Best Jazz Radio Program 1999 | The Modern School of Modern Jazz | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
The witching hour seems an appropriately freewheeling time for the joyously disorienting sounds emanating from WLRN-FM's (91.3) The Modern School of Modern Jazz. Every Saturday from midnight until 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, Steve Malagodi guides his listeners through this oasis of avant-garde tunes, wading waist-high into a world of free jazz otherwise considered too deep for South Florida's ears. Although it's no surprise commercial radio fears to tread these challenging waters, it's a relief this show wasn't lost in LRN's recent purge of high-quality local programming. For more than a decade Malagodi has been spinning a mélange of honking saxophones, whispering cymbals, and shuddering drums, making him Miami's source for everything from classic heavyweights Ornette Coleman and Roscoe Mitchell to today's Young Turks. Beyond that his on-air patter never gets mired in the academic aspects. Instead he presents the music with an eagerness as impassioned as the artists he plays. It's an enthusiasm that's infectious.

Some years ago Magnum Band was part of a spirited Little Haiti scene, when there were clubs and cafés dotting the neighborhood and attracting dancers and partiers of the most festive sort. Now the lights in Little Haiti have dimmed, and some local musicians have forlornly returned to their homeland. Magnum Band, founded by master guitarist-songwriter Andre "Dadou" Pasquet way back in 1976, has held its ground, still making beautiful compas in South Florida. Dadou, his brother Claude "Tico" Pasquet (a percussionist), and bassist Laurent Ciceron still ignite crowds with their so-danceable "Ashadei" (an ode to a vodou god), "Pa Ka Pa La" ("Got to Be There"), and the classic "3 Feiulles" ("Three Leaves"), among scores of other Dadou-penned numbers. The group's staying power is outshined only by its potent music.

In its Sixties prime, the North Shore Band Shell provided the setting for a television variety program. In fact the Mike Douglas Show logos can still be found in a dressing room. Recently, in an effort to build a sense of community among residents, Miami Beach officials revamped the shell and began sponsoring an array of activities: jazz bands, symphony orchestra performances, an Afro-Caribbean festival. On Friday nights the terrazzo dance floor becomes a roller rink. On Sunday nights seniors dance to a live band playing the hits of yesteryear. The multihue structure has stood its ground in the face of changing cultural tides, a fact made clear on the nights when the shell is spotlighted by the shimmering moon and the only music to be heard comes from the whistling wind and the rippling currents of the nearby ocean.
A boisterous crowd gathered outside the Miami Beach Convention Center in August to protest a performance by Cuban musicians invited to the MIDEM music conference. Inside a more joyful noise was heard as the show went on right in the face of bomb threats. Since April acts from the island have taken area stages: Issac Delgado, Vocal Sampling, Carlos Varela, Manolín, Chucho Valdes, Irakere, Compay Segundo, La Charanga Rubalcaba, Omara Portuondo, Paulito FG, La Charanga. The crowds may have been too busy dancing to realize they were making history, so we now congratulate the pioneering artists who came and conquered, and those who had los cojones to make it happen.

The backbone of Miami rock and roll resides in Little Haiti with Dave Daniels and Churchill's Hideaway. Daniels provides a stage for aspiring bands, touring national acts, and just about anything that might lure a few people in to enjoy a pint or two. If there's a touring act you'd like to book, give Daniels a call. Do you think your band is ready for its first gig? Daniels will grant a slot. Want to see the good and bad of Miami's cutting edge? Go to Daniels's place. Rock and roll is about experimenting and taking chances, and Churchill's is about rock and roll.

A coffeehouse without a screeching espresso machine? Sans cigarette smoke and incessant chatter? Could it be? It is, in a suburban Kendall neighborhood where a house doubles as Temple Beth Or, the main sanctuary of which is transformed every other month into the concert venue Sacred Grounds Coffeehouse. Launched in the fall of 1997 by graphic designer and musician Ellen Bukstel Segal, friend Gerald Weissfeld, and Rabbi Rami Shapiro, the Coffeehouse has staged a who's who of folkies (Rod MacDonald, Magda Hiller, Marianne Flemming, Grant Livingston, Amy Carol Webb, Mindy Simmons, Marie Nofsinger, Ron and Bari, James London) picking and crooning in front of appreciative crowds numbering close to 150. An evening at Sacred Grounds opens with a one-hour open-mike segment followed by two acts performing brief sets before the crowd breaks for refreshments and mingling. The finale features artists and musical audience members engaging in a good-natured song swap. The ten-dollar door charge is divided between the featured entertainers and a different charity each show, a spiritual gesture suited to a relaxed night of entertainment in an atmosphere of warmth, joy, and contemplation.

Best Band To Leave Miami In The Past Twelve Months

The Psychonauts

With their tape-loop, sound bite effects, pro-wrestling masks, endless Elvis iconization, and wall-rattling sonic attack (armed by all-'abilly influences), the 'Nauts amazed locals by bringing to the stage a slew of visual distractions without sacrificing any of their musical power. That's entertainment, sure, but their sound was on the cusp of the whole surfabilly/punkabilly/rockabilly trend that's either about to catch on in a big way or fade into obscurity. If these serious but still winking rockers don't elevate interest in rootsy sounds, they'll likely move beyond categorization and make a niche for themselves apart from any trends. Sadly it looks as if they'll be doing it from their new home base, New York City.

We like 'em young. Especially when a gang of whippersnappers exudes so much raw talent that within months of their band's formation, they are being booked to record at Criteria under the aegis of local supermanager Rich Ulloa, releasing a subsequent EP produced by Rose Guilot, playing showcases at top area clubs, and opening for Orgy at the Chili Pepper. Led by way-serious singer/pianist Evan Rowe (age 21), the bleach boys have been together since August, creating a rich sound reminiscent of R.E.M., the Smiths, and other serious bands that were making music while these guys were still facing the prospect of elementary school. Pianist, guitarist, and vocalist Chris Horgan checks in at age 20; bassist and vocalist Kevin Brauss is 21 years old; lead guitarist Mark Fudge is the old man at age 24; and drummer Mike Goetz is age 22. Many talented bands languish for years before achieving what Chlorine has in a matter of months. Ulloa negotiated major-label deals for most of his previous clients. None of those popped the box as quickly as these kids have.
Angela Patua was not born to sing background music. When she performs her regular Sunday gig at Big Fish Mayaimi, she commands attention with rousing chants and deep ballads accompanied by guitar, dancing, and sometimes indecipherable patter. Her spirit moves, her music transcends. A country girl from southeast Brazil, Patua sings in African Yoruba and native Brazilian dialects, as well as in Portuguese and English. Creating her own fusion of Afro-Brazilian folkloric music and blues, she croons about the community of man and the preservation of nature with a sincerity rarely heard these days. "I want to sing for a better world," she says with conviction. At age 38 Patua recently recorded her first CD, Brazil Bantu, for Miami's Out There label. She sings frequently at area clubs and festivals, and says she wants to promote a sense of community among Miami's musicians. It takes plenty of talent to back up such unabashed idealism. Patua has plenty.
While her drummer Derek Murphy remained in New York working on other (read: well-paying) gigs, and bassist Matthew Sabatella concentrated on his own impressive musical projects, everybody's favorite silly little girl-genius kept a hand in by performing solo. During one such highly charged sho, in April at Power Studios in the Design District, it wasn't just Green who was electrifying. Some sort of glitch caused her microphone to send jolts of current through her each time she and it made contact. Although she admitted later that it was painful and distracting, it didn't short-circuit her scintillating performance.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®