Of all the horrific images in the Hurricane Katrina footage, the shots of bewildered and suffering children has produced the biggest throat lumps. And as New Orleans recovers and rebuilds and we move down the list of what has been (temporarily) lost, we get to jazz, one of the main genres of a city celebrated for its abundance of cool music. Here in Miami, these two elements -- children and jazz -- are coming together in a way that takes on added significance when we consider the current state of hurricane victims. The interactive Story of Jazz will not only be a blast for the young set but will also serve as a poignant reminder of how precious the little ones are and how much fun jazz can be. Venerable guitarist Simon Salz is joined by six musicians for what he calls "a historical journey of jazz" at 3:00 p.m. at Gusman Concert Hall at the University of Miami (1314 Miller Rd., Coral Gables). Youngsters will be encouraged to march, clap, and scat along to renditions of a New Orleans street parade and sounds inspired by the Mississippi riverboat lifestyle, among other jazz offerings. Tickets are $10 for children, $12 for adults. Call 305-271-7150. --Greg Baker
Thespians rally for survivors
Americans were shocked and appalled by the images of the destruction Hurricane Katrina inflicted on New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. True humanity and compassion are being witnessed as citizens donate money, goods, and services to the victims. Artists around the country have also been contributing by donating their time and organizing benefit performances. Local thespian Rafael de Acha -- executive artistic director of the New Theatre -- and his crew from the New Theatre Acting Company are doing their part by staging a show tonight to help victims of Katrina. The program will feature a montage of scenes from several different plays, including Shakespeare's As You Like It, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and Othello, as well as Nilo Cruz's Anna in the Tropics. Admission is a minimum suggested tax-deductible contribution of $50. The curtain rises at 8:00 at the New Theatre, 4120 Laguna St., Coral Gables. Call 305-443-5909, or visit www.new-theatre.org. --Ilona Solomon
Do You Need More Folk Music?
Deidre McCalla's strums will satisfy
The lyrics of Deidre McCalla's "If God Only Knew" find the soulful folk crooner preaching a cryptic gospel: "From crusades to jihads/We wage holy wars/And when God finds out/She is gonna be sore." Her latest album, Playing for Keeps, is full of lovely, lilting melodies and clever lyrics. Her Website identifies McCalla as an African-American lesbian feminist, but her songs don't dwell on politics and sexuality. Songs like "Mama Loves Me" and "Happy to Be on the Planet" celebrate love, unity, and life's wondrous, simple pleasures. Enjoy the music of this dreadlocked troubadour tonight at 8:00 at the Main Street Café, 128 N. Krome Ave., Homestead. Admission is $12. Call 305-245-7575, or visit www.mainstreetcafe.net. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
No,Walt Won't Be There
Whether you prefer the sensitivity of Jiminy Cricket or the silliness of Timon and Pumbaa, all of your favorite characters will be pulling out the spins and salchows when Disney on Ice presents "Walt Disney's 100 Years of Magic" tonight at 7:30 at the American Airlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Mickey, Minnie, and the rest of the gang will be in town through Sunday, October 2. Tickets range from $15 to $46. Call 305-358-5885, or visit www.disneyonice.com. -- Lyssa Oberkreser