This Week's Night & Day Picks

THU 15Garnering comparisons with keyboard giants Thelonious Monk, Oscar Peterson, and Bud Powell isn't half bad for jazz pianist Cyrus Chestnut. Of course you might expect he's pretty good, as he's been banging on the keys since the age of five and later graduated to sharing the stage with impressive jazzsters such as vocalists Betty Carter and Jon Hendricks. Chestnut brings his trio to town for two shows: one tonight at 8:00 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables) for its Summer Concert Series, and another Friday at 8:00 at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium (5400 NW 22nd Ave.). Expect a mix of tunes with a slight gospel tinge. Tickets cost $25 at the church. The concert at the Caleb, an outreach event for the residents of the neighborhood, is free. Call 305-448-7421, ext. 33.

FRI 16Everyone's ogled himself momentarily in the mirror and thought, "Hey, you look gooood!" Few of us have caught our glimpse in a reflective surface and been so taken with our beauty that, inconsolable, we die of sorrow staring at the sight of our fabulous face. That's the Greek myth of Narcissus, the proverbial hottie. In the 1960s photographer James Bidgood spent more than seven years capturing a series of dreamy sequences starring his favorite male model. The surreal, experimental result was called Pink Narcissus and for years Bidgood denied he was the creator of what he considered an incomplete piece. Guess he had to kill the model at the end in order to attain closure? Whichever way the influential film ends, you can see it tonight at 8:30 at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, 512 Española Way. Admission is eight dollars. Call 305-673-4567.

SAT 17School's out for summer. But school's not out forever. To the heartbreak of many a child playing in a pool or sprinkler, the next year is right around the corner. Back-to-school is always a tough time for poor families. It's a time when students need costly new supplies such as backpacks, notebooks, and other stuff. To help a bright mind get a good start, the Children's Home Society is sponsoring an Empty Hangers drive, where, for a donation of ten dollars, you can help a child get new school clothes. You can also drop off brand-new backpacks and school supplies. The drive starts at 10:00 a.m. and runs through Sunday, July 25. Hangers and drop-off boxes are located at the Concierge Centers located near Burdines-Macy's and Bloomingdales at Aventura Mall, 19501 Biscayne Blvd. Call 305-663-3543.

SUN 18Your parents will kill you, but you gotta do it. Just keep in mind that the family Hummer and Land Rover were meant to get dirty. SUVs were not meant to be pampered status symbols, garaged during rainstorms or spit-shined before the drive to the mall on weekends. Borrow the car keys from Dad and see what that Hummer was designed to do. At the Palmetto Purgatory Rallycross, there will be a chunky, badass off-road course that will challenge the foofy family SUV to its limits. The dirt rally will feature twelve different categories, from tricked-out rally cars to putt-putt sedans. The gates open at 7:00 a.m. at Hialeah Speedway, 3300 Okeechobee Rd. Registration for the rally costs $40, but spectators pay a mere five dollars. Call 954-673-6851.

MON 19Eat to stop hunger. Eat a lot. Eat the food made by 50 different chefs across the county. Drink too. Seems to be something wrong with those images unless you're the Daily Bread Food Bank, Camillus House, and People Acting for Community Together. Those local agencies will be the beneficiaries of 100 percent of ticket sales from the Share Our Strength Taste of the Nation Fundraiser, going on from 7:00 to 9:30 tonight at the Fairmont Turnberry Isle Resort and Club (19999 W. Country Club Dr., Aventura). Share Our Strength is a national anti-hunger organization holding similar benefits in more than 65 cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. Daily Bread provides food to more than 1200 nonprofit agencies across South Florida. So don't feel guilty: As you're stuffing your face to help others, thousands of folks will be doing exactly the same thing. Cheers! Tickets cost $75; $150 gets you into a pre-event VIP Dom Perignon reception. Call 305-699-9861, ext 223.0

TUE 20Sure, you sound great belting out a Broadway ditty or a Barenaked Ladies tune all by yourself in the shower. Just you, the hot water, the glycerin soap, the resonant baby pink wall tile from the 1960s, and it is vocal magic. But how would you fare singing with a bunch of gals who can do four-part harmony? Do you think you could cut it? Find out beginning tonight and every Tuesday thereafter when the Goldcoast Sweet Adelines Chorus of South Florida holds an audition/ membership drive for some new golden throats to add to its roster. Raise your voice at 7:30 at Saint Basil's Catholic Church, 1475 NE 199th St. Admission is free. Call 800-307-7464.0

WED 21Who could forget the incredible power and energy of Cuban vocalist Celia Cruz? It's hard to imagine that just a year ago thousands of folks lined up outside the Freedom Tower to bid a final farewell to the queen of salsa. Tonight journalist Ana Christina Reymundo presents her new book Celia: My Life, a biographical look at Cruz compiled from more than 500 hours of taped interviews made just months before her death. The book includes anecdotes and never-before-seen family photos. Scheduled to appear is Cruz's devoted husband, Pedro Knight, who also contributed to the book. The event starts at 7:00 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408.

 
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