Calendar for the week

april 10
The Maroon Experience: The Historical Museum of Southern Florida (101 W. Flagler St.) continues its Thursday night lecture series in conjunction with its current exhibition, "A Slave Ship Speaks: The Wreck of the Henrietta Marie," tonight at 6:00 p.m. with a screening of Sergio Giral's Maluala. Giral, considered the father of black Cuban filmmaking, will be on hand to discuss the film, an epic about African maroons in Cuba -- escaped slaves who established strong, independent communities with flourishing cultures while hiding in the forests or mountains. Maluala is the final installment in the filmmaker's trilogy on the slave experience in Cuba. Admission is free. See "Calendar Listings" in upcoming issues of New Times for more events, or call 375-1492. (GC)

april 11
Tito Puente/Celia Cruz: While we must often face the weekend contemplating the surprising dearth of live Latin music in this very Latin town, tonight we can rejoice. Two legends are performing on the same night, at the same time (both at 8:00 p.m.) -- unfortunately, in two different theaters. Decisiones, decisiones. Celebrating 50 years of a career that's spanned mainstream Latin musical styles from mambo to salsa, Tito Puente performs with his fifteen-piece band at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale). RMM records has just released a boxed set of highlights of Puente's recordings since the Forties, and tonight New York's flashy king of Latin swing can be expected to present a similar retrospective live, playing rumba, salsa, and Latin jazz. His son, Tito Puente, Jr., will perform a house version of "Oye Como Va," and other special guests are expected to appear. Local Latin jazz trombonist Juan Pablo Torres and his quintet open the show. Tickets range from $50 to $100. Call 954-917-0222. (If this show is too exclusive for you, Puente will also be performing at the free HispanicFest this Sunday at 5:00 p.m. at Young Circle, between Dixie Highway and Hollywood Boulevard, in Hollywood. Call 954-964-8884.) Meanwhile, the Jackie Gleason Theater of the Performing Arts (1700 Washington Ave., Miami Beach) hosts a fusion of high culture and hip-shaking azucar when that psychic salsa queen Celia Cruz sings with the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra. As part of the philharmonic's Latin pop series, Cruz will join the musicians in a medley of Latin rhythms, including mambo, tango, son, and salsa. Tickets range from $20 to $40. Call 673-7300. (JC)

Now Taste This: In honor of National Poetry Month, Books & Books (296 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables) is hosting a poetry reading tonight at 8:00 p.m. to kick off Now Taste This, a fundraising campaign that pairs local chefs with local poets. In the coming weeks chefs will prepare two or three favorite dishes, and their poetic partners will create accompanying poems. Upon ordering any of the dishes at a participating restaurant (Astor Place, Big Fish, Chef Allen's, Lure, Mark's Place, Neal's, Nemo, Norma's on the Beach, Norman's, Pacific Time, Savannah, and Two Chefs), diners will receive copies of the poem and the recipe for the dish. Proceeds benefit local literary societies. The participating poets are John Balaban, Adrian Castro, Michael Hettich, Carolina Hospital, Jeffrey Knapp, Steve Kronen, Campbell McGrath, Ricardo Pau-Llosa, Geoffrey Philp, and Peter Schmitt. Admission to tonight's reading is free. Call 442-4408. (JO)

Springs River Regatta: Celebrate life on the river in Miami Springs as the Springs River Regatta returns to the Miami Springs Circle (at Curtiss Parkway) this weekend. The fest begins with a torchlight boat parade down the river at sunset, followed by a catch-and-release fishing tournament, canoe races, a chili cook-off, and a 5K run/walk. Get down with the sounds of several local bands, with headliners Diane Ward (tonight at 7:30 p.m.); Silverado (tomorrow at 9:00 p.m.); and the Rhodes Brothers (Sunday at 6:00 p.m.); plus country bands Hunter, Chopper and the Lone Star Band, and Sundown; Elvis impersonator Chris McDonald; and saxman Billy Bones. Rounding out the fest are carnival rides and games, Miccosukee and Seminole arts and crafts, and international foods. Admission is free. The festival runs today from 6:00 p.m. to midnight, tomorrow from 10:00 a.m. to midnight, and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Call 443-4618. (GC)

Battle of the Bands: Picture drumsticks flying, guitars being smashed over the heads of competitors, microphones swinging through the air like Argentine bolas. Nah, it won't happen. But you will get to hear eleven South Florida bands -- Endo, Fulano de Tal, Honeysticks, the Jongleurs, Jumpin' Jive, Life of Riley, MoodBoots, Piddie Korn, Smite, Supper en Orange, and Swivel Stick -- fight it out musically at MarsBar (Kendall Drive and 117th Avenue). Proceeds from the event, in its third year, benefit the Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. The bands start playing at 8:00 p.m. and don't stop until 5:00 a.m. Tickets cost ten bucks. Call 669-4320. (JO)