This Week's Day by Day Picks

Thursday, June 5

Who says all top-quality cultural events evaporate come summer in Miami? The moment hurricane season rolls around, temperatures linger in the upper nineties, and the humidity starts to wreak havoc with our hair, we thank the Lord that there's still something to look forward to: the Coral Gables Congregational Church Summer Concert Series. Since 1985 it has been filling the hallowed Mediterranean Revival space with high-caliber jazz, classical, pop, and gospel music. Who's played the church in the past? Terence Blanchard, Kenny Rankin, Shirley Horn, the Vienna Choir Boys, Milt Hinton, the Four Freshmen, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo are just a few. The stellar acts scheduled for this season include hot jazz vocalist Kurt Elling, pop pianist and singer Oleta Adams, gospel powerhouses the National Spiritual Ensemble, and dazzling jazz violinist Regina Carter. A rollicking Salute to Satchmo by the Louis Armstrong Society Jazz Band kicks things off tonight at 8:00 at the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 DeSoto Blvd.). Tickets cost $25. Call 305-448-7421, ext 33. (NK)

Friday, June 6

The presentation named 1 to 5 may seem like a kiddie event that teaches tykes how to count. But in the hands (or feet) of Miami Contemporary Dance Company it's a series of five compelling pieces created by internationally renowned choreographers Esaias Johnson, Ray Sullivan, Lara Murphy, and Paolo Mohovich. So what do the numbers signify? The nine-member company -- including guests Nancy Yaffa, formerly of the American Ballet Theatre, and Yann Trividic of Miami City Ballet -- will perform a solo, duet, trio, quartet, and quintet. It adds up tonight at 8:00 at Ransom Everglades School Auditorium, 3575 Main Hwy., Coconut Grove. Tickets cost $20 and $25. Call 305-365-7900. (NK)

Saturday, June 7

So you've been teased by special Goombay events throughout the week. Now it's time for the real thing. The Miami/Bahamas Goombay Festival hits its climax today with a massive street festival and parade that takes over Coconut Grove. In its 27th year, Goombay commemorates the Bahamian roots of the first black settlers in South Florida. You'll get a taste of the islands by washing down your conch fritters with a nice cold Kalik and then shaking your booty behind a junkanoo group. Each year Goombay is the most festive way to welcome the summer swelter. The street festival begins at 11:00 a.m. on Douglas Road and McDonald Street. Admission is free. Call 305-372-9966. (JCR)

Figuratively speaking, stuffing hundred-dollar bills into bikinis never went to a better cause. Bikini, a one-night-only silent auction, raises money for LegalArt, a new nonprofit organization dedicated to helping artists of all mediums steer through legal crises. The need among usually cash-strapped artists is very real regarding issues such as intellectual property rights, contracts, residual payments, and taxes. Locals such as Edouard Duval-Carrié, Glexis Novoa, Karen Rifas, Robert Chambers, and David Rohn created art using bikinis as canvases. The two-piece works will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to LegalArt. The fundraiser begins at 7:00 p.m. at Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, 3550 N. Miami Ave. Call 305-205-1663. (JCR)

Sunday, June 8

Hey-hey, my-my, veteran rocker/demigod Neil Young will never die. Or so it seems. The prolific and profound Young is defying his "Rust Never Sleeps" lyric: "It's better to burn out than it is to rust." More than 30 years since forming Buffalo Springfield, he's neither burnt nor rusted. Instead he continues to uphold his Sixties generation ethic, long abandoned by yuppified baby boomers -- that is, standing up against oppression and conformity, and advocating human rights everywhere. He performs with his band Crazy Horse; special guest Lucinda Williams opens. Gates open at 7:00 p.m. at the Sound Advice Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets range from $27.50 to $75. Call 305-358-5885. (JCR)

Monday, June 9

Traipsing around the fabulous plants and trees at Fairchild Tropical Garden (10901 Old Cutler Rd., Coral Gables) on the odd afternoon, you've often wondered what it would be like to gambol through the greenery at night. Attend this evening's meeting of the Tropical Flowering Tree Society and you can find out. Among the raffles, refreshments, and flowering tree auctions, at 7:00 p.m. you can take a tour of the garden's flowering trees led by the guy with the goods, Benoit Jonckheere, curator of the garden's McLamore Arboretum. Insect repellent is highly recommended. Admission is free for visitors (a yearly membership costs $20). Call 305-669-9864. (NK)

Tuesday, June 10

Twenty-four years and 85 members. The Greater Miami Symphonic Band is that old and, yes, that big. You may have never heard of it but it's about to finish off another song-filled season. Tonight at 8:00 the enormous ensemble, led by music director Gary Green and conductor Robert Littlefield, will offer its grand finale concert at the University of Miami's Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables). A varied pops-style program will feature "First Suite in E Flat for Band" by Holst, "Honey Boys on Parade" by Cupero, and "Incantation and Dance" by Chance. Tickets cost $4 and $8. Call 305-273-7687. (NK)

Wednesday, June 11

A flood of colored lights beam into the summer sky. They capture the architectural details of Coral Gables's historic landmark the Biltmore Hotel, and then shift, changing hues and creating stark lines with warm romantic tones. The spectacle, inspired by Cuban-American designer Narciso Rodriguez, will light up the sky throughout the week as part of a promotional stunt for a new model of Audi. There will be special events like concerts and dinners sponsored by the automaker as well. Despite the PR ploy we think the illumination is a cool thing. Check it out, and you don't even have to buy a car to enjoy it. The light show begins every night at 9:15 p.m. from tonight through Tuesday, June 17, at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Ave. Admission is free. Call 305-445-1926. (JCR)

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Nina Korman
Contact: Nina Korman
Juan Carlos Rodriguez

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