy in the old American South, each Thursday and Friday at 7:00 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., through August 3 at the BCC Fine Arts Theatre (3501 S. Davie Rd., bldg 6, Davie). Just imagine, the kid'll love the play, read the book, get turned on to Twain, and become a literary wunderkind! It's better than the plot of a Hollywood summer blockbuster. Tickets cost three bucks. Call 954-475-6884. (GC)
Florida Marlins: Deion Sanders is overexposed. He is a blatant, shameless pitchman for Pepsi, Pizza Hut, and Nike. But hate him though you may, Sanders deserves the attention. The Dallas Cowboys cornerback is the best player in the National Football League. A good argument can be made that he's also the most exciting player in baseball. His electric baserunning has helped the otherwise woeful Cincinnati Reds stay in contention in the National League Central. "I'm the type of player that people are going to appreciate more when I'm gone," Sanders has said. Appreciate him now as the Reds challenge the Marlins. He's in his prime time. The Marlins meet the Reds in a three-day series tonight through Wednesday at 7:05 p.m. at Pro Player Stadium (2269 NW 199th St.). Call 930-7800. (RAP)
Ken Navarro: Contemporary jazz guitarist Ken Navarro worked as a session guitarist and composer in Los Angeles with everyone from Doc Severinsen to Nell Carter, John Pattitucci to Dave Koz, before establishing his own musical identity with his 1990 debut album The River Flows. Known for his emotional guitar solos and charismatic on-stage energy, Navarro has cut a niche for himself in the contemporary jazz world and has shared bills with the likes of Alex Benoit and David Bugnon. Tonight catch Navarro's strummings and goings at two shows, at 8:00 and 10:30 p.m., at O'Hara's Pub and Jazz Cafe (722 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). Navarro will perform selections from his new disc, Smooth Sensation. Tickets cost $12. Call 954-524-1764. (GC)
Ana Maria Mazzei: Caracas-based artist Ana Maria Mazzei made a splash with her work at the Sao Paolo Biennial in 1981 and 1994, when her work represented Venezuela in that international competition. More specifically, it revealed the most vulnerable aspects of her nation: Mazzei's work explores the humanity of the people of rural Venezuela and helped raise awareness of the endangered natural resources and indigenous peoples that make up and depend on a unique and fragile ecosystem. Mazzei presents her first U.S. solo exhibition at the Miami Art Museum (101 W. Flagler St.), a site-specific installation combining video, photography, sculpture, and mixed media, on view through September 28. Admission is five dollars. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. (open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday), and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Call 375-3000. (GC)
Florida Marlins: See Monday.
Fifty Years on the Mangrove Coast: Leading twentieth-century American photographer Walter Evans is best known for Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, his Depression-era photography series that documented the plight of sharecroppers in Hale County, Alabama, as well as for his Farm Security Administration work with Ben Shahn, Dorothea Lange, and Gordon Parks. But Evans also produced a lesser-known body of work, published in a 1942 book by Karl Bickel, The Mangrove Coast, that records the period between Florida's boom of the 1920s and the post-World War II 1940s. His black-and-white images of tourists, landscapes, architecture, and black life portray a Florida in transition. The Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.) presents Evans's works alongside the contemporary color works of Boston-based photographer Rodder Kingston in the exhibition "Fifty Years on the Mangrove Coast: The Photographs of Walker Evans and Rodder Kingston," on view through September 28. In 1990 Kingston came across a copy of Bickel's book and was inspired to photograph some of the same places Evans shot 50 years earlier. The exhibition offers an amazing study in contrasts. Admission is four dollars. Museum hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10:00 a.m to 5:00 p.m. (open until 9:00 p.m. on Thursday), and Sunday from noon to 5:00 p.m. Call 375-1492. (GC)
Florida Marlins: See Monday.
Ana Maria Mazzei: See Tuesday.