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Arts & Entertainment

  • Best Rock Vocalist (Female)

    Gigi DeNisco

    A South Florida native who rocks, singer/songwriter DeNisco has been playing guitar since childhood and performing professionally for thirteen years. Now living in Dania Beach, she's a regular on Miami-Dade stages. Riding the wake of her first CD, 1995's On My Way (which garnered two Billboard songwriting awards for the ditties "I Belong with You" and "Mystic Tune"), she's now… More >>
  • Best Rock Vocalist (Male)

    Gil Bitton (Endo)

    No other Miami frontman can carry you through a tune like Endo's Gil Bitton. First, understand the jet-fueled rock Endo belts out lands somewhere between Rage Against the Machine and Limp Bizkit. Second, realize Bitton puts everything he has into a performance, prowling the stage and gesticulating to each break-neck beat, delving deep into his diaphragm for a sound that… More >>
  • Best Venue For Live Music

    The Wallflower Gallery

    This welcoming second-floor rabbit warren of rooms located in the heart of downtown Miami was ahead of the pack in the area's renaissance. In fact it's still way ahead of everyone else. Opened in the late Nineties by David Haskin, the Wallflower was strictly art based at first, with the occasional cultural gathering. The art exhibitions -- sculpture,… More >>
  • Best Local Rock Band

    The Holy Rollin' Hellfires

    Forget everything you've heard about Lynyrd Skynyrd's snarling Floridian frontman dying in a fiery 1977 plane crash. He's alive and well, just as pissed off as ever about the sorely maligned Southern Man, and presently heading up local outfit the Holy Rollin' Hellfires. That Dixie-steeped flavor of old is still there, complete with stinging, barbed-wirelike guitar work and a country… More >>
  • Best Concert Series

    Barnacle Under Moonlight

    Music by the light of the moon -- an intoxicating combination. Certainly something that's gone on forever and a day. But on a regular basis in Miami? Apparently not. That is until 1995, when Barnacle State Historic Site park manager Terry Coulliette and friends dreamed up the idea for the Barnacle Under Moonlight concert series. The idea: Once… More >>
  • Best Latin Radio Program

    Invasión Latina

    The usual kudos go to perennial winner Fusión Latina at WDNA-FM (88.9), but for those whose tastes are not exclusively tropical, the University of Miami's Invasión Latina with Liliana Rodriguez is the only outlet in town for Latin alternative music. The vibe is very late-night-in-the-dormitory, with Liliana laying out groovy new tracks for her friends and whooping with joy as… More >>
  • Best New Rap Artist

    Lee Williams

    As hip-hop continues down its path toward world domination, cash registers ringing loudly all the way, it seems in increasing danger of calcifying. For more and more up-and-coming rappers, pursuing their art often appears simply to be a matter of choosing a role: Gangsta thug? Macked-out pimp? Or smooth balladeer? Pick your category, don its stereotypical wardrobe -- … More >>
  • Best Local Album Of The Past Twelve Months

    Pass Out

    There's an easy way to weed out the musical heavyweights from the merely mediocre. Regular songwriters craft works about love, loss, and universal experiences. Boring. True visionaries turn their attention to more pressing matters: their own trials in the spotlight. Witness the navel-gazing tunes of Van Morrison ("The Story of Them"), the Beatles ("The Ballad of John and Yoko"), and,… More >>
  • Best Dealer-Sponsored CD

    Con Alma y Vida

    Gaby Gabriel is best known as the long-time leader of the house orchestra at the Fontainebleau Hilton's Club Tropigala on Miami Beach. The exuberant Cuba-born singer/percussionist has developed a musical repertoire to match the diversity of his audiences, which range from Latin-American tourists to sunbirds and celebrities. But Gabriel hasn't done much recording. Until last year, when Miami's powerhouse car… More >>
  • Best Electronica Artist

    Phoenecia

    If ever an album title seemed appropriate, it's Ischemic Strokes, the moniker Phoenecia slapped on its most recent collection, which gathered up kindred souls recording for their own Schematic label and placed them alongside the duo's own skittering, frazzled creations. After all, an ischemic stroke -- a sudden, sharp cutoff of the blood supply to an internal organ… More >>
  • Best Local Solo Musician

    William "Max" Maxwell

    Drawing from a stock of blues standards, William "Max" Maxwell lends Miami Beach's Lincoln Road a touch of cultural credibility. Many the fashion-savvy beachcomber ignores this "old school" busker while he haunts the stretch between Lenox Avenue and Alton Road. Sitting on a milk crate and thumping away on his electric guitar, it seems Max only gets his fair share… More >>
  • Best Piano Man

    Mike Gerber

    Mike Gerber works the piano as if he had begun playing in the womb. Actually he took to the instrument when he was just two and a half years old. Nearly 50 years later, the keyboardist (blind since birth) never ceases to wow audiences when he attacks the ivories. After devoting his youth to performing classical music around his native… More >>
  • Best Local Latin Band

    Los Mora Arraiga

    Face it, this is a recording-company town. When bands sit down to play, they're more likely to be laying tracks for a CD or mugging for a television camera than working a late-night crowd. Live music is less likely to waft through smoke-filled rooms in Miami than it is to bounce off scorching pavement at festivals designed for labels to… More >>
  • Best Band To Break Up, Recombine, And Multiply In The Past Twelve Months

    Grupo Nostalgia

    Get ready for a little Cuban chemistry with Grupo Nostalgia. The Latin jam ensemble that won New Times's award for Best Latin Band in 1996 and 1998 has completely transformed itself. The nucleus remains bassist and band director Omar Hernandez. Circling around him for the past few years have been conguero Eduardo Rodriguez, guitarist and singer-songwriter Heriberto Rey, and dazzling… More >>
  • Best Musical Marathon

    The Last Damn Parade: Jeff's Parade of Stars 3, December 30, 1999

    One by one 50 musical acts -- that's right, more than 4 dozen -- alighted Tobacco Road's upstairs stage from 9:30 p.m. until past 3:30 a.m. for this starry-eyed, six-hour extravaganza. The show's loving creator was Jeff Rollason, musical son of former Miami City Manager Frank Rollason. Once known as the Space Cowboy, Rollason shines on… More >>
  • Best Jazz Radio Program

    The Modern School of Modern Jazz and More

    Musicians around town often complain that Miami's reputation as little more than an international playground makes it difficult for them to play styles that depart from the tourist-oriented mainstream. It's certainly true in the local jazz scene, a genre that has a tough time, commercially speaking, almost anywhere in America. All of which makes Steve Malagodi's long-running The Modern School… More >>
  • Best Reggae Radio Program

    Sounds of the Caribbean

    With WDNA-FM's Steve Radzi laying his Reggae Beat to rest after nearly twenty years, the Caribbean radio crown safely belongs to Clint O'Neil, who has provided the tropical soundtrack of choice for night owls since 1979. Aside from those gravel-voiced Bob Marley-show IDs (recorded back in the late Seventies, when Marley frequently dropped by the studio for some hangtime with… More >>
  • Best Latin Singer

    Delia Diaz de Villegas

    Delia's arrival in Miami one year ago is the stuff of fairy tales. Once upon a time on a tropical island, there was a lovely young woman with a voice like a precious instrument. She sang so beautifully that in 1991 she won the prestigious OTI prize for Latin music, awarded by Ibero-American Television. But the island's evil dictator did… More >>
  • Best Local Rap Album

    Book of Thugs: Chapter AK, Verse 47

    After watching Trick Daddy's last album, www.thug.com, go gold, and seeing his leering mug plastered all over MTV, the Box, and BET, it's safe to say Miami's hip-hop scene has definitely found life after Luke. Not that Trick Daddy himself sounds too happy about his newfound fame and fortune: On his most recent release, Book of Thugs, when he's not… More >>
  • Best Underground Rock Impresario

    birdman

    Among the warehouses just west of Biscayne Boulevard and north of the Design District lives birdman (a.k.a. Sean Gould). Since graduating in 1987 from Clemson University with an English degree, the six-foot-four blond-haired Gould has been honing the art of what he calls "urban pioneering." What this amounts to: moving into a blighted or barren city landscape and launching a… More >>
  • Best Percussionist

    Claudio Silva

    In a city of conga players, bell clangers, and maracas shakers, Brazilian percussionist Claudio Silva stands apart. The largest country in Latin America, Brazil also boasts the greatest number of percussion instruments, from the Amazonian rattle to the booming surdo of the samba schools. Silva dominates them all. The versatile musician got his start at the age of twelve, playing… More >>
  • Best Noise Band

    Laundry Room Squelchers

    Once again Rat Bastard's cacophonous collective Laundry Room Squelchers are tops in Miami noise. Not that there aren't other noise artists doing notable things, such as Monotract, which performed to a packed house with Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore at the Knitting Factory in New York City. But no one wants to destroy rock and roll more than Rat Bastard and… More >>
  • Best Haitian Band

    Papaloko and Loray Mistik

    Since 1989 the "mystic thunder" of Loray Mistik has boomed all over town. Led by Papaloko (Jude Thegenus), the self-crowned king of vodou pop, this ten-piece band mixes traditional vodou rhythms with West African percussion, rock and roll, blues, and hip-hop. A painter, political commentator, and cultural promoter as well as band leader, Thegenus instituted the full-moon drumming circle on… More >>
  • Best Local Pop Band

    Dharma Bomb

    Principal singer/songwriter Todd Thompson and his bandmates guitarist Sean Edelson, drummer Ari Schantz, and bassist Brad Berman maintain a busy schedule performing their insightful tunes, an array of pleasant rock melodies combined with deft lyric writing. A favorite among South Florida's live-music fans, the foursome emerged victorious against several other local groups in the Lucky Strike Band-to-Band Combat competition recently… More >>
  • Best Band Name

    Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice

    It was 1997 and the lawn around the cosmic house of rock was shaggy and rife with worn-out musical monikers. But bassist and songwriter Chris DeAngelis (formerly of The No, Raw B. Jae and The Liquid Funk, and The Whistling Tin Heads) was determined to find a fresh one for a new ensemble. He had his work cut out for… More >>
  • Best Live Jazz Performance

    Dave Valentin

    How the planet's greatest living Latin-jazz flutist made it in and out of town with barely a passing notice is one of those mysteries peculiar to South Florida. Indeed late this past winter Dave Valentin, woodwind-player extraordinaire, ascended the stage of Miami Beach's Van Dyke Café for two nights of soul-altering performances. During the February 27 and February 28 evening… More >>
  • Best Classical Radio Program

    The Open Road

    Miami: heat, entropy, and the concomitant disintegration of form. We love it. Want to love it more? Try a little dramatic tension. Have some bona fide sonic structure with your sweltering decomposition, and meet the people who can give it to you. For the steamy drive home, tune in to WTMI's The Open Road, weekday afternoons 3:00 until 7:00 p.m.… More >>
  • Best Musical Nostalgia

    Night Train

    The shrill whistle, the rumble of the engine rolling down the tracks. It's 8:00 on a Sunday night. Ted Grossman takes his usual seat as conductor of the Night Train on WLRN. As he has every week for 25 years, Grossman leads a four-hour journey through his deep collection of vintage jazz recordings. There's no chronological restriction to what he'll… More >>
  • Best Lounge Act

    Nathaniel Reed

    Whether playing a Gershwin song or Madonna's latest hit, pianist and singer Nathaniel Reed is always in tune with his audience. Perched atop the one-foot-high stage at the Piccadilly, Reed's baby grand piano faces the restaurant's main entrance. The entertainer, who can be heard weeknights from 7:00 to 11:00 p.m., often punctuates his many sets with greetings to new and… More >>
  • Best Local Electronica Release

    Ko-Wrecktion EP

    Turntablist extraordinaire and reigning DMC champ DJ Craze dropped by the home studio of Edgar Farinas (a.k.a. Push Button Objects). The end result is this abstract meeting of the hip-hop minds: an odd blend of off-kilter beats suffused in a crunchy timbre that attains a head-nodding forward motion almost in spite of itself. With so many elements floating in and… More >>
  • Best Punk-Rock History Lesson

    Killed by Florida

    "I gave you Quaaludes/I held your cock/We spoke in diphthongs/ Clubnite!" Update the drug of choice in this bitter early Eighties anthem from West Palm Beach punkettes Sheer Smegma, and it's clear some things haven't changed in South Florida's nightclub scene. "Clubnite" is just one of dozens of singles released by Floridian punk outfits in the darkest days of the… More >>
  • Best Local Jazz Artist

    Keshavan Maslak

    Whatever you do, don't refer to saxophonist Keshavan Maslak as an avant-garde musician. "You know what an avant-garde musician is?" scoffs Maslak. "It's somebody who's starving!" That may be the reason Maslak finally bailed on his adopted home of New York City in 1986 -- despite a résumé of playing that read like a who's who of that… More >>
  • Best Street Preacher

    James Kendrick

    The fallen in search of a strong dose of that old-time religion should skedaddle posthaste to a particular stretch of strip mall in Hialeah. It's there on most Saturday afternoons, near the corner of East Tenth Avenue and NW 62nd Street, outside the Flamingo Plaza, that you'll find James Kendrick. Respectfully bow your head as he straps on his accordion,… More >>
  • Best Latin Rock Band

    Pepe Alva and Alma Raymi

    Latin rock veteran Pepe Alva and his band Alma Raymi ("soul celebration" in Quechuan) spent much of the past year in the studio, working on the follow-up album to 1997's Pa' Mostrarte Mi Amor (MATT Entertainment). With a new disc tentatively titled Comprometida (Engaged), Alva makes a bid for the big time, hiring top-flight producers and stellar New York session… More >>
  • Best Caribbean Band

    Hal Anthony and the Millennium Band

    Chances are if you've heard any of the big-name Jamaican toasters or crooners in concert here, then you've heard Hal Anthony and his Millennium Band backing them up. The ensemble of choice for visiting vocalists holds up quite well on its own. Playing regularly for the past two years at South Florida venues such as Bayside in Miami and Alligator… More >>
  • Best Star Wars Tribute

    New World Symphony

    While the rest of the free world consumed itself in the anticipatory hype over Star Wars: Episode One -- The Phantom Menace late last spring, the precocious members of the New World Symphony staged a more twisted salute to the glories of Chewbacca: an opera. Transposing sections of John Williams's original Star Wars score on to their own… More >>
  • Best Rock Concert In The Everglades

    Phish

    As South Beach slowly filled with New Year's Eve revelers looking to ring in the millennium underneath a glitter ball, a far more curious spectacle was unfolding deep within the Everglades swamp. There, on a swath of semidry land inside the Seminole Indian Reservation, nearly 80,000 folks from across America converged for an old-fashioned campout-cum-rock fest, complete with an on-site… More >>
  • Best Blues Radio Program

    Portraits in Blue

    Live blues seems rather common in South Florida clubs. Blues on the radio is another story. Jazz DJs such as WDNA's Frank Consola, WLRN's Len Pace, and WTMI's China Valles occasionally spin the blues, but full shows are sparse. WDNA's weekly program Portraits in Blue is a bright star in a dark sky. Portraits (Monday from 11:00 a.m. to noon)… More >>
  • Best Female Radio Voice

    Tracy Fields

    Saturday night, eyes bleary, rain slapping hard on your car. You turn up your radio to hear her silky narration, the aural equivalent of hot chocolate during a snowstorm. Although Fields, who studied broadcasting and journalism in college, makes her living as an Associated Press reporter, she confesses, "Radio was always my love." Since 1995 on WLRN, her sultry jazz… More >>
  • Best Local Songwriter

    Raul del Sol

    Many a fan of local Latin pop band Rock'n Son have heard tunes in the group's repertoire played by other musicians. That's because the band's keyboardist and writer, Raul del Sol, still has a soft spot for songs he has peddled to other artists. During Rock'n Son's live sets, which begin at 10:00 Thursday evenings at Starfish, you might hear… More >>
  • Best Posthumous Live Album

    Live

    Few local bands were ever more misunderstood, or more hated in certain quarters, than Harry Pussy, whose squalling feedback-drenched performances managed to clear rooms across Miami for a memorable chunk of the mid-Nineties. The more this no-wave trio was feted elsewhere -- saluted onstage by Nirvana's Kurt Cobain, spotlighted by Sonic Youth's Thurston Moore during his guest-VJ slot… More >>
  • Best Local Acoustic Performer

    Victor Manuel "Chocolatin" Casanova

    In 1979 Victor Manuel Casanova left Peru with a group of musicians for a tour of the United States that never ended. Over the past twenty years, this Afro-Peruvian singer, guitarist, and caja or "box" player, has performed for Miami's ever-growing Peruvian population. A petite man with dark skin and a powerful voice, Chocolatin often exclaims with pride for his… More >>
  • Best Local Caribbean Band

    Bahamas Junkanoo Review

    Some say the Bahamians built Miami. Early immigrants, they laid down the first roads and then laid out the towels and sheets for the area's first tourists. The drums and horns of Bahamian junkanoo music certainly have marched willy-nilly through the Miami soundscape since the beginning of the Twentieth Century. In Overtown Bahamian migrants founded the Sunshine Junkanoo Band in… More >>
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