Not even Hurricane Debby could rain out the Rhythm Foundation, the organization that for thirteen years has brought the very best in world music to Miami. When a twenty-minute downpour drenched the North Shore Community Bandshell in Miami Beach where Brazilian artists Chico Cesar and Rita Ribeiro were scheduled to perform last August, the artists improvised an intimate two-hour acoustic set in the adjacent community center for the fans who braved the storm to hear forro music. Like so many Rhythm Foundation events, the Chico Cesar show was a Florida premiere, as was the spectacular moonlit show by Afro-Colombian pioneer Totó La Momposina and the mesmerizing North American debut of the Whirling Dervishes of Damascus. Concerts range from the educational presentation of folklore at the Dominican Youth Arts Festival to the awe-inspiring bossa nova revival of Marisa Monte to the experimental cross-cultural collaboration between composer Philip Glass and West African griot and kora virtuoso Foday Musa Suso. Without the Rhythm Foundation, Miami would be a quieter, less vibrant place.
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