Rootsy & Real

FRI 9/26

Tat! Pop! Pow! ... No, those aren't fight scene graphics from the old Batman TV show, but the call of drums on the street corners of Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic, or on the sidewalks of Washington Heights in New York City. It's bachata, music of la gente (the people) of the Dominican Republic, and like so much great music it started out in the ghettoes and shantytowns of that country. Call it Dominican roots versus the more uptown merengue, and like so much roots music, these days bachata has been fused with other genres like hip-hop. But you can hear the real thing from the Dominican band Hermanos Vargas as part of a larger Bachata Festival going on this weekend. The music starts at 8:00 p.m. at St. John's Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach. Tickets cost $10. Call 305-613-2325 for info. -- By John Anderson

SAT 9/27

Oba, Brazil

Jorge Ben Jor's funky guitar riffs reach beyond his trademark swinging samba style. Instead his music delves deep into American soul circa Sly Stone and James Brown as well as toward Nigerian Fela Kuti. Ben Jor headlines tonight's Brazil Night, the annual blowout at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW 5th Ave., Fort Lauderdale) featuring caipirinhas, dancing, drums, and of course samba. The party has been so good in 3 previous years that the center refers to it as a signature event. In fact it's more than a concert -- it's an all-out party complete with traditional chorinho music greeting partygoers as they enter the center's Amaturo Theater. Opening for Ben Jor is sultry Peruvian-born songstress Adriana Mezzadri, known among telenovela fans as the voice of El Clon. The party starts at 6:30. Tickets range from $15 to $45. Call 954-462-0222. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez

FRI 9/26

Music

Spirited Sounds

Judging by the rather steep ticket price of this evening's Unity on the Bay Musicfest 2003, raising money and not raising the roof of self-described "transdenominational spiritual community" Unity on the Bay (411 NE 21st St.) seems to be the aim. Nevertheless you'll still get plenty of bang for your buck. Among the jazz, gospel, and pop artists slated to perform: Karen Jones, Nicole Henry, Ike & Val Woods, Tim Blunston, Tommy Sellars, the Heart of the World Choir, and the Unity on the Bay Spanish Choir. Showtime is 7:00. General admission tickets cost $40; reserved seats cost $75. Pray for moola. Call 305-573-9191. -- By Nina Korman

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