Best R&B Artist 2018 | Savannah Cristina | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Photo by Kovalski Jacques

The millennial R&B resurgence is in full effect with contributions from artists like Solange Knowles, Janelle Monáe, Kali Uchis, Khalid, Kehlani, SZA, and so many more; and there's no good reason to exclude South Florida from the conversation when an artist like Savannah Cristina is making albums as excellent as 2017's Mango Season. To call Cristina a "singer" would be too limiting a descriptor for her artistic range. She is also a gifted songwriter and slam poet who intersperses spoken word between songs during performances and on Instagram posts. From "Afro," a stripped-down ode to natural beauty ("He love my tummy like a cinnamon roll/He say he got a thing for stretch marks") to "Social Media," her take on the ways jealousy manifests in the digital age ("They gon' double tap it, baby/You know what it feels like in real life"), Savannah Cristina is a worthy addition to your next R&B bubble bath playlist.

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Miami clubgoers may know how to party into the wee hours, but they sometimes forget to dance. All too often, clubbers can be spotted chatting idly on the dance floor or hovering listlessly around the bar. Leave it to the folks at Klangbox.FM and local promoters More or Less to bring in selectors who give crowds little choice but to move their feet. Since December 2017, the Klangbox crew and More or Less have taken over Floyd one night every month to spotlight international DJs and producers who might not have otherwise made it to Miami. With a focus on cutting-edge emerging artists, Extra Credit has already facilitated the Miami debuts of several choice acts, including Australian house hero Mall Grab and thoughtful techno producer Call Super. As Miami's clubs find themselves in an odd state of transition — with some closing and others changing programming — it's comforting there's still a small, intimate party dedicated to driving a roomful of people nuts.


Not all of The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is set in Miami. The dramatization of fashion designer and South Beach fixture Versace's death at the hands of serial killer Andrew Cunanan focuses primarily on Cunanan, tracing his cross-country murder spree and fall from grace in the summer of 1997. But the story, as told by executive producer Ryan Murphy and series writer Tom Rob Smith, begins and ends in Miami, which is by far the show's most memorable location. Alternating between the lush, warm hues of Miami Beach and the blinding strobe and neon lights of the city's gay clubs, The Assassination of Gianni Versace captures both the city's timeless qualities and the hallmarks of an era long past. With Miami's beauty providing a rich thematic contrast to the inner rot of Andrew Cunanan — a star-making performance by Glee actor Darren Criss — it's a striking backdrop for an unforgettable television experience, as well as a tragic reminder of a harrowing moment in Miami's history.

Crosstown Rebels head honcho Damian Lazarus' Get Lost Miami party has been a perennially popular destination for Miami Music Week attendees for some time now. Stretching a full 24 hours and stacked to the brim with some of the most beloved acts in dance music, Get Lost Miami has more than earned its reputation as an event that needs to be seen to be believed, with its multicolored glass fixtures, blinding lasers, and all-around dedication to psychedelia. This year's edition was the most memorable yet, due in large part to its Lemon City Studios location. The Little Haiti venue, within spitting distance of Biscayne Boulevard, offers plenty of room for creatives to see their visions come to life. It helps that in addition to its indoor and outdoor offerings, Lemon City Studios hits that sweet spot between sun and shade that so often proves elusive in Miami.

For nearly 40 years, Circle House Studios has provided recording artists with the quintessential Miami experience. Along with the requisite mixing consoles, mikes, and gear of a standard recording studio, Circle House offers artists a pool, palm trees, and a spacious outdoor patio, among other essentials. Given the accommodations, it's no surprise this facility has been in business for almost four decades. Founded by brothers Ian and Roger Lewis of the reggae band Inner Circle (best known for its 1987 hit and Cops theme song, "Bad Boys"), Circle House offers an ideal working space for artists to sit back, relax, and produce in a pressure-free environment. With the help of Ian's son Abebe, Circle House has originated countless hit productions, including Pharrell's "Happy" and The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill. The studio also hosts workshops to nourish young local artists, making it an accessible locale for the hitmakers of tomorrow.

It is no secret that the majestic downtown Miami skyline and the precipitous economic growth it represents were at least partly funded by drug money. Throughout the 1980s, the Port of Miami and South Florida's shorelines were the gateway to a thriving narcotics industry made glamorous by Miami Vice and Scarface. Nothing better encapsulated the atmosphere of those Wild West days than Billy Corben's 2006 documentary, Cocaine Cowboys. Nearly all the players in the real-life true crime drama were arrested, with the exception of Gustavo Falcon. The 56-year old former drug runner evaded authorities for 26 years, living under an alias in Kissimmee, Florida. Falcon, better known as "Taby" to friends and associates, was part of a group responsible for smuggling 75 tons of cocaine into the United States, a haul valued at an estimated two billion dollars. According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Falcon's role in the Miami crime enterprise involved some decidedly unsexy tasks, including collecting debts, keeping ledgers, and organizing transport. He was more accountant or office manager than gun-slinging drug lord, but he was nevertheless slapped down with an 11-year sentence in April, adding yet another chapter to Miami's wild crime history.

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Anastasia and Max Brenner, 15 and 19 years old respectively, are making the most of their formative years channeling young adult angst into ominous orchestral pop. The duo recently dropped its debut EP, The Haunt, including the single "All Went Black," named one of the Best Miami Songs of 2017 by New Times. At a young age, Max's mature songwriting combines the eerie with the exuberant, and is buoyed by Anastasia's powerhouse vocals. In February, Anastasia, still in her early high school career, and Max, a first-year college student, volunteered their time to play a Revolution Live concert benefiting the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

José Ramón Andrés Puerta is a two-star Michelin chef and the owner of over a dozen renowned restaurants, including the Bazaar on South Beach and Bazaar Mar in Brickell. More important, he and his nonprofit World Central Kitchen were the primary food source for the residents of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. After serving more than 3.5 million meals, they single-handedly did more for the island nation of American citizens than many U.S. government agencies and officials combined. Earlier this year, Andrés was awarded the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year award for his efforts. The 48-year-old Spaniard founded World Central Kitchen in 2010 after witnessing the devastation wrought by earthquakes in Haiti that year. His organization has since been front and center in aiding people who need help quickly without bureaucratic delays. In addition to his international aid efforts, Andrés traveled to Washington, D.C., in March to feed the teenage protesters who participated in the March for Our Lives.

There is really only one way the negotiations between longtime Miami blight Jeffrey Loria and South Florida newcomer Derek Jeter could have concluded. Since taking over in October 2017, Jeter, former New York City single guy and baseball player with no managerial experience, shipped off the Miami Marlins' franchise man, Giancarlo Stanton, to Jeter's old ball club. In addition to getting rid of Stanton, the 2017 National League MVP, Jeter gutted the rest of the team, trading away Dee Gordon (MLB's stolen base leader in 2017) and Marcell Ozuna (who won both a Gold Glove and a Silver Slugger award for the first time last season). Since giving up a home run on the first pitch of the 2018 season, the Marlins have accrued the third-worst record in Major League Baseball. Jeter has also claimed that "Project Wolverine," the plan to slash payroll by $30 million, will allow the Marlins to turn a profit in a season with average spectator attendance 4,000 bodies fewer than the second-worst team in the league. Recently, in an interview on HBO's Real Sports, Bryant Gumbel asked Jeter point-blank if the team was tanking. Jeter responded that he didn't understand the term "tanking" and then proceeded to berate Gumbel, calling the venerable journalist "mentally weak."

Over the last few years, "architects of hope" Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt have softened the hell of flying in and out of Miami International Airport. Travelers from near and far zip past the pair's work daily: the words "Peace & Love" sculpted of flower petals. The colorful welcome sign promises all will be well once flyers make it past the low ceilings, cranky TSA agents, and long queues. Behar and Marquardt are responsible for art installations throughout not only MIA, but Miami at large, crafting visually arresting works meant to instill a tranquil and reflective respite from the crushing chaos and noise of the bustling city. Behar and Marquardt's firm, R&R, was also behind the past Bésame Mucho installation at MIA, which greeted international arrivals stretching their legs after long security checks and even longer flights. Although R&R bears the initials of the founders' first names, in truth, those letters could stand for "rest and relaxation" — fleeting as they may be.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®