Miami Music Festival Previews: Sol Ruiz, Cat Shell, and Shawn Snyder

Here are a few randomly selected recommendations among the many acts playing the Miami Music Festival. Visit for individual venue details. Many of these funky-named places you've never heard of are subdivisions of real venues, with made-up names just for festival purposes. Others venues are tents; Transit Lounge alone will host a couple, as well as putting on separate showcases within its walls. Three-day festival wristbands are $50 ($35 for students); one-day wristbands are $25 ($20 for students). Otherwise individual show admission is $10. 

Sol Ruiz: Local girl Ruiz plays what she calls "psychedelic Cuban blues," sometimes solo, often with a rotating backing cast of Miami's best players. With her distinct, almost jazzy vocal inflections and percolating rhythms, its multiculti and artsy while still being radio-ready. 

9 p.m. Thursday at Waxy O'Connors Outdoors, 690 SW 1st Ct. 9 p.m. Friday at Mekka Goddess, 950 NE 2nd Ave. 11 p.m. Saturday at the Lounge at Transit, 729 SW 1st Ave.

Cat Shell: This flaxen-haired young chanteuse recently decamped to Miami Beach from her old Boca turf. She remains popular all over the tricounty area for jazz-pop infused with a bluesy tang that's mature beyond her years. 

12 a.m. Thursday (Friday morning) at the Lounge at Transit, 729 SW 1st Ave.. 12 a.m. Friday (Saturday morning) at Wallflower Gallery, 10 NE 3rd St. 

Shawn Snyder: This local rambling twentysomething is one of South Florida's most preternaturally talented singer-songwriters, with a jangling blend of folk-rock that lives up to the legacy of those he name-checks as influences, like James Taylor and Paul Simon. Last December, we named his Romantic's Requiem as one of the top local albums of 2008. Here's a video for his song "Deja Vu," directed by fellow local artiste Stian Roenning. 

9 p.m. Thursday at Mecca Discotekka, 950 NE 2nd Ave. 10 p.m. Friday at Havana Dreams, 26 SW 8th St.. 1 a.m. Saturday (Sunday morning) at the Lounge at Transit, 729 SW 1st Ave.

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Arielle Castillo
Contact: Arielle Castillo