Paul George Gallery Walk: He's baaaack. Miami's tireless homeboy historian Paul George is renowned in and out of town for his lively, informative tours about the people and places that make this such a weird and wonderful place to live. The professor celebrates ten years of exploration by launching a new series of tours tonight at 6:00 at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.). Comfortable on land, at sea, or using various forms of public transportation, George stays on the ground this time as he leads a guided walk through "Tropical Dreams," the museum's permanent exhibition, which delineates 10,000 years of South Florida history. Admission is $15. After the tour, partake of complimentary refreshments, then check out (unescorted, of course) the special multimedia exhibition on drumming and related arts, "Caribbean Percussion Traditions in Miami." Call 375-1492. (NK)
Festival Miami: The University of Miami continues its monthlong classical music series tonight at 8:00 with a concert by the Turtle Island String Quartet, which will perform jazz standards by Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Pat Metheny, and others, plus original jazz/classical/rock/world beat compositions. Tickets cost $15. The fest continues with a two-day Chopin celebration, beginning tomorrow at 10:00 a.m. with a free master class by Polish pianist Jan Gorbaty in the Clarke Recital Hall (behind Gusman Concert Hall) and culminating with a free all-Chopin concert by Gorbaty on Saturday at 8:00 p.m. (the previously scheduled concert by Sergio Daniel Tiempo has been canceled). On Sunday at 8:00 p.m. Brazilian guitar-playing brothers Sergio and Odair Assad present a tribute to composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, plus works by Jobim, Piazzolla, and others. Tickets cost $18. All concerts take place at the Gusman Concert Hall (1314 Miller Dr., Coral Gables) unless otherwise noted. Festival Miami runs through October 18. For a complete schedule, see "Calendar Listings" or call 284-4940. (GC)
Writers on the Bay: Among the many celebrated authors to emerge from South Florida are the three participating in tonight's "Writers on the Bay," a reading by Florida International University alumni -- Barbara Parker, author of the legal thrillers Suspicion of Innocence and Criminal Justice; Stephen Benz, who has written travel memoirs such as Guatemalan Journey and the upcoming Green Dreams, and who also chairs the English department at Barry University; and Vicki Hendricks, author of the rather notorious Miami Purity and an instructor at Broward Community College. All three will read from their recent works starting at 8:00 p.m. at FIU's North Miami campus (151st Street and Biscayne Boulevard, room HM-135). Admission is free. Call 919-5857 for more information. (JO)
Florida AIDS Action Council Benefit: Get caliente on the dance floor at this cool fundraising bash featuring Cuban chanteuse Albita and her band. Proceeds benefit the Florida AIDS Action Council, a statewide nonprofit organization devoted to prevention, education, treatment, and advocacy issues for people infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. Festivities begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Fontainebleau Hilton (4441 Collins Ave., east ballroom, Miami Beach). Expect the steamy sounds of son to commence shortly thereafter. Tickets cost $20, $50 for VIP seating. Call 891-3666. (NK)
Taste of Art and Jazz con Sabor: Miami Lakes acquires a different flavor as this ninth annual arts and music festival takes off on Main Street (6843, to be precise) this weekend. Roberto Torres, Hansel y Raul, Carlos Oliva y Los Sobrinos del Juez, Dana Paul and the Nantucket Sound, Raul Midon, Eric Allison, and Melton Mustafa's Big Band are among the 23 jazz, pop, and Latin music acts to perform on three stages. More than 150 artists, craftspeople, and food vendors offer their wares (proceeds benefit the United Cerebral Palsy Association). Admission is free. Festival hours are 6:00 to 11:00 p.m. tonight, 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. tomorrow, and 10:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Sunday. Call 817-4006. (GC)
Festival Miami: See Thursday.
Y-100's 24th Birthday Bash: Gloria Estefan. Jon Secada. Night Ranger. What to say? If you like this kind of stuff, nothing's going to change your mind. It's $24, 6:30 p.m. at the Miami Arena (721 NW First Ave.; 530-4400). The rest of you, read on. We are talking about a radio station that has survived 24 years in the volatile South Florida market while playing dead-center-of-the-road vanilla pop that is offensive precisely because it's so bland, and now they have now taken it upon themselves to thrust on us this yearly self-congratulatory romp through hell. Then they have the nerve to charge 24 bucks for it and act as if it's such a bargain we should be eternally thankful they've limited ticket sales to the tricounty area. Never mind that we have all seen Gloria and Jon more times than Sly Stallone has cursed the day he ever moved to Miami, but they just had to dig up Night Ranger from whatever dusty cemetery of mediocre hair bands in which they were buried. Enough said. (JO)