Little Festival, Big Message

Indio, California, has Coachella; Chicago has Lollapalooza; Manchester, Tennessee, has Bonnaroo; and Washington has Sasquatch. All are good music and arts festivals, but the one thing holding them back from being great is frequency — they happen only once a year (two if you count Coachella’s identical lineup on consecutive weekends). In Miami, however, our city’s greatest fest takes place 12 times a year. Of course, we’re talking about New Times’ Best Festival 2012 winner, Big Night in Little Haiti. It goes down every third Friday of the month at the Little Haiti Cultural Center (212-260 NE 59th Ter., Miami), a free celebration of Haitian culture attended by a diverse cross section of folks — rich and poor, old and young, black and white. And each month, some of Haiti’s biggest names share their talent. This Friday at 6 p.m., legendary Haitian folk singer Manno Charlemagne will take the stage and echo the voice of his country’s social conscience. As he’s done throughout his career, Charlemagne will perform songs about the plight of his native home, juxtaposing sharp lyrics over sweet melodies and subsequently inspiring his people to speak out against governmental oppression and corruption.
Fri., July 20, 6 p.m., 2012


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