One might imagine the Rhythm Foundation is a collection of fortysomething bongo drummers who meet in their parents' garages Tuesday nights to cover Graceland-era Paul Simon tracks. Wrong. Actually its the nonprofit responsible for bringing to Miami the musicians who inspired Paul Simon, an organization that continually recognizes the vast collection of talent the snobby English-speaking pop industry lumps into the genre world music. This week marks the Rhythm Foundation's 20th anniversary, and you can celebrate tonight by checking out the concert documentary Festival in the Desert at CiFo Art Space.
No, this is not another chance to ogle naked hippies the way you might at Burning Man, or watch hipsters overheat like at Coachella. This is the real desert, located in Mali, just outside Timbuktu, and until recently the festival was barred to non-Malians because it originated as a way to strengthen local music and culture. But with the introduction of French-African fusion band Lo'Jo in 2003, the fest thrust open its doors, and lucky director Lionel Brouet was there to capture performances by Robert Plant and Ali Farka Touré, the Malian blues musician who died in 2006, a year after winning his second Grammy. Percussionist Joe Zeytoonian kicks things off at 7. The film begins at 8. Suggested donation is five dollars.
Wed., March 19, 7 p.m., 2008