Soulful chanteuse/songwriter Abenaa delves into her Ghanaian and Trinidadian roots to craft the deeply intimate and enlightened tunes on her first CD, Tuesday's Child. Tonight she brings her spellbinding songs to the Funk Jazz Lounge at Sax on the Beach (1756 N. Bayshore Dr.). Her sound is a blend of folk, jazz, and pop influences inspired, she says, "by living, just being here." Simple and profound, Abenaa performs at 11:00 p.m. Admission is ten dollars. Call 786-924-5535. (JCR)
Have no fear. Miami Beach is in control of Memorial Day weekend activities this year and so, apparently, is Luther Campbell. Taking place from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. today and tomorrow and 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Sunday at Lummus Park (Ocean Drive, between 11th and 13th streets) is his Umoja Culture Festival, a free art fair devoted to honoring African culture and unity. At 7:00 p.m. Saturday, one block south, is his Umoja Music Festival featuring Ron Isley & the Isley Brothers, Ludacris, Vivian Green, and Aliesa Myers. At the same time and in the same place Sunday, Chaka Khan, Tyrese, Amerie, and P. Diddy's Making the Band artists from MTV will perform. Tickets cost $48 for each show -- yes, $48 each! Call 305-604-2489. (NK)
If you have a knack for killing plants due to neglect, the twentieth annual Cactus and Succulent Show and Sale at Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) just may be the place for you. Cacti and succulents are virtually indestructible: Aside from blooming beautiful flowers and providing great interior designs, they are the essence of low maintenance. Check out the hundreds of different varieties of spindly plants available to less-than-green thumbs. Specimen competitions and educational displays will help you keep your new green friend happy. The show and sale goes from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. today and tomorrow. Admission is free with ten-dollar park entrance. Call 305-606-5365. (JCR)
What are the Doors without legendary singer Jim Morrison? A salt-and-pepper trio of post-psychedelic musicians who can still rile up an audience. Almost 40 years after they first formed in 1965, while studying filmmaking in UCLA, Ray Manzarek, Robbie Krieger, and John Densmore play as the Doors. Former Cult frontman Ian Astbury stands in for the immortal Morrison at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre (601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach). Who knows if he'll expose his privates just like Morrison did at the Dinner Key Auditorium in Miami? This retro show lets you love them two times again and again. Gates open at 8:00 p.m. Tickets range from $40 to $85. Call 561-793-0445. (JCR)
Roll a big fat one and get ready to whine and wiggle to the sounds of reggae and hip-hop's biggest stars. The world's premier reggae festival, Reggae Sumfest, leaves Montego Bay for the first time in its ten-year history and lands at Bicentennial Park (1075 Biscayne Blvd.). Be prepared for a powerhouse lineup that crosses the hip-hop/dancehall barrier. Featured performers include Sean Paul, Beenie Man, Lil' Kim, Wyclef Jean, Wayne Wonder, Elephant Man, and Lady Saw. The festival opens at 2:00 p.m. Tickets range from $30 to $100. Call 786-242-9442. (JCR)
In case you're wondering why you got to stay home from work or school today, it's Memorial Day, genius. It's very likely that the city in which you live is probably holding some sort of official observance, probably in a park. So drag your lazy bottom out of bed and go pay tribute to your fallen comrades, comrade! Oh, wait, scratch comrade and make that patriot. After all, we are Americans. Here's a couple choices if you're at a loss: At the Miami Beach Police station (Washington Avenue and Twelfth Street), war veterans, city officials, and police color guard will take part in a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. At All Wars Memorial Park (NE 165th Street and 16th Avenue) in the City of North Miami Beach, a 21-gun salute will be among the festivities beginning at 10:00 a.m. (NK)
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Chairman of the Guggenheim Foundation, trustee of the Cleveland Museum of Art, and chairman of the Progressive Corporation, Peter Lewis knows art. How? Well, in the last 40 years or so he's bought plenty of it for his auto insurance concern, from which he retired as CEO last year, that's how. One of the art world's major philanthropists, he comes to the Margulies Collection (591 NW 27th Ave.) at 7:00 p.m. for A Conversation on Art with Peter Lewis. He'll hold forth on subjects such as how he became interested in art, the state of philanthropy today, and how public art institutions can develop their policies. Admission is free, but seating is limited. Call 305-576-1051 to RSVP. (NK)
Not exactly renowned for its reputation as a haven for intellectuals, Miami is a tough town in which to commune with sharp, savvy people just like you. Well, tonight you have two opportunities in exactly the same place. At 7:00 the Miami Museum of Science and Space Transit Planetarium (3280 S. Miami Ave.) plays host to Miami Intelligence, a group presenting weekly lectures for the high-minded. Tonight professor Paul Draper delivers a talk titled "Seeking but Not Believing: Confessions of a Practicing Agnostic." Afterward at 8:00, The Institute of Maya Studies offers a slide lecture by Scott Allen titled "Whatever the Maya Surprise, It Will Be a Treat for the Eyes: A Journey to the Maya Heartland." Can't choose between the two? Attend both, you brainiac! Admission is ten dollars for Miami Intelligence. The Maya lovers ask for a five-dollar donation. Call 305-773-8408 or 786-229-2939. (NK)