A Way Past War Through Art
The topic of war may seem dark for the season, but it’s never far away, especially considering the past decade. War to War is an outdoor sculpture exhibit in Bayfront Park (301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) opening Tuesday, December 3, addressing anti-war and anti-violence themes. The large-scale sculptures are the work of Iraqi-born Ahmed Al-Bahrani, who attended the Baghdad Fine Arts Institute (and later taught there), has shown internationally, and lives and works between Sweden and Qatar, according to his website. The metal works are part of his reconciliation project, to build a bridge between two countries in and out of war. Free and open to the public.
Brazil Gets Its Own Basel Tent
Just when you thought there couldn’t be another fair added the dozens during Art Basel Miami Beach, something exciting comes along. Last year that something was the “Untitled” pavilion; this year it looks to be the Brazil Art Fair, featuring galleries, curated exhibitions, and works by 25 companies specializing in furniture and cabinetry. Expect the unusual -- the entrance, for instance, will be an inflatable structure resembling Brasilia. From Wednesday, December 4, through Sunday, December 8, in a tent in Midtown Miami (3501 NE Midtown Blvd.) For more, www.brazilartfair.com.
The Spaniards Get Brassy
This year we’ve been treated to great Spanish art and cuisine, thanks to the 500th anniversary of the arrival of Ponce de León. The concert from the Spanish Brass on Saturday, December 7, is part of Saint Martha’s concert series (9301 Biscayne Blvd., Miami Shores). It’s not an official “Spanish event,” but it proves again how inventive the Iberian Peninsula has become. The quintet, which has been touring for years, takes a pinch from Spain and a dollop of North American (Fats Waller) and South American (Antonio Carlos Jobim) as flavors to produce its unique sound. Hear them at SpanishBrass.com. Starting at 7:30 p.m., the ensemble will pull out holiday classics played in their own style; $10, popcorn free; www.saintmarthaconcerts.com.
Flamenco Is the Nu Music
Guitarist/composer José Luis Rodriguez has called Miami home since 2011. Trained both in Spanish classical and flamenco guitar, he’s an originator of hybrid trans-continental sounds, specifically combining a contemporary flamenco style with Afro-Cuban music, and turning it into “nu flamenco.” Tigertail Productions is giving him a solo outing to bring us up to date with 21st century flamenco on Tuesday, December 10, at 8:00 p.m. Rodriguez performs in the intimate setting of the Coral Gables Congregational Church (3010 De Soto Blvd., Coral Gables); tickets cost $25; tigertail.org.
Our Bodies, Our Self-Perceptions, His Performance
black male revisited, the latest event in the SandBox Series at the Miami Theater Center (9806 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores) is a work by Brooklyn-based performance artist, choreographer, and poet Jaamil Olawale Kosoko. Originally from Nigeria, he pushes artistic boundaries, questions historical perspectives, and in this case, body types and stereotypes. It’s a mix of live spectacle and visual arts installation. On Friday, December 13, at 8:00 p.m., tickets range from $15 to $20; www.mtcmiami.org.
Miami’s First BuskerFest
Can’t say much here. See Adam Schachner’s column, then go to buskerfestmiami.com for more details, then pass it along.
These Walls Can Talk
Wynwood is known for its proliferation of outdoor mural art, once just called graffiti. But do you really know these walls? Few buildings in the neighborhood have been left untouched, resulting in both a visual and sociological experience, which is why we now have the History of Graffiti Walking Tour from HistoryMiami (101 W. Flagler St., Miami), taking place from 10:00 a.m. till noon Sunday, December 15. Graffiti, of course, is one of the humankind’s oldest forms of expression. Find out more during the walking tour that costs $30 for non-members, $20 for members; www.historymiami.org.
Dance of Our MCB Fairies
Every year we get a sampling of Nutcrackers, something for every taste -- classical, modern, tailored for children. But Miami City Ballet’s Nutcracker has become the standard, performed by our most accomplished dance company. With choreography from George Balanchine, it’s a lush production with elaborate sets (including an onstage blizzard) and a cast of more than 100. The Tchaikovsky classic returns to the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) from Thursday, December 19, through Tuesday, December 24, for various afternoon and evening performances. Tickets range from $25 to $79; for more information, www.arshtcenter.org.
Family Fest Music: Fun But Not Silly
Dan Zanes is a multicultural rocker whose influences range from old English music to Caribbean and Mexican folk. But he has a special niche perfect for the holiday season -- and he and his band play it all for kids. And it’s all free. He’s the headliner for the Family Fest at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts (1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Saturday, December 28, with festivities starting at 12:30 p.m. Zane and Friends will take the stage in the Knight Concert Hall to perform Jewish, Arabic, and Latin favorites, while other family-oriented events will take place outside. Free seating passes required for concerts. Visit www.arshtcenter.org for details.
Miami’s Other Annual Holiday Parade
The King Mango Strut, which includes more than 40 costumed “strut groups,” has long been one of our most treasured, wacky, and irreverent events, founded as a counter-culture alternative to the Orange Bowl Parade. It’s back again for its 32nd year, starting at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 29, at the corner of Commodore Plaza and Main Highway in Coconut Grove. They always suggest parade costuming ideas for the strut groups -- this year’s list includes: the government sequester; Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and various other headline-making pols; the return of the Twinkie; and new baby Prince George. There’s an after party at 6:00 p.m. on the plaza; www.kingmangostrut.
New Year’s In New Miami
New Year’s Eve celebrations in Bayfront Park (301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami) just ain’t what they used to be when the crowd was fairly isolated because the surrounding area was down-and-out. Now it’s billed as the largest free party in South Florida. Running from 8:00 p.m. to midnight, Tuesday, December 31, it features lots of music and fireworks, and the dropping of the “Big Orange” at midnight. Leave your bottles, cans, coolers, and personal fireworks at home. Call 305-358-7550 or bayfrontparkmiami.com.
Compiled by BT arts editor Anne Tschida. Please send information and images to