The gradual reawakening of Miami's live-music scene continues this week with the announcement that New York City's Blue Note Jazz Club has partnered with local concert promoter the Rhythm Foundation for a summer concert series.
Kicking off the series in June are Arturo Sandoval, Robert Glasper, Big Freedia, and the Soul Rebels with special guest Cimafunk. The concerts will take place throughout the month at the North Beach Bandshell, which continues to limit venue capacity and follow social distancing guidelines.
"Blue Note is actively looking for outdoor space in New York City and beyond," Steven Bensusan, president of Blue Note Entertainment Group, said in a statement. "We have not yet found the right opportunity to fit our needs locally, making the partnership with North Beach Bandshell in Miami Beach, who have created a very safe environment for socially distanced shows, the perfect moment for Blue Note Jazz Club to continue presenting live music.”
Rhythm Foundation director James Quinlan said the North Beach Bandshell welcomes the club's "40 years of experience with the leading jazz artists of our generation.”
The series is certainly kicking off in a big way, with two shows per day for each act. Sandoval will play four shows on June 5-6, while Robert Glasper (June 12) and Big Freedia and the Soul Rebels (June 26) will perform two shows each.
Opened in 1981, Blue Note Jazz Club serves as a regular haunt for up-and-coming jazz, soul, hip-hop, R&B, and funk artists in Greenwich Village. The club also champions the preservation of jazz history while encouraging progression and innovation.
The North Beach Bandshell itself has rebounded better than most venues in South Florida, thanks to its open-air space. At the peak of the pandemic, the bandshell continued to livestream shows regularly, and when the restrictions were lifted, it quickly brought back audiences — with plenty of restrictions. Promoter Gideon Plotnicki brought in Dumpstaphunk for a sold-out show in February, and tickets to Big Gigantic's back-to-back shows May 6-7 are already gone.
Arturo Sandoval. 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 5, and 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday, June 6, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; northbeachbandshell.com.
Robert Glasper. 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 12, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; northbeachbandshell.com.
Big Freedia and the Soul Rebels with special guest Cimafunk. 5 and 9 p.m. Saturday, June 26, at North Beach Bandshell, 7275 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 786-453-2897; northbeachbandshell.com.