The classic roots reggae lover doesn't find a lot of musical sustenance in Miami. All the great conscious dancehall headliners wind up playing these fabulous festivals up north and in California, which is surprising and disappointing, seeing as the Caribbean presence here helps to make Miami such a magical city. Apparently for local radio stations and concert promoters, it's all about the young cats: the Sean Pauls and Elephant Men who would much rather rile the audience into a jumping, waving frenzy than bliss them out with some cool-and-deadly skanking. Fret not, dreadlocks. The Caribbean Entertainment Group and Eight76 Records comes to the reggae rescue, with a Night of Serious Vibes to satisfy our souls.
Even if you're only a casual reggae fan, you've probably heard Barrington Levy's distinctive scat-yodel somewhere. The man behind "Murderer," "Under Mi Sensi," and "Too Experienced" also brings major Caribbean street cred to many of hip-hop's finest, as evidenced by his recent collaborations with Shyne, The Rascalz, and Snoop Dogg.
Half Pint's "Winsome" and "Loving" weren't only big hits for Pint (left) himself, but also for The Rolling Stones and Sublime, who covered them successfully. He's had megahits such as "Greetings," "Substitute Lover," and "Hold On." He's earned a reputation as a showstopper. This is the only South Florida stop on his summer tour.
Luciano is considered one of the prophets in the royal line of reggae's founding fathers, in the same conscious roots vein as late legends Bob Marley, Dennis Brown, and Garnett Silk. He ensures a spiritual experience with "Sweep Over My Soul," and "It's Me Again, Jah." His cover of Peter Tosh's "Legalize It" is a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.
The lineup includes Mikey General, Dean Fraser, Professor Nuts, and emerging Eight76 artists Fyah Blaze, Evette, and Meeky. Feel the vibes at 8:00 p.m. at the James L. Knight Center (400 SE 2nd Ave.). Tickets range from $25 to $54; get them at Rankin Records (164 NE 167th St., North Miami Beach), Aquarius Records (9487 SW 160th St.) or Sonia's Patties (10852 SW 104th St.). Call 305-468-9611. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Twenty-five years ago, Steve Martin appeared in drag from the neck up on his third album, which is tellingly titled Comedy Is Not Pretty. Many years later wild comedian Chris Farley seemingly took those words to heart, developing a memorable cast of characters such as high-strung motivational speaker Matt Foley, a supremely out-of-shape Chippendales dancer, and a very homely Gap salesgirl. Especially ugly was the obese funnyman's death from an overdose of opiates and cocaine seven years ago when he was just 33 years old. One heartening consequence of Farley's sad end was the establishment of the Chris Farley Foundation by his family. Its mission: prevent drug abuse by employing humor to educate kids, teens, and young adults about illegal substances' possible detrimental effects. Tonight at 8:00, six comedy improv troupes from all over the state, including Miami's own Laughing Gas (above) and Impromedy, will band together to make you giggle and help raise funds for the foundation during the third annual South Florida Improv Jam, taking place at the Roxy Performing Arts Center, 1645 SW 107th Ave. Admission is $12. Call 305-226-0030. -- Nina Korman
A stringless symphony
It's always the same. Violins and violas front and center of every symphony orchestra while the trumpets and bassoons are relegated to the edges, waiting patiently through pages of music for their chance to blow a few precious notes. Which is why the New World Symphony's Pre-Season Woodwind and Brass Ensembles Concert is such a prime opportunity to catch the symphony's young horn players showing off their talent devoid of all those strings. Conductor for the proceedings is A. David Krehbiel (right), former principal French horn man for 25 years with the San Francisco Symphony, leading a mix of classic and contemporary compositions. The repertoire runs from modernist Dmitri Shostakovich's Four Preludes to the Romantic aesthetic of Richard Strauss's Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare to Morten Lauridsen's contemporary classic O Magnum Mysterium. The concert begins at 8:00 p.m. at the Lincoln Theatre, 541 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Admission is free. Call 305-673-3331. --John Anderson
Trout Fishing in America -- the band not the sport -- kicks off this season's Sunday Afternoons of Music for Children series. This witty, folksy acoustic duo named itself after a 1967 novel by Richard Brautigan, who in the book notes that he always wanted to end a work with the word "mayonnaise." Brautigan delivered, and judging by its mountain of accolades, Trout Fishing in America promises to do the same. The six-foot nine-inch Ezra Idlet and five-foot five-inch Keith Grimwood have won several Parents Choice awards and three Indie awards, were nominated for a Grammy in 2002, and have performed live on PBS. They sing and play, and often get the audience clapping to a diverse folk sound. Preceding the concert is an ABC party (apple juice, balloons, and cookies) featuring Peter the Mime and a musical instrument petting zoo. Showtime is 3:00 p.m. at Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables. Tickets cost $8 for children; $10 for adults. Call 305-271-7150 or visit www.sundaymusicals.org. -- Alex Torres