Bars & Clubs

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BEST LATIN CLUB Miami 2002 - Café Nostalgia

Readers' Choice: Bongo's Cuban Café

¡Co?o! Two weeks before press time the damn club closes. Maybe we should have given it this award last year. Here's what we were going to say about Nostalgia: We've been holding out, waiting for the floor to get a little scruffy, the walls to get smoky, the barkeeps worn down, but Little Havana this will never be. Pepe Horta's club packs as much glamorama as it did when it first opened more than two years ago in its swanky, next-to-the-Forge digs. But we can't deny it any longer: This is the best place to find the best in Latin music and, best of all, to find it live. Once upon a time the house band Grupo Nostalgia alone was enough to justify a visit. Lately though the place has taken to hosting such a wide variety of acts that the only thing the artists crossing Nostalgia's stage have in common is quality and swing. Brand-new talent like the band Yenyere has found a home here, as have weary wanderers like Manolín. Peruvian crooner Gian Marco kicked off his U.S. career here and Cuban troubadour Amaury Gutierrez is a frequent visitor. Latin rock has its place, whether it's skanking hard like Argentina's La Mosca or waxing lyrical like Miami's own Bacilos. And we have to admit, the setting could not be more fitting for breathtaking performances by such monsters of jazz as Paquito D'Rivera or for the elegant retro turn of Federico Britos's recently formed Danzon by Six. To say nothing of giving shelter to the Songwriters-in-the-Round monthly showcase. We might just have to get used to all the glitz.
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