When the lineup of the first-ever JVC Jazz Festival-Miami Beach was announced, excitement and a certain wariness gripped South Florida jazz fans: anticipation for the possibility of luring topnotch talent promised by the prestigious JVC name; caution about the chances of enduring yet another mediocre musical mixed bag. Just a few months had passed since the first-ever Miami Jazz Festival barely succeeded in weaving its spell of mostly smooth songs and Latin rhythms (David Sanborn, Jonathan Butler, Poncho Sanchez, and Israel "Cachao" Lopez were among the acts) in Bayfront Park for two days. Now, four months later, another production devoted to jazz would descend on these parts. The five-day affair ballooned with programming that included four events (three straight-ahead, one Latin jazz) at the Van Dyke Café; a free Latin-jazz concert headlined by saxophonist Gato Barbieri outdoors on South Beach; a Songwriters in the Round session and Cuban jazz jam at The Forge; a Mother's Day brunch featuring a Cuban chanteuse at the National Hotel; plus a long-planned Miami Light Project show by minimalist composer Philip Glass and Gambian griot Foday Musa Suso; and an already arranged extravaganza called Temple of Mambo at the Jackie Gleason Theater of Performing Arts (later canceled). So many shows, so little time. And ultimately so little diversity deriving from such a... More >>>