A reformed journalist who wisely joined our NPR affiliate in 1995, Fields takes the honor this year not because she's done something different but rather because she's been consistent -- consistently good. Her playlist spans decades but is selective and smart. No pop jazz or smooth jazz or acid jazz or faux jazz of any sort. Whether it's bebop, hard bop, postbop, cool, modern, or straight ahead, Fields has an unerring ear for quality, such as Muhal Richard Abrams, George Adams, Pepper Adams, Eric Alexander, Geri Allen, Anita Baker, Chet Baker, Kenny Barron, Gary Bartz, Cindy Blackman, Art Blakey, Carla Bley, Paul Bley, Arthur Blythe, Joanne Brackeen, Michael Brecker, Clifford Brown, Benny Carter, Betty Carter, James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Ornette Coleman, Steve Coleman, Alice Coltrane, John Coltrane, Chris Connor, Stanley Cowell, Tadd Dameron, Anthony Davis, Miles Davis, Jack DeJohnette, Eric Dolphy, Lou Donaldson, Kenny Dorham, Billy Eckstine, Marty Ehrlich, Duke Ellington, Kevin Eubanks, Robin Eubanks, Bill Evans, Gil Evans, Jon Faddis, Art Farmer, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Flannagan, Chico Freeman, Von Freeman, Curtis Fuller, Kenny Garrett, Stan Getz, Dizzy Gillespie, Dexter Gordon, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Roy Hargrove, Craig Harris, Stefon Harris, Antonio Hart, Johnny Hartman, Hampton Hawes, Coleman Hawkins, Roy Haynes, Julius Hemphill, Eddie Henderson, Joe Henderson, John Hicks, Billy Higgins, Andrew Hill, Johnny Hodges, Billie Holiday, Dave Holland, Fred Hopkins, Shirley Horn, Lena Horne, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Ahmad Jamal, Joseph Jarman, Keith Jarrett, Elvin Jones, Etta Jones, Hank Jones, Philly Joe Jones, Thad Jones, Clifford Jordan, Wynton Kelly, Stan Kenton, Lee Konitz, Oliver Lake, Harold Land, George Lewis, Charles Lloyd, Abbey Lincoln, Joe Lovano, Gloria Lynne, Christian McBride, Steve McCall, Carmen McRae, Charles Mingus, Thelonious Monk, Jason Moran, Lee Morgan, Lawrence "Butch" Morris, Gerry Mulligan, Mark Murphy, David Murray, Melton Mustafa, Oliver Nelson, James Newton, Greg Osby, Charlie Parker, Nicholas Payton, Gary Peacock, Art Pepper, Oscar Peterson, Michel Petrucciani, Chris Potter, Bud Powell, Dewey Redman, Joshua Redman, Dianne Reeves, Rufus Reid, Sam Rivers, Max Roach, Sonny Rollins, Wallace Roney, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Roswell Rudd, George Russell, David Sanchez, Pharoah Sanders, Maria Schneider, John Scofield, Archie Shepp, Wayne Shorter, Horace Silver, Nina Simone, Jimmy Smith, Lonnie Liston Smith, Dakota Staton, Sonny Stitt, Billy Strayhorn, John Stubblefield, Sun Ra, Art Tatum, Billy Taylor, Cecil Taylor, Toots Thielemans, Leon Thomas, Henry Threadgill, Charles Tolliver, Stanley Turrentine, McCoy Tyner, Chucho Valdes, Sarah Vaughan, Cedar Walton, Dinah Washington, Ben Webster, Joe Williams, Mary Lou Williams, Tony Williams, Cassandra Wilson, Gerald Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Phil Woods, and Lester Young.

He's received this award before. He deserves it again. Not that Snitzer is alone these days in promoting the new, the local, the quality art. No indeed. Genaro Ambrosino's gallery, transplanted to North Miami, continues to showcase just that, as do those gallery-homes that stole much of the scene recently. Still if you only visited one gallery and it was Snitzer's, you would have caught almost every interesting vibe Miami is creating. Passing through his walls, ceilings, floors: the very young Hernan Bas and Bert Rodriguez; the very local Purvis Young; the very Cuban José Bedia and Glexis Novoa; the very diverse Lynn Golob Gelfman and Mette Tommerup; and many many others. Snitzer has also been integral to some of the most exciting art events we've ever seen, such as the site-specific and ephemeral Freedom Rocks and Espirito Santo Bank exhibitions, energy and insight from which continue to reverberate throughout his own space. It's a lot to take in -- thank goodness.

(c)(r)~E(c)(r)~EG1/2?(r)g/~C&!:ê¯(c)(r)~E??y??????????O????f?????f(c)(r)~E(c)(r)~E(c)&!:ê¯?y????(c)&!:ê¯?y??f(c)(r)?????(c)(r)(r)g?f(c)(r)~??(c)&!:ê¯(c)(r)~E??y??????????O????f?????f(c)(r)~E(c)(r)~E(c)&!:ê¯?y????(c)&!:ê¯?y??fE(c)(r)????O????f?????f(c)(r)~E(c)(r)~E(c)&!:ê¯?y????(c)&!:ê¯?y??fE(c)(r)~EG1/2?(r)g/~C&!:ê -- most Thursdays at Churchill's.

The Miami Film Festival's David Poland may have moved on, but it would be a shame if the former director's innovation of showing festival flicks free on the sands of South Beach -- on a 70-foot-high screen beneath the night sky -- went with him. (Organizers of Miami's Brazilian Film Festival have been doing this for years with great success.) Catching Moulin Rouge under those circumstances, with the surrounding crowd of 5000 oohing and ahhing in delight, revealed precisely how that film was meant to be seen: as a larger-than-life spectacle. And if you could tear your eyes away from the sight of a gigantic Nicole Kidman spinning through the air, you'd see the celebrated diversity of Miami come to life: queer couples strolling hand-in-hand past wizened viejos; Beach fashionistas popping open a bottle of wine; Latino families grilling over an open flame; and everybody simply losing themselves in the sheer magic of the cinema. "For the love of film" indeed.
Ever since Chocolate Industries pulled out of town a year or so ago we've been jonesing for a new sonic substance. Luckily local DJ turned entrepreneur Greg Chin, a.k.a. Stryke, has been happy to oblige with his ambitious new Substance Recordings. In addition to his own delicately textured take on techno, Stryke is now imprinting and distributing electronic delights from all over the map by both established talents such as Christian Smith and John Beltran as well as newcomers making their debut with the label, such as Dominican DJ Sheeno. While heavily weighted toward intelligent tech, the Substance motto is "a label without boundaries." Stick out your tongue and open your ears.
New York City had Simon and Garfunkel, so it's only fitting that Miami's most dynamic songwriting duo should have come together in a tribute to our city. Before September 11 Elsten Torres and Juan Carlos Perez Soto had been writing songs separately for years. They had even been writing songs together, off and on, for about two years prior. But when they decided to collaborate on a tune for DESCARGA, a benefit show at Café Nostalgia that marked the one-month anniversary of the terrorist attacks, the partnership took on a new urgency. Moved by a newspaper account of a woman who refused to believe her beloved, killed in the World Trade Center, would never come back, the pair penned one of the most beautiful memorials of that tragic event: "Hasta Que Regreses" ("Until You Return"). Since then the two have been writing and performing together regularly, hitting audiences with the triple threat of songs Torres created for his band Fulano, such as the slinky "Caramelo" ("Candy") and the anthemic "En Nombre De" ("In the Name Of"); Soto's more introspective "Si Te Vas" ("If You Go") and "Duenos de Este Mundo" ("Owners of This World"); and the beautiful "Hasta Que Regreses" as well as the team's lively "Dejala que Baile" ("Let Her Dance") and "Mañana." Now the Magic City has Torres and Perez.
We waited and waited (and waited) for the old Bass Museum to reopen after an extensive, eight-million-dollar renovation and expansion. It turned out to be worth the wait. For more than three years the City of Miami Beach, which owns the museum, suffered through interminable, costly construction problems. First the roof fell in. Then a new concrete floor came crashing down from its broken support beams. Then the new climate-control system had to be completely retooled. Then a water valve burst and soaked the hardwood floors. Then the new roof began to leak. It was as if Job were building the museum. But now that it's open (we hope for good), the Bass is a beautiful structure to behold, thanks to the design of Japanese architect Arata Isozaki. Added to the old Bass's 11,000 square feet is a skylight-connected new wing with twice the room and a spectacular 22-foot ceiling in the second-floor gallery. The lighting is better too. The addition of a café, outside terrace, and typically overpriced gift shop complete the Bass's transformation into a truly modern exhibition space.
McGrath, a Miami Beach resident and professor at Florida International University, moved here a few years ago and then set for himself a Whitmanesque challenge: Write a defining poem about his adopted home state. And then he had the temerity to call it "The Florida Poem." This piece, a highlight of the book, is long, sardonic, and conversational, and as the poem threads its way through the conquistadors and swamp-draining history it is often sad. But McGrath is a romantic optimist, and so he offers hope: "And yet, all it takes/is a day at the beach/to see the slate scrubbed clean/and scribbled anew/by the beautiful coquinas, to witness/the laws of hydraulics rendered moot by the munificent/tranquility of their variegated colonies/thriving amid the chaos of wave-break and overwash."
Who knew Desi Arnaz would come back as a Brit-pop-loving hipster with a penchant for vintage clothes? Only a kid who grew up in Miami could bring such left-field treatment to classics "Babalú" and "Como Fue." Moreno may have a face that teenyboppers love, but his voice is for the ages. Whether in the studio with avant-Latino producer Andres Levin or onstage surrounded by screaming pre-fans, Moreno careens from Clasica 92 (WCMQ-FM 92.3)-style schmaltz to Beatles-with-a-Latin-tinge rock, colliding along the way with the 21st-century sensibility of nuestra america.
Love, like everything else, has imitations, but Dean Fields is the real deal. We just hope we can keep him here, at least for a little while. The curly-topped Virginian has stopped off in Miami for a little booklearnin', but his heart is in his music and it shows. Fields conveys the deepest feeling with the sparest of arrangements, his guitar a simple undercurrent to the emotional surge of his clear, mournful voice. If this is altfolk, we're all for it.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®