Launched from New York nocturnal haunts such as Save the Robots, the Palladium, and the Limelight to mixmaster-extraordinaire status, DJ Këoki lands at Groove Jet (323 23rd St., Miami Beach) tonight at 11:00 to show off his beat-heavy and hauntingly sampled brand of electronica. He'll spin tunes and preview some cuts from his upcoming release Altered-Ego-Trip, a collection of tunes from his 1997 album Ego-Trip remixed by the likes of Uberzone, the Crystal Method, and AK1200, which is due out in mid-July. Joining Këoki, who is Maui-raised and nicknamed for a mysterious illegitimate son of a legendary Hawaiian king, will be Groove Jet resident DJs Luis Diaz and Carlos Menendez. Cover charge is fifteen dollars. Call 532-2002. (LB)
Like your movies short, independent, and free? Then get over to the Alliance Cinema (927 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) today and tomorrow for Independent Exposure Miami, a traveling collection of independent short films from around the world. A slew of underground auteurs has produced a variety of works, ranging from the utterly repellent to the ineffably gorgeous. The one thing they all have in common, which may be obvious from the sometimes ragged production values: a refusal to sell out to Hollywood. Heavily tattooed punk rock musician/spoken-word artist Henry Rollins blathering on and on and on and a filthy animated clown viciously squashing lizards with a hammer are just some of the lovely images that await you and that may have you wishing you went to see the Hollywood mega-budget blockbuster Godzilla instead. So what if it got crummy reviews, at least they use more sophisticated machinery than a hammer to destroy the fire-breathing atomic lizard. Showtime is midnight. Admission is free. Call 531-8504.(NK)
If music from, say, Aram Khachaturian and Arno Babajanian strikes you as exotic, you're probably not alone. But for classical pianist Nora Ayvazian, the Armenian composers are as close to home as Sinatra or the Beatles. That's because her parents, both Armenian and both pianists, played the stuff while she was growing up. Now Nora, who has studied the instrument since age four, carries on the mission of exposing audiences to Armenian music tonight at 7:00 when she presents the Armenian Experience. Part of the Performing Arts Network's In-Studio Performance Series, the recital includes audience participation and a question-and-answer session. On the bill: Khachaturian's expressive, folk-inspired Toccata and Babajanian's Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor, a dark, dissonant modern number. Ayvazian also throws in bits from a few non-Armenians: Polish Frederic Chopin and Hungarian Franz Liszt, for example; and from Argentine composer Alberto Ginastera a Latin-flavored piece, chosen especially for this Miami audience. The PAN Studios are located at 555 Seventeenth St., Miami Beach. Tickets range from eight to twelve dollars. Call 672-0552. (AD)
Rave fans will be happier than usual when Prodigy and DJ Josh Wink put on what is guaranteed to be a trippy show tonight at Bayfront Park Amphitheater. See "Music," page 81, for details. (NK)
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Forty years ago Brazilian musician Joao Gilberto (along with Antonio Carlos Jobim and Vinicius Moraes) released the record Chega de Saudade and set off a musical craze known as bossa nova. Meaning literally the "new beat," the soothing, sensual sound was a distinct departure from the traditional samba, and soon it swept through Brazil. In 1959 Gilberto's wife at the time, Astrud, lent her breathy, halting voice to "The Girl from Ipanema," a touchstone of the bossa nova movement and probably the most recognized Brazilian song ever. By the Sixties musicians the world over were incorporating the style into their work. Jazz saxophonist Stan Getz's 1963 album Getz and Gilberto stayed on the charts for 96 weeks and garnered nine Grammy nominations, winning Album and Record of the Year. Driven into exile during the Sixties and Seventies, Gilberto has earned a reputation as a something of a recluse. Catch him in a rare appearance tonight at 8:00 at the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts, 1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $27.50 to $75. Call 673-7300. (NK)
What better way to spend a sweltering summer day -- or night-- than sitting around the house listening to music? Okay, so Villa Vizcaya is not really your ordinary house. And musicians from the Florida Philharmonic are not exactly Pearl Jam. But classical music can be cool, especially when it's played in the air-conditioned comfort of a stately historic home. Tonight at 6:30 the first in a series of five shows called Summer Music at Vizcaya commences. The Dalbergi Trio -- clarinetist Richard Hancock, cellist Susan Moyer, and pianist Jose Lopez -- will perform works by Beethoven and Ries. But don't be fooled by the name: The series is not just about music. Future presentations feature a lecture and demonstration about flamenco dancing. The action takes place at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 3251 S. Miami Ave. Admission is $15 per concert or $50 for the entire series. Seating is limited; call 858-0125 to reserve tickets. (NK)
Growing up in Cleveland, funnyman John Henton never entertained the idea of a career in comedy. It was encouragement from co-workers to tackle a local laugh bar that led to a break on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and, eventually, Henton's own Showtime television special. Soon after that Henton landed a spot on the Fox series Living Single, starring Queen Latifah and Kim Fields Freeman. Henton played Overton Jones for five seasons, and when the series ended last year, returned to stand-up. He comes to the Improv Comedy Club and Cafe (3399 Virginia St., Coconut Grove) tonight and tomorrow at 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Tickets cost $20. Call 441-8200. (AD)
While some may think serious art is meant to hang in museums or decorate the walls of chichi galleries, the enlightened people behind Miami-Dade Art in Public Places would have to disagree. In their minds, art should be for everyone, a force to enrich, stimulate, and just make life a bit more bearable. Founded in 1973, Miami-Dade Art in Public Places is a county agency that utilizes 1.5 percent of the construction costs of new county buildings to commission and purchase works in all media by contemporary artists. Artworks are then placed in public sites such as Miami International Airport and at Metromover stations. Over the past 25 years, close to 500 works have been generated through this process. Definitely something to commemorate. For the exhibition Collaboration: Celebrating 25 Years of Art in Public Places, the agency has gathered an array of drawings, proposal maquettes, material samples, and installation photographs that let the public in on the public art process and on the cooperation that takes place between artists, engineers, architects, and the county government. The exhibition runs through September 2 at the Miami-Dade Public Library, 101 W. Flagler St. Admission is free. Call 375-5632. (