And then there's economics. Laura Quinlan heads the Miami-based Rhythm Foundation, which specializes in bringing artists from around the world to town, including heavyweights such as Nigeria's Femi Kuti, Brazil's Tom Ze, and India's Ali Akbar Khan. For Quinlan many of these artists' star power works against a Miami appearance. A June concert with Brazil's Carlinhos Brown fell through for just this reason. "In Brazil these people are so big, they're used to artists' fees of $100,000, and they travel with an arena-style show and entourage," Quinlan says. "So when they come to America, they don't want to slum it. They want to bring 28 people with them, and they want $50,000. I had Carlinhos set for the Cameo, which holds 1300 people. You charge $20 a person, do the math. It doesn't work." Complicating matters further is the lack of a summer festival circuit, whose corporate sponsorship helps draw stellar international talent. "The summers here are too hot and it rains every day," says Quinlan with a laugh. "We just can't do the kind of outdoor festivals they do at the Central Park SummerStage in New York or the Hollywood Bowl out in Los Angeles." The news isn't all bad, though. The Rhythm Foundation presents Brazilian tropicalismo giant Caetano Veloso at the Jackie Gleason on July 17. "And," adds Quinlan, "I'm not giving up. Carlinhos will play here. Maybe not this summer, but he will play here."

-- Brett Sokol

Send your music news, local releases, and general gunk to Brett Sokol at 2800 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33137. Fax to 305-571-7678 or e-mail brett_sokol@miaminewtimes.com

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