Attention all you hep cats and the rest who take to heart Duke Ellington's 1932 tune "It Don't Mean a Thing if It Ain't Got That Swing." The band Seven Foot Politic is riding the swing-ska-rock wave, popularized by Squirrel Nut Zippers and Cherry Poppin' Daddies, into the Button South (100 Ansin Blvd., Hallandale) tonight at 7:30. Seven Foot Politic has a reputation for rousing shows that'll sweat up even the coolest dudes and dudettes. Whether you're into dancing the lindy hop, jitterbug, and St. Louis shag or simply into hearing a rollicking band with a gravelly voiced tenor, piercing trumpet, and loping stand-up bass, 7FP will get you swinging. Locals the Bob White Orchestra and the Drug Czars open the show. Admission is six dollars if you're over 21, eight if you're not. Call 954-987-4763. (LB)
The Miami Book Fair International seems an eternity away (okay, five months), but events presented by the Book Fair's Write in Our Midst, to preview the upcoming extravaganza are already beginning. First up: One World, Countless Visions, a series of three poetry and fiction readings by established and promising South Florida writers whose styles exemplify this area's multicultural mix. The first reading gets under way tonight at 6:30 at the North Dade Regional Library (2455 NW 183rd St.). Writers who will share their work include Akindele Akinde, E. Claudette Freeman, Joanne Hyppolite, Joseph McNair, Lusito San Juan, and Eunice Tate. Admission is free. Call 237-3372. (NK)
When Ron Suskind, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal, visited Ballou High in Washington, D.C., to find out how students learn in the nation's worst inner-city schools, he found Cedric Jennings, son of a jailed drug dealer and a religious, encouraging mother. Like other honor students, Cedric, who carried a 4.19 grade-point average, was ridiculed by classmates for "wanting to be white" and by administrators for being "too proud." Suskind followed Cedric as his unbreakable will carried him to Brown University. The result was a two-part series that won the reporter a Pulitzer Prize in 1995. Suskind expanded on the series in his book A Hope in the Unseen: An American Odyssey from the Inner City to the Ivy League, which he discusses tonight at Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (AD)
As a young man, Egberto Gismonti went to Paris to study piano with famed teacher Nadia Boulanger. Almost as soon as he got there she sent him right back home to Brazil. It wasn't that Gismonti, who began studying classical piano at age five, was a poor student. Boulanger just thought he should immerse himself in the multifaceted music of his country and become a great Brazilian composer instead of a mediocre Euro wannabe. It worked. Gismonti's musical language encompasses the sounds of Western Europe and of his own country, including classical, jazz, samba, forro, and the melodies of the Xinu Indians. Hear the mix when the Egberto Gismonti Trio (with guitarist- keyboardist Nando Carneiro and bassist Zeca Asumpçao) makes its Miami debut tonight at 8:00 at the Lincoln Theatre, 555 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Tickets range from $25 to $35. Call 672-5202. (NK)
Killah Priest, Rakim, Run-D.M.C., Goodie Mob, Montell Jordan, Nu Flavor, and the Quad City DJs are just a few of the many acts slated to perform at today's First Annual Bayfront Bash '98. See "Music," page 81, for details. (NK)
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You've bought just about every tie there is to buy. And after all these years Dad has enough bottles of cologne to sweeten up a small army. So now what? Each year you face the same dilemma. You pull your hair out trying to do something original for him on that manufactured holiday, Father's Day. Why not take him on a watery trip? A short one. We're talking a canoe, not the QE2. The folks over at the Metro-Dade Park and Recreation Department Office of Naturalist Services have thought of everything with their Father's Day Key Biscayne Sunset Canoe Trip. This evening from 6:30 to 8:30 you and Pop can hop in a canoe and glide around the Biscayne Bay side of the island. Take in the spectacular skyline, linger over the marvelous sunset, listen to the birds chirp peacefully, whack hapless manatees on the head with your paddle. (Just joking!) Canoeing will cost you $20 per person. Space is limited, so call 662-4124 now for reservations. (NK)
Journeying to Cuba to look for her own roots led reporter Wendy Gimbel to become entangled in someone else's: those of the Revuelta family. In her book Havana Dreams: A Story of Cuba, Gimbel documents the lives of the Revuelta women, beginning with Naty. Born in 1925 and educated in the United States. Naty was a socialite who became enamored with the young, rebellious Fidel Castro and everything he stood for. Naty bore him a child, Alina Fernandez-Revuelta, whom Castro refused to acknowledge and who eventually defected to this country. Gimbel uses the story of four generations of Revuelta women to chronicle the story of Cuba. She reads from her book at 8:00 tonight at Books & Books, 296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Admission is free. Call 442-4408. (NK)
Pretend you're a pirate and immerse yourself in a bit of maritime history while you take a peek at the Coast Guard tall ship Eagle. Built in 1936, the ship was originally named Horst Wessel and was one of three sail training vessels for Nazi Germany's navy. These days it's the largest tall ship and the only square-rigger in U.S. government service, acting as a classroom for more than 200 future officers of the Coast Guard. This afternoon the Eagle pulls into the Port of Miami (1015 N. America Way, Terminal Six), where it will rest for the next five days as a preview to the event Operation Sail 2000, a program that will bring several historic tall ships from all over the world to eight U.S. ports in the summer of the year 2000. Traipse on and below deck from noon to 4:00 p.m. today, noon to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday, and 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Thursday and Friday. Admission is free but parking is three dollars. Call 371-7678. (NK)
Artists become critics at the Museum of Contemporary Art (770 NE 125th St., North Miami) every Wednesday through August 5. Nine artists, whose work is featured in the exhibitions "New Art South Florida" and "Jorge Pantoja: One Hundred Haiku," discuss their favorite films and then screen them during Pick Flicks. The series, which has been running for the last two weeks, offers a wide range of films, from Agnieska Holland's pleasant children's fantasy The Secret Garden to Jim Jarmusch's quirky Mystery Train to F.W. Murnau's creepy vampire tale Nosferatu. So far Mark Handforth and Dara Friedman have unspooled their faves. Still to choose: Lynne Kroll, Jorge Pantoja, Lolita Stewart-White, Lynne Rheam, Daniel Lorenzetti, and Robert Chambers. Tonight Key West photographer D.S. Wallace screens a restored version of 1931's Frankenstein, directed by James Whale. Lectures begin at 6:30 p.m. and screenings at 7:00 p.m. Admission is free, but seating is limited to 60 people. Call 893-6211 to reserve a seat. (