The forces behind the creation of the Arts + Entertainment District have made a strong and focused effort to jazz up the area just northeast of Overtown via an array of arts events that truly entertain. The concert series Rooftop Unplugged, for example, draws the city's well-dressed, young-adult contingent to enjoy live music and some sweet, sticky fare. The 2017 season is gearing up to feature Fort Lauderdale indie rock band Kids, which is not a child group but rather a thoughtful adult foursome that creates emotional melodies with thoughtful lyrics that don't ignore the band's spiritual leanings. You can sway your way to paradise with the pop tunes at the intimate performance while being mesmerized by skyline views of the city, drinks, and handcrafted ice-cream sandwiches from Wynwood Parlor. The show runs from 7:30 to 9 p.m. Thursday at Filling Station Lofts (1657 N. Miami Ave., Miami). Admission is free with RSVP at eventbrite.com or Facebook. Visit aedistrictmiami.com.
A contemporary twist on Cuban dance: That's exactly what Havana's Malpaso Dance Company does best. And this week, the troupe will take over the Adrienne Arsht Center's Knight Concert Hall (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) for a night of baile. Led by resident repertory choreographer and artistic director Osnel Delgado, the dance program consists of Delgado's 24 Hours and a Dog, which tells the story of an invisible canine that follows the dancers, forcing them to stay apace in their hectic city life in Havana, and features music by Grammy-winning Cuban-American jazz composer Arturo O'Farrill, performed live by the Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble; Porque Sigues, consisting of New York choreographer Ronald K. Brown's "signature blend of African, Cuban, and Western dance"; and Bad Winter by American ballet choreographer Trey McIntyre. Composed of ten dancers from Cuba's top dance academies, Malpaso Dance Company hit the scene in 2012 and has performed in theaters all over the world, showcasing the fruits of its "collaborative experiment in contemporary dancemaking." Don't miss the troupe's Magic City performance Friday at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $35 to $95 plus fees. Visit arshtcenter.org or call 305-949-6722.
The notion of attending a classical concert might sound more like homework than a fun night out. But when you add wine to the mix, things start looking up. At the aptly titled Heard It Through the Grapevine, audiences get both: an evening of superb performances by the acclaimed New World Symphony paired with winetastings from Southern Glazer's Wine & Spirits. Granted, it takes a certain highbrow happenstance to experience works by Schubert, Liszt, Handel, and other great composers. But when the music is accompanied by a series of specially selected vintages, one can't help but get the feeling this is indeed a rare privilege. So why deprive yourself of a total sensory immersion simply because it might be a new kind of encounter? And if you think you're hearing Dolly Parton and Bill Monroe intrude on the proceedings midway through the concert, don't blame your buzz. Host Hilary Glen, a New World Symphony cello fellow, and conducting fellow Dean Whiteside have added some homegrown Americana to their stately selection. Likewise, master sommelier Virginia Philip will ensure that your good taste in music is accompanied by her best taste in wine. What a beautiful blend. Heard It Through the Grapevine, presented by New World Symphony, takes place Friday at the New World Center (500 17th St., Miami Beach); doors open at 6:30 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30. A reception will follow. Tickets cost $40 for general admission. Call 305-673-3330 or visit nws.edu.
Who doesn't like staying out late, munching on popcorn, and watching the unfolding of insanity in a disturbed rock star? At the Coral Gables Art Cinema (260 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables), you can see the 35th-anniversary screening of the 1982 cult classic Pink Floyd — The Wall this Saturday. For you first-timers, Pink Floyd — The Wall is the story of rock star Floyd "Pink" Pinkerton, who is driven to madness by early life events. The musician constructs a metaphorical and physical wall around him to protect his fragile psyche. The film has caused controversy through scenes of schoolchildren falling into a meat grinder and neo-Nazi imagery. It's a mashup of genres: part music video, part psychological horror, part live action, part animation. But don't expect much talking: The film, whose script was written by Pink Floyd vocalist and bassist Roger Waters, is driven by music and symbolic imagery. The soundtrack includes all but two songs of the eponymous original album. The screening begins at 11:45 p.m. and costs $7. Admission includes free popcorn and two-for-one beer and wine. Visit gablescinema.com.
If there's one progressive result that stemmed from the 2016 election, it was the approval of Amendment 2 in Florida. And really, there's no better way to celebrate the legalization of medical marijuana in the Sunshine State than with a festival that honors all things herbal: Hemptopia. Happening this Saturday at Awa Kava Lounge (3930 NW Second Ave., Miami) — the first Saturday after Amendment 2 goes into effect — the fest will educate the community on the truth about industrial hemp, its uses, and its benefits. Hosted by DCNC Hemp, an organization founded to provide education and "change the human race by teaching the forbidden knowledge of hemp and its benefits when it comes to fuel, medicine, food, body care," the night will heighten your knowledge of the cannabis plant through words and round-table discussions from industry pros. There will also be live music from Kat Riggins and Blues Revival; a farmers' market featuring locally grown goods; organic, vegetarian, and vegan grub; jewelry, artists, and other vendors; and other fun activities. Hemptopia runs from 5 to 11:30 p.m. Admission is free, and the event is for those aged 18 or older. Visit hemptopiamiami.eventbrite.com.
It's time to get a sneak peek at the future of the art world. The 36th-annual National YoungArts Week, which runs this Sunday through next Sunday, January 15, will showcase the work of promising young artists aged 15 to 18. During the day, the artists will train in master classes and workshops with leaders in their field such as choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones, photographer Sylvia Plachy, painter Will Cotton, dancer Vernon Scott, and film director Doug Blush. In the evenings, the teens will perform for the community at the New World Center (500 17th St., Miami Beach). Voice performances will take place Monday, January 9; theater and jazz performances Tuesday, January 10; film and dance performances Wednesday, January 11; and the classical music concert Thursday, January 12. General admission costs $15, and students get in for $5 for each of the performances. On Friday, January 13, the visual arts, design, and photography exhibition will open, and literary talent will perform readings at the YoungArts campus (2100 Biscayne Blvd., Miami). The exhibition and readings are free. Visit youngarts.org/yaw or call 800-970-ARTS (2787).
In music and fashion, what is old always becomes new again, and what is obscure eventually comes into the spotlight. Right now, soft rock is enchanting the younger generation of music lovers; even your mom has probably noticed that bluegrass is popular these days. That's why you won't just see your hippie aunts and uncles out catching the tunes of Livingston Taylor at the Colony Theatre (1040 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach) this Tuesday. The musician, who plays an array of bluegrass, folk, country, and the blues, has a smooth style that will appeal to hipper sound aficionados as well. He's worked with Fleetwood Mac, Linda Ronstadt, and Jimmy Buffett, whom anyone can enjoy even if only ironically. Taylor has a few Top 40 hits, such as "I'll Come Running" and "I Will Be in Love With You," with which the crowd can sing along. Taylor will play the classics, tout his stellar personality through banter, and perform songs off his 14th album, Last Alaska Moon. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets cost $37 to $42. Visit colonymb.org or call 800-211-1414.
Tuesday marks the first anniversary of the sudden and tragic passing of David Bowie. He was an icon of music, fashion, and individuality that can never be replaced. His influence is unimaginable, his spirit incomparable. He was funky, smart, and audacious and defined the term "chameleonic." From Space Oddity to Diamond Dogs and Let's Dance to Blackstar, every bit of Bowie's life work is worth celebrating and won't soon be forgotten. That's the message behind Soundbite Presents: Bowie's Blackstar Bash, a gathering of stellar local bands and musicians under the English-themed roof of Churchill's Pub (5501 NE Second Ave., Miami). Expect rousing renditions of all of Bowie's most classic hits and even some deeper cuts. Bowie mixes will come courtesy of DJ Osean Liranz between performances by bands such as Killmama, Similar Prisoners, Sofilla, and Anastasia Max. The Goblin King will be on campus to show off his juggling skills, and attendees are invited to participate in a raffle to win a surrealist painting of Bowie, live-painted by Pachi during the night's performances. We can't bring Bowie back like a modern-day Lazarus, but we can make the Starman proud. The party begins at 8 p.m., and tickets cost $5. Call 305-757-1807 or visit churchillspub.com.
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Miami is a transient town. You make a friend, and a year later that friend moves. You make another friend; that friend is out in two years. For many reasons (limited career opportunities, anyone?), talented people come to Miami and leave not long after. And those who grew up here either return to start families or leave for bigger cities and, well, more career opportunities. There are, however, the strong few who stayed and planted the seeds necessary for the Miami art scene to bloom and make the soil fertile for newer generations of visionaries to grow their work. I'm Not Gonna Move to L.A. is a long-running forum for those next-generation creatives to showcase their art. For four years, the monthly event at O Cinema Wynwood (90 NW 29th St., Miami) has been showing accepted short films from many genres crafted by Florida filmmakers using Florida actors. Some months are themed (women directors or documentaries only), and this January will feature all the best flicks that came in during 2016. Each night begins with Percolator — announcements of projects and a gathering of ideas — and ends with a rapid-fire Q&A by filmmakers plus Cinephilia tropical drink hour. If you want to get involved in the community, head to this screening or submit your film for 2017 consideration at filmfreeway.com. The event begins at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, and tickets cost $11. Visit o-cinema.org or call 305-571-9970.
Have you ever experienced the spookily romantic thrill of wandering around an abandoned historic village by the light of the moon? Attendees can do just that while celebrating Vizcaya's 100th birthday by exploring the Vizcaya Village (3251 S. Miami Ave., Miami) at Gardens by Moonlight this Wednesday. From 6 to 9 p.m., you can walk around the not-yet-open-to-the-public historic village located across South Miami Avenue from the main house. The village is part of the original estate from 1916 and contained more than a dozen buildings, including farm barns with chickens and livestock, and a garage where founder James Deering kept his collection of luxury cars. The goal of the village was to make Vizcaya self-sufficient, a necessity given the limited resources and services of early-20th-century Miami. Though the village fell into disrepair, it's being restored and improved through public engagement spaces and programs. As visitors walk around the village at night, they will be entertained by live music and installations from the exhibit "Lost Village," which is part of Vizcaya's Contemporary Arts Program. The exhibition reveals untold stories of the village through the works of local artists. Tickets cost $20 for general admission, $15 for Vizcaya members, and $6 for kids aged 6 to 12 via vizcayagardensjanuary2017.eventbrite.com; children 5 or younger get in for free. Visit vizcaya.org or call 305-250-9133.