Gilberto Gil Celebrates 25 Years of Miami's Rhythm Foundation at New World Center

As executive director of the Rhythm Foundation, Laura Quinlan is more than a little familiar with world music stereotypes.

"Guys sitting around the fire playing their digeridoos," she offers, playfully. "Full-moon drumming."

In fact, parodies of international folk's hippie and/or New Age contingents have practically made the term world music a massively unhip taboo.

But Quinlan and the Rhythm Foundation (which celebrates its 25th season this fall) has a mission beyond vibing out, maaan.

"We're creating a cross-cultural audience."

In celebration of quarter of a century spent cultivating local ears highly attuned to sounds from the world over, Quinlan and the Foundation will be hosting a concert at the New World Center this Sunday, featuring renowned Brazilian guitarist, Gilberto Gil.

Quinlan describes the evening as "a superspecial concert with a party." She explains that the Foundation is usually in the business of booking performances. But "if we were the kind of organization that does a gala, this would be [it]."

The lexical ambiguity recalls the semiotic politics of "world music." However, Quinlan is not concerned with micromanaging genre labels.

"We gave up the struggle. World music is what we do. We just do what we love."

The Rhythm Foundation's 25th Season Celebration, Honoring Gilberto Gil. Sunday October 21. New World Center, 555 17th St., Miami Beach. The show starts at 7 p.m. and tickets cost $125 via newworldcenter.com. Admission includes Gil's private solo concert, dinner, drinks, an afterparty with DJ Da Lua, and an annual Rhythm Foundation membership. Call 305-672-5202 or visit rhythmfoundation.com.

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