Okay, so it's not like he plays upstairs at the Van Dyke every other weekend. But when you have a jazz deity living in your back yard, you gotta pay props and do what you can to coax the cool cat out of the bag. Or in this case, out of his Aventura condo and onto a bandstand near you. Jazz fans want him to play as often as possible -- eight nights per week would do. Sparked by a rare planetary alignment or some such harmonically auspicious convergence, the fiery grace of Wayne was upon us for the recent JVC Jazz Festival on Miami Beach, but his live concerts are as rare as Florida panthers. In case you didn't know, Mr. Shorter is a sax player and composer of the highest order, a former member of the Jazz Messengers -- the best Miles Davis band ever -- and Weather Report, and, in general, a living legend. Let us give thanks, for he is among us.

The future of poetry is on the streets. Urban angst and inner-city pressure have inspired the hip-hop generation to take up "spoken word," where emotion and intimation flow from moving lips to open ears. In Miami a young, dreadlocked, dark-skinned man known as Kronos (real name: Yves Verela) performs his poetry at art functions as well as popular poetry nights, and often teams with bands and DJs to lend music to his lexicon. His deepest impressions are planted during conversations with strangers, when the engaging but gentle poet breaks into freestyle verses, always leaving the listener with reflective phrases: "One gets the whole truth half the time." Kronos's life experience as a traveler from his original Haiti to Miami's sunny shores, plus an extended stay in Israel, has certainly contributed to an ethereal multinationalism in his phrases: "I betted, you came, I summoned, you added a smile without the sentimental charge of a Motel 6." For members of a generation short on voices that speak directly to them, Kronos represents a youthful renaissance.

Yeah, Pitbull and Jacki-O generated more hype in 2003, but who really held it down for the M-I-A? Trina, baby, who scored a club hit ("B R Right"), appeared on several high-profile remixes (Cassidy's "Hotel," Chingy's "Right Thurr"), and laid down the law to any new jacks looking to boost her tiara with the scorching mix-tape track "Heated." With a new album due out soon and a dramatically improved rap flow, the self-proclaimed Diamond Princess isn't abdicating her throne anytime soon.

Yeah, Pitbull and Jacki-O generated more hype in 2003, but who really held it down for the M-I-A? Trina, baby, who scored a club hit ("B R Right"), appeared on several high-profile remixes (Cassidy's "Hotel," Chingy's "Right Thurr"), and laid down the law to any new jacks looking to boost her tiara with the scorching mix-tape track "Heated." With a new album due out soon and a dramatically improved rap flow, the self-proclaimed Diamond Princess isn't abdicating her throne anytime soon.

This ten-day tennis tourney at Crandon Tennis Center on Key Biscayne has become the fifth biggest in the world, behind only the four competitions that form the Grand Slam. Last year's singles winners were Andre Agassi and, in a thriller against hometown favorite Jennifer Capriati, Serena Williams, who notched her second consecutive Nasdaq win at the 2003 event (followed by her third at the '04 event). In addition to the finest pro tennis this side of Wimbledon, the event includes a blimp, exhibitions, food courts, and many other diversions. That it pumps millions of dollars into the local economy doesn't hurt.

Is Miami Noise over? Is the scene down to the last of a dying breed? Okay, so the genre never took off like Japanese Noise did. Maybe it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did or received worldwide attention either. But for a minute (that lasted several years) it seemed we had something special going on. Consider this a challenge to young Miami noise musicians: Make a bigger boom in the coming months or we'll have to presume you've taken up disco or joined a hippie band. Oh, and if you don't know the Squelchers by now, um ... no, don't do that. Go to Churchill's on a Thursday and catch the masters. Hell, join them. The Laundry Room seems to be where all the local noise makers end up anyway.

Is Miami Noise over? Is the scene down to the last of a dying breed? Okay, so the genre never took off like Japanese Noise did. Maybe it shouldn't have lasted as long as it did or received worldwide attention either. But for a minute (that lasted several years) it seemed we had something special going on. Consider this a challenge to young Miami noise musicians: Make a bigger boom in the coming months or we'll have to presume you've taken up disco or joined a hippie band. Oh, and if you don't know the Squelchers by now, um ... no, don't do that. Go to Churchill's on a Thursday and catch the masters. Hell, join them. The Laundry Room seems to be where all the local noise makers end up anyway.

In the absence of a full-fledged art cinema, the place to see a movie may as well be chosen for its parking as much as its programming. Narrow ramps, cavernous floors, electronic parking-payment contraptions? No thanks. When you have only five minutes to put butt to seat before the credits roll, pull into the wide-open lots at Sunrise Intracoastal (for free). Hustle to the ticket booth and enter -- lines are rare, except at bargain matinees showing movies with geriatric appeal. "No stairs to climb. Listening devices available," the North Miami Beach theater advertises, clearly spotlighting a more aged demographic than those ramp-cavern-contraption places. Though the programming won't be proclaimed "adventurous" by any sane person, you are likely to find two or three of the Intracoastal's eight large auditoriums screening those artsy foreign and indie films you read about so wistfully in the New York Times.

Since the lights first flickered on less than a year ago, the Cinematheque has established itself as the screen to be seen. In the heart of South Beach, the movie house's art-gallery setting provides a perfect scene for cineastes eager to enjoy true classics (Hiroshima, Mon Amour), rare oddities (Todd Haynes's Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story), or specific programs tied to local festivals such as Art Basel and the Winter Music Conference. The Cinematheque also provides an outlet for locally produced independent films, making it something much more important than simply an alternative to multiplex hell.

Hardcore, emo, pop-punk ... whatever you call it, tuneful rock and roll (a fair definition of "pop") has its share of followers, and performers, in South Florida. Few of the performers are as accomplished as the players in Sunday Driver. Since forming in 1999, the Sunny Isles Beach quartet has released an EP (Third Place Prize) and, this past February, its debut full-length, A Letter to Bryson City, to growing national acclaim. What's the secret? Lots of cross-country tours promoting a sound that balances Alex Martinez's melodic vocals with his and Charlie Suarez's blistering twin-guitar attack. If popularity is the end zone, these cats are in the red zone and it's first down.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®