El Valet


When it comes to Latin music, they’re only a handful of artists that can rightfully say they have gone global. There are Colombian Hips Don’t Lie, Shakira, Salsa king Marc Anthony, Latin pop heartthrob Enrique Iglesias, rapper Pitbull, reggaeton artist Daddy Yankee and of course Mr. Shake Your Bon Bon, Ricky Martin. With a style of his own and a rhythm that can keep up with the latest trends, Venezuelan artist Gustavo El Valet is gradually rising to international pop stardom. El Valet recently debuted his first official single. With music being in his blood (his father is the great Venezuelan singer Zuliano “Willy” Quintero) only time will tell how far El Valet is going to go with his great talents.

What type of music and artists did you listen to growing up?

Everything from tropical, guaracha, bachata, even urban.

Are there any of your siblings or relatives involved in music?

Yes of course from my dad and my cousins.

Who are your musical influences?

Without a doubt, my father.

Where do you see your music fitting in today’s music?

Music is universal. We must support and let people applaud the good

What are some of your musical goals?

To reach the global worldwide level.

When should we expect new music or an album from you?

Right now my new track is already on the market next to the legend Oscar D’León.

Where do you see yourself in 5 to 10 years?

Taking my music to all corners of the world

Are any artists you would like to someday collaborate with?

Marco Antonio Solis, Don Omar, Daddy Yankee, Santa Rosa, Víctor Manuelle, to name a few.


The Face of Neocolonialism


For decades, Cuba has been relatively off-limits to American tourists. But with the recent improvements of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba, it’s now easier for U.S. citizens to travel to the Cuban nation. With this new opportunity, the City of Santiago de Cuba, Centro Provincial de Artes Plásticas y Diseño in collaboration with photographer Tony Savino and Lobey Art & Travel is presenting a photo exhibition titled “The Face of Neocolonialism”.

Interestingly enough, the photographs is a documentation of an isolated group of people in the Dominican Republic. The exhibit exposes the life of sugar workers, most of whom are Haitians or of Haitian descent and their families. It also documents the struggle for labor rights, basic human rights and the complex relationship between Haitian and Dominican workers under a neocolonialism regime. This racial and cultural divide can also be seen in Cuba, which is why this exhibit is so important to be shown outside of Hispaniola, the official name of the island both Haiti and the Dominican Republic share.

Photographer Tony Savino has been covering Haiti since 1987. That year, he photographed the elections after the fall of Jean-Claude (Baby Doc) Duvalier regime for Time Magazine. In 2009, he published an entire book of photographs, titled,  Fete St. Yves: Beyond the Mountains, on Haiti. The exhibit is being held at La Galleria de Arte Universal, the former U.S. Consulate Building. So if you have plans to visit Cuba, be sure to check out this amazing exhibit.


(Romuald Blanchard of Lobey Art & Travel on the left and photographer Tony Savino on the right)

Fiction: Haitian Boy Meets Mommy


Haitian Boy Meets Mommy

By: Isnel Othello

Jean-Pierre stepped in front of the house that belonged to the parents he had not seen since his mother gave birth to him eight years ago. He was obviously anxious. It took him so long to get here, but then again he felt rushed. One minute he was in Haiti. The next moment he was in the Bahamas. The sudden displacement had caused him to mature too soon because at eight years old, he swore he was a man. And now finally in the United States and about to meet the parents he did not have any memories of, his body felt heavy— he was burdened with regrets.

It was the companion Jean-Pierre had been traveling with who knocked on the door. He gave it three knocks. No answer. Then another three. Waiting for someone to just answer the door was nerve-racking. The anticipation was killing him. Just get it over with. In an attempt to keep himself calm, he squeezed his hands into a fist. Applying such pressure to his body was a coping mechanism. He also tried to distract himself by concentrating on the door knob. Besides this unfamiliar environment, the round, metal door knob was new to him. Though the shanty house he had lived in back in the Caribbean had a front door, it was without a door knob. People had walked in and out of that house with ease.

So there he was. Standing in front of this house with this doorknob; all the apprehension in the world was beating on his head. Images from photos of his parents raced before his eyes. All sorts of emotions ran throughout his body. When the door finally opened, a woman came out and like a train wreck; his silent panic came to a grinding halt.

“Jean-Pierre,” the woman yelled from overzealous joy. “You arrived!”

But the boy backed away and tried to hide behind the man he was standing next to. She came around the man, hoisted Jean-Pierre with her short arms and gave him a squeezing hug. The boy did not embrace her and instead of wrapping his arms around her upper body; he let them dangle in midair. She shook and shook his body. After she brought his wee figure back to the ground, she invited the boy and the man inside the house. She led Jean-Pierre and the man to the living room and told them to sit. The boy sat next to the man. His mother sat on a chair across the room.

“Sak pasé?” She asked in their Haitian Creole tongue.

“No, I do not have time for small talk.” The man replied. “I have important business to attend to. If you do not mind, I would like to receive my payment and leave.”

She stood up. “Then let me get it.”

Before walking away, she placed her right hand on top of Jean-Pierre’s head and rubbed it gently. He pulled away.

“Are you happy to finally be home?” The man asked Jean-Pierre.

The boy did not reply. He was told to call the man “Uncle” if anyone had asked him during their trek from Haiti to the Bahamas and then to the United States. Jean-Pierre lifted his head and took a glimpse of his new surroundings. This was his new home. But he quickly brought his head down right as his mother reentered the living room.

“Here you go,” she said before offering the man a white envelope.

The man got up, grabbed the envelope, opened it and started counting the money. “If you ever need my service again, please don’t hesitate to call me.”

“I do not have another,” she said, turning her head to look at the boy. “He is the only one.”

“But you do have other relatives in Haiti and if you…”

“I understand,” she interrupted.

The man abruptly left without saying good-bye to Jean-Pierre. The boy was going to miss him though he wouldn’t admit this to himself. There were a bunch of people he missed and this man was just like the other individuals that hid in the black space behind his head. Now this woman—his estrange mother, was set to reemerge from that black space.

“Come to me.” She demanded Jean-Pierre. He stood up and reluctantly walked towards her. “Are you cold?”

He gave no response. Mother and son stood in the middle of the living room with two feet of empty space separating them from each other. Unable to say a word, he endured the stillness—his silence was the only thing shielding him from being disappointed by whom she was and who she wasn’t. He did not dare to stare into her eyes, and instead, he took notice to the smudge that was on her shirt; it sat right above her stomach. It looked like a brown colored food stain that had decided to permanently stay despite numerous attempts at washing it away. So big, her clothes seemed to have swallowed her entire body. The top garment was white with blue stripes going down to her stomach, the bottom was all blue. As for Jean-Pierre, he was wearing a spotless button-down white and beige short-sleeve plaid shirt and matching dress-up short pants. His socks and shoes were also new. They were one of the many outfits his mother had sent to the Bahamas for him to wear.

“Are you cold?” She asked again.

He dropped his head, his eyes landed on her feet. Her toes were large. He wondered if his feet truly came from hers. Her skin was a few shades lighter than his. Jean-Pierre was not tall but his thin shape stretch his body, as African as the other Haitians living in the Caribbean. Taller than he was, his mother looked short, a little heavyset, and resembled more of an African-American. His eyes were oval. Hers were round. He had a puffy nose. Hers was skinny.

“Okay,” she said after giving up on getting an answer out of the boy.

She sighed and walked a few steps to the kitchen.

“So are you going to come here or just stand there,” she asked him.

He did as she instructed. Once he was at the table, he continued to avoid any eye contact. He looked at the half empty walls. They were this burnt-colored wood he was unfamiliar with. The living room was decorated with a brown couch, two end tables, and a glass coffee table in the middle. Below was a light brown square carpet; on top of the small table was a sculpture of Mother Mary with her arms wrapped around a baby Jesus. Next to the sculpture was a set of English textbooks neatly positioned at the corner.

“Your eyes are everywhere except on me,” she said to him.

He turned his turned but his eyes were not focused on her.

“Do you speak good English?”

“Wi,” he said before transitioning from his native tongue to the English language he was taught while attending a Catholic school in Haiti. “I mean yes.”

“You have not seen me for eight years, your entire life and you been here for 45 minutes.” She revealed. “All I get is 1, 2,” she raised her right hand and started counting her fingers, “4 words out of your mouth? But I am glad your aunts did what I told them to do. It would have been no use for you to come here and not know the English language. It took me a very long time to speak good English. I did not know good English when I wrote you those letters but now I almost speak like a American. What did you do with the letters I sent you?”

He did not say a word.

“Why are you not answering me boy?” She paused for his response but quickly said, “It is rude not to look at someone when you are talking to them. I guessed Ma Pa missed on teaching a couple of things to you.”

He turned to face her. But his eyes landed on his lap.

“How was your trip? I know you were supposed to be here sooner, but these things are unpredictable. They usually last a longtime. But I am surprised he was able to get all the immigration papers as quickly as he did. He is good, you know. Did Uncle take care of you?”

“Yes,” Jean-Pierre finally said.

“Are you afraid to look at me?”

He squeezed his hands, almost cutting off the blood flow from his fingers.

“I am your mother,” she went on. “Do you know that? You may call me Mommy just like the American children call their mothers. This is America. You are expected to behave like an American. Do you know that? Look at me when I talk to you. Pick up your eyes.”

“Yes,” he said. He picked up his eyes to look at her and with great difficulty; he tried to make himself believe this woman was actually his mother, attempting to associate those automatic feelings a son would have for a mother.

“Yes what,” she asked.

“Yes, Mother,” he told her before looking away.

“No,” his mother yelled as she slammed her hand on the kitchen table. She paused, and then continued to speak in a lower tone. “That is not how I want to be addressed. I said for you to call me Mommy. Mother sounds old. Look at me. Do I look old?”

“No, Mommy,” he said. He picked up his eyes and looked at her. The word Mommy had trickled inside his head, passed through his ambiguous assumption of her and landed on his tongue. Then it came out of his mouth, tasting like bad medicine.

“Did you call any of your aunts Mommy?”


“No what?”

“No, Mommy.” Yuck.

“What did you call them?”

“I called Ma Pa Ma and Aunty Oga Matant.”

She squint her eyes. “They are not your mothers. I am. They are my sisters and your aunts. You were supposed to call them Matant or Aunty. Not Ma, Mama, Mommy or Mother.” She sighed and crossed her arms. “I suppose she did not tell you a word about me or your father. I am the one that your body came out of.  Did she read the letters I sent you? Did she teach you any values? I wrote a list”

He opened his dry mouth but nothing came out.

“You know your father and I left Haiti for you.” She continued to say.

She reached across the table to lay her hand on his cheeks. He flinched. She pulled away.

“If we did not leave Haiti and send for you, you would not be here. You would have died. Haiti is not a good place to raise children, you know.”

Following his parents’ departure, his mother gave his aunt Ma Pa a list of things she wanted the boy to learn in her absence. The first thing she wrote down was her name. The second was his father’s name, followed by God, respect, school, discipline. Haiti was the last word she wrote down. Ma Pa told Jean-Pierre stories of how his mother had grown up. She told him how his mother met his father, Titu—he threw a rock from a slingshot up in the air and it landed on her head. They were lovers at an early age. His parents got married in Port-au-Prince. Titu was an auto mechanic who played the guitar as a hobby and wanted to be in a professional Kompa band. She told him that his father gave up that dream once he was born. They relocated to Saint Louis after dictator Baby Doc lost more than just his mind. But since Saint Louis did not have many vehicles, it was impossible for Titu to find any work as an auto mechanic. He became a farmer, though Haitian agriculture was not prosperous either. Fed up by Baby Doc’s dictatorship, Titu paid a human smuggler to get him and his mother on a boat to the United States.

“So I suppose you would like to go back?” His mother asked. He felt stale. “Aren’t you going to say anything about the food I made for you?”

He looked at the food that was on the table. He did not smell any aroma coming out of it. The boy grew up thinking that any meal that did not have an inviting scent was wasteful eating. Jean-Pierre looked at the winkles that were piling on his mother’s forehead and grabbed the fork.

“No!” She yelled at him.

He let go of the fork.

“Pick up the spoon,” she said. “Eat the soup first.”

He looked at the bowl of soup and felt noxious. It was not the same pumpkin-flavored vegetable and spaghetti soup Ma Pa used to cook for him.

“It’s joumou soup with an American flavor. Go ahead,” she urged, “Taste it. You will like it.”

He picked up the spoon and tasted the soup but he quickly dropped it, grabbed the fork and began eating the other plate of food: chunks of goat meat, okra, white rice and bean sauce.

“I see you like the kabrit better.” She said with a smile.

But he was done after eating half of what was on his plate.

“Finish the whole plate. Look at you, you’re skinny. Eat.” She demanded.

“No,” he said.

“What! How dare you speak to me like that!”

“My stomach is full,” he said. He lifted his shirt and pulled it up to his face. He felt bloated. “I can’t eat anymore,” he said, continuing to hold his shirt up to his face.

“Stop this,” his mother yelled. She reached across the table and pulled his shirt down. “You are being a big baby, now stop this.”

“My stomach will explode,” he yelled.

Out of frustration, he slammed both hands on the table. The bowl shook. Some of it splattered on his mother’s face. She jumped up, grabbed him by the ear and marched him to the bathroom. She squeezed his ears so hard that his entire head burned in sensational pain. But as much as he begged her to leg go and despite how much his face was soaked from his tears, she did not. After she opened the bathroom door and thrust him inside, she slammed the door close. Frustrated, Jean-Pierre walked towards the tub, got inside and laid there in the fetal position. He heard her footsteps fade away into the kitchen, then another door slammed. After a while, he had stopped crying. He decided to run away. Back to Haiti. So he jumped out of the tub and sprang to his feet. Then he opened the door and ran to the bedroom to get his clothes. His mother was nowhere in sight. His small suitcase was not there either. He turned his head and walked over to the closet. The damn suitcase was not there either but he saw a lot of his mother’s garments hanging on a wooden rod. There was nothing but work uniforms, they must be the only clothes she wore. No wonder she was so evil, Jean-Pierre thought.

All of a sudden a smile popped on the boy’s head. He was going to get revenge on his crazy mean old Mummy by pulling all her ironed out uniform and pulling them down to the floor. He grabbed one garment and then grabbed the other. The more garments he grabbed and dropped to the floor, the more the smile on his face grew. Then he stopped and started stomping on the clothes that were on the floor. This was fun but not the same fun he used to have in Saint Louis.

Up and down his body went. The higher his head leaped into the air, the harder his feet fell, mashing his mother’s garments on the dusty floor. But after a ten minute cycle of jumping up and down and mashing her clothes on the dirty floor, Jean-Pierre was exhausted. But he was still angry at Mommy, so he walked back to the closet and stopped short of pulling the brown pants he saw hanging on the wooden rod. He assumed it belonged to his father. The assumption of his father, who he had yet to see, brought his emotions to shift. He grabbed the pants and tried them on without taking his own clothes off. He saw a man’s shirt hanging at the end of the closet, grabbed it and put it on without taking his shirt off. He liked how the shirt smelled. It made him feel closer to his father even though he had yet to see him. But the button down brown shirt was large enough to swallow his entire body. The long sleeves made him feel like he had extra wings to fly. So he climbed on his parents’ bed and started jumping up and down; the more he jumped the more the bed became a horrid mess. As he jumped up and down the bed, he started flapping his arms as if he actually could fly. But all of a sudden it stopped.

“What is all this mess!”  His mother emerged into the bedroom yelling.

Jean-Pierre quickly jumped off the bed and stood quietly in stale shock.

“Clean this mess.” She demanded.

“Yes, Mommy,” he said.

“Oh now you call me Mommy,” his mother yelled.

She stood over him with her arms crossed. He moved frantically from one side of the room to the other, picking the garments off the floor. He tried to pick them all up at once, piling a bunch in one shoulder and attempted to put more on the other side. But as he picked up the clothes and put them on one side, the clothes that were on his other side fell. His mother tried not to laugh. She walked toward him, grabbed the garments he was holding and piled them on the bed. Then she asked him to pick the rest off the floor. Afterwards, they folded the clothes together.

“You look like your father,” his mother said. “But you act like me.” She continued to fold the clothes as she spoke. “I am sorry to leave you alone, especially after being away from you for so long. But I have to work. Your father has to work. In America you need money more than you need love to take care of a family.” She looked down at Jean-Pierre and smiled. “But you can take care of yourself, right? You have been taking care of yourself since you were born, Bòt Tutu.”

She dropped the shirt, grabbed Jean-Pierre’s left cheek and squeezed. Then she picked up the same shirt and resumed folding it. Jean-Pierre did not think she knew his nickname.

“I bet you thought I did not know your nickname,” she told him. “Did you know I gave you that name?” He shook his head no. “You want to know why?” He widened his gaze. “Well, when you were about to be born, the midwife could not pull your body out of me. You were stuck. You were a big boy.” She stopped to look at him, “But now you are skinny.” Then she continued to fold the clothes. “The midwife pulled. Your father made her stop because he did not want her to break your body or kill you. I was worried you were going to die. It was a scary moment that lasted forever.”

She paused, looked up at the ceiling and brought her fingertips to her lips. After the silence, she brought her head down and continued to fold the clothes again.

“The midwife says to us all, Ban m’ kouto an ak koupe.” She quickly put the shirt she was folding over her mouth, stopping herself from bursting with laughter. After his mother composed herself, she repeated what the midwife said in English, as it sounded funnier told in a different language “She said, ‘Give me the knife and I will cut him. Half will come out and the other half will always stay with you.’ I would have to walk around Port-au-Prince with half of you under me just like this.” She dropped the shirt she was folding and finally burst out the laughter she was trying to withhold. Then she began walking around the bedroom in circles, tilting like a penguin from side to side.

He got behind his mother and started mimicking her. The two giggled uncontrollably as tears cracked through their eyes. Suddenly she stopped, turned around and kneeled down, staring straight into Jean-Pierre’s wide gaze.

“I was afraid I had forgotten how to be your mother,” she said in a sympathetic whimper.

And Jean-Pierre had forgotten how to be a son. She gave him a hug and finally, the boy wrapped his arms around his mommy.

Li Hongbo- art that moves you


[Bust of David, 2015 Paper 46 1/2 x 27 1/2 x 23 5/8 inches (118 x 70 x 60 cm)]

Art Basel 2016 was a blast. Quite honestly, it was overwhelming. With so much art to see in such a small amount of time— most of the people who attended the festivities did so in a hurry. Imagine being incredibly hungry, almost on the brink of starvation, to then suddenly be given so much food that your eyes go berserk, your mind gets frenzy; you make a gracious attempt to eat anything and everything in sight. We called Art Basel 2016, Drive Thru Art 2016 but don’t dare admit to any art enthusiast you went to Art Basel like you drove into a McDonald’s drive-through. As an Art Basel recap here is one artist’s work that demands further exploration.

Li Hongbo is best known for his kinetic art. He utilizes an age-old honeycomb technique seen in paper gourd making in China to create works using kinetic paper works that elegantly expand, contract and retract in flawless motion. Influenced by Chinese folklore and using contemporary techniques that manipulate light and the perception of it, Hongbo’s kinetic paper sculptures speak in a visual language that stretches the boundaries of art. One of the most astonishing pieces of artwork that demanded our attention (meaning we paused to embrace its elegance) during Art Basel was Chinese artist Li Hongbo’s Bust of David 2015.


[Goddess of Pantheon, 2015 Paper 17 5/8 x 8 5/8 x 9 7/8 inches (45 x 22 x 25 cm)]

“…with one simple tug, a bust revealed layers and layers of paper that unraveled like a slinky.”

Li Hongbo was born in Jilin, China, in 1974. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Jilin Normal University, Jilin, China, in 1996. He then earned his first Master of Fine Arts in 2002 from the Folk Art Department of the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and concluded his formal education with a second Master of Fine Arts from the Experimental Art Department of the same school, in 2010.


[Absorption No. 6, 2015 Books 8 x 26 x 11 1/2 inches (20 x 66 x 29 cm)]

Currently, Klein Sun Gallery is exhibiting Li Hongbo’s “Textbooks,” a solo exhibition of mixed media installations and sculptures. The show is on view from January 7 through February 13, 2016.


ART BASEL 2016 Miami Beach


Miami Beach, December 1 – 4, 2016

267 leading galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa will exhibit their significant works; from masters of modern and contemporary art, as well the new generation of emerging artists. Paintings, sculptures, installations, photographs, films, and other works of the highest quality will be on display in the main exhibition hall. Ambitious large‐scale artworks, films and performances become part of the city’s outdoor landscape at nearby Collins Park and SoundScape Park.


Miami Beach Convention Center
1901 Convention Center Drive
Miami Beach, USA

In addition: 


Art of Black Miami

December 3 – 7

The Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau’s Multicultural Tourism department showcases the diversity of black art, culture, and events in a diversity of communities, including Little Haiti, Overtown, West Coconut Grove, Wynwood, Opa-locka, and the Downtown area with the launch Art of Black Miami kicking off for Art Basel 2014. For info on events: ArtofBlackMiami.com



Soul Basel Overtown: A Celebration of Art, Music, and Culture in Colored Town

December 3 – 7

The Historic Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami
Exhibit hours: 9AM – 9PM

Soul Basel showcases the largest exhibition of art from Overtown urban expressionist artist, Purvis Young. More than 200 of Young’s creations will make up “A Man Among the People: A Purvis Homecoming” exhibition at Overtown’s Historic Lyric Theater from December 4 until March 2015. The lobby of the theater will be turned into a gallery showing art from South Florida visual artists.

Opening Reception of Soul Basel Overtown & 1st Wednesdays Black Alumni Art Basel Edition
Wednesday, December 3, 6PM – 9PM – The History Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

The Historic Lyric Theater and the Black Archives Foundation hosts a cocktail reception for the preview of A Man Among the People: A Purvis Homecoming. A cocktail & hors d’oeuvre reception will be hosted by WPLG’s Neki Mohan from 6pm – 8pm. Admission $20 for the reception. Free admission and cash bar from 8pm until. The South Florida HBCU Alumni Alliance hosted by Fabiola Fleuranvil and Ed the World Famous will also co-host the reception as part of their monthly 1st Wednesdays HBCU/Black Alumni Networking Social. RSVP: BAFPurvisreception.eventbrite.com. For info: (786) 708-4610 or amckenzie@theblackarchives.org

Folk Life Friday’s Outdoor Marketplace
Friday, December 5, 11AM – 6PM – 9th Street Pedestrian Mall at NW 9th St & 2nd Ave

An outdoor marketplace presented by New Washington Heights CDC with live entertainment, tasty food, and arts and crafts.

Soul Basel Young Professionals Mixer: The Generation of Greatness
Friday, December 5, 7PM – 11PM – The History Lyric Theater, 819 NW 2nd Ave, Miami

Mix and mingle with City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, and Headliner Market Group. Features complimentary wine & tapas, VIP appetizer buffer, and Create Your Own Masterpiece Painting.


Featuring an original and highly entertaining portrait of the Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan. An artworld upstart, the provocative and elusive Cattelan launched his career with playful and subversive works that mocked the artistic establishment. A retrospective at the Guggenheim in 2011 confirmed his place in the contemporary art canon. New York based director Maura Axelrod’s equally playful profile leaves no stone unturned in trying to answer the question: who is Maurizio Cattelan? Screening is followed by a discussion with director Maura Axelrod and Film curator Marian Masone. Access: Free public access (limited seating); Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

Art Africa Miami Arts Fair

December 3 – 6, 11AM – 7PM

The Carver Building, 801 NW 3rd Ave, Overtown Miami
Info: ArtAfricaMiamiFair.com
Admission free

The 4th annual Art Africa fair showcases artistic works that blend the Black, Caribbean, social, political, and hip hop artistic strand. This year’s Art Africa Miami Arts Fair takes over the entire ground floor of the newly renovated Carver building at the entrance of Historic Overtown. Curated by The Urban Collective, this year’s theme “The Art Of Nobody” features world renowned artist Nobody (AKA TMNK) and other talented art nobodies from the African and Caribbean Diaspora. The exhibit also features a youth gallery exhibiting works from the Overtown Youth Coalition’s arts program.

First-look VIP Reception
Wednesday, December 3, 7PM – 9PM

Celebrate the opening exhibit and First Look at four exciting galleries with fashion mannequins and the art.

Art & Design
Thursday, December 4, 11AM – 7PM

Experience the unique design objects from master designer Michael O.

Art & Jazz
Friday, December 5, 5:30PM – 7PM

Groove to the soulful sounds of Gregory Ledon & Miami Jazz whose sound is rooted in the tradition of Miles Davis.

Art & Community
Saturday, December 6, 3PM – 5PM

Artist and community dialogue with the Nobodies outside the margin. Also includes a panel discussion “Art, Poverty, Ideas, and Vision” moderated by Dr. Carol Boyce Davis with a book signing to follow.

Soul Basel Brunch & Conversation
Sunday, December 7, 11AM – 2PM

Official close-out of Art Africa. Join the conversation, donate to a worthy organization, and have brunch with the Who’s Who of South Florida’s biggest cultural influencers as they discuss arts, culture, and emerging cultural hubs in Miami. Brunch inspired tasting menu by Rakkasan Chef and art exhibit by Overtown Youth Arts Coalition. Limited tickets $50. RSVP to Harris Public Relations at yvette@harrispublicrelations.com or (786) 897-8854.

Art Beat

December 4 – 6

Caribbean Marketplace Pop-up Gallery: open daily from 11am – 9pm with musical performances, LIVE art, conversations with artists, and food
Mural Mile: public street installation spanning 20 buildings along NE 2nd Ave from 54th St to 62nd St and NE/NW 54th St from NE 2nd Ave to NW 6th Ave
Admission is free and open to the public. Free trolleys offer transportation between the Design District and Little Haiti.
Info: ArtBeatMiami.com | Email: artbeatmiami@gmail.com

The inaugural highly anticipated Art Beat Miami satellite showcase of emerging and renowned artists from Haiti and around the world features a festival with highlights that include a conceptual pop-up gallery, Mural Mile of 20 building murals, a public art installation spanning Northeast Second Avenue, live mural paintings, upcycled garbage bin murals, a creative hackathon for young innovators, and a grande homage to Haitian-American neo-expressionist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The groundbreaking showcase is inspired by Chef Creole, owner and operator of 5 Chef Creole restaurants, and co-produced by B.ART Studio and made possible through partnerships among local galleries, community and civic arts organizations, including B.ART Studio, Northeast Second Avenue Partnership (NE2P), Little Haiti Optimist Club, Chef Creole Restaurant, Arte del Barrio, BKS, Yo-Space Miami, Midtown Studios, and Everyday People United.

Opening Reception
Thursday, December 4, 6PM – 9PM – Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terr

Opening reception for Art Beat. At 8:30pm, a public shrine paying homage to neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat will be dedicated to celebrate his origins as a native son of Haiti.

The New Eden Movement Youth Design Studio
Friday, December 5, 4PM – 5:30PM – Art Studio I at Little Haiti Cultural Center

A youth-centered art day where local innovators of all ages are invited to participate in a free creative hack-a-thon. The Everyday People United social design collective will present The New Eden Movement workshop and host an interactive panel to teach youth about the influence of culture on technology, innovation, and art.

Conversations with the Artists & Happy Hour
Friday, December 5, 6PM – 8PM – Chef Creole Restaurant Tiki Hut, 200 NW 54th St

Meet exhibiting muralists and artists at an authentically Haitian happy hour hosted by Chef Creole Restaurant.

Art Beat Pop Up Gallery
Thursday, December 4 – Saturday, Dec 6, 12PM – 8PM – Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE 2nd Ave

These pop up galleries showcase diverse art, music, and culture through paintings, sculptures, installations, photography, and Mural mile of 20 building murals.

Celebrity Brunch with Chef Creole & Friends
Saturday, December 6, 11AM – 1PM – Little Haiti Cultural Center, 212 NE 59th Terr

Art Beat comes to a close as master chef and beloved restaurateur, Wilkinson “Chef Creole” Sejour, entertains a grande feast with friends in an authentic celebration featuring culinary splendor, good vibes, LIVE art, and music. Tickets are $25 with proceeds to benefit participating charitable organizations. Tickets available at: eventbrite.com/e/art-beat-miami-celebrity-brunch-with-chef-creole-friends-tickets-14493044085?aff=es2&rank=0

Art Beat Closing Reception
Saturday, December 6, 6PM – 9PM – Caribbean Marketplace, 5925 NE 2nd Ave

A lively reception to close off the grand celebration of the inaugural Art Beat. Line up TBA.


Global Caribbean

December 4 – January 25, 2014

Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 212 NE 59th Terr

“Borderless Caribbean: Unmapped Trajectories – Annotating Art Histories” exhibition series is presented on the 20th anniversary of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance as part of the its Global Caribbean contemporary art program now in its 6th addition and under the artistic director Edouard Duval Carrie and curated by museologist and cultural producer, Jorge Luis Gutierrez. The narrative of the exhibit aims to include historical references of unmapped trajectories of the Caribbean along with the political, cultural, social, religious, and economic related experiences with other parts of the world.

The exhibit is presented with support by the Green Family Foundation, the City of Miami, the Little Haiti Cultural Center, Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs, Triennial Miami of Contemporary Art, FIU, and University of Miami and features a diversity of artists, including Luis Gonzalez Palma, Mario Benjamin, Wendy Wischer, Luis Cruz Azaceta, Francesca Lalanne, Tomas Esson, Christopher Cozier, Carlos Garaicoa, Flor Garduño, Flow Mafia Collective, Sergio Garcia, and Jodie Lyn-Kee-Chow.

Art in Moon Workshop
December 3 – 4, 3PM – 5PM – Yeelen Gallery, 294 NW 54th St

Art in Motion features a two-day series of art workshops to immerse, inspire, and empower local youth to become creative agents and artists of the future. Participants will create collages and paintings around the central theme, “Street Art Culture and Pop Culture.” Registration info: monicawatkins@gmail.com or (832) 741-4657. Space is limited, and RSVP is required by Dec 1.

December 5, 10AM – 12PM – Little Haiti Cultural Complex, 260 NE 59th Terr

The preview event for the Borderless Caribbean exhibit presented by the Board of Directors of the Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance.




December 5 – 7

Miami Center for Architecture & Design, 100 NE 1st ave, Miami
Art Basel hours: 10AM – 5PM
Dec 8 – 22 weekday hours: 10AM – 5PM

Opening VIP Preview & Reception
Thursday, December 4, 7PM – 10PM

Prizm, MoCADA Museum, and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation co-host the opening of the 2nd annual Prizm Art Fair with an evening of cocktails with exhibiting artists: T. Eliott Mansa, Amber Robles Gordon, Briana McCarthy, Asser Saint-Val, Frank Frazier, Gary L. Moore, and Johnnie Bess. Tunes provided by producer, composer, and curator King Britt.
RSVP ($10 donation accepted): eventbrite.com/e/prizm-opening-reception-tickets-13956904477

Lecture Panel | Art: Agent of Change
Saturday, December 6, 10AM – 12PM

Discussion on how art serves as an agent of change in Miami and how our panelists are working to create sustainable communities with art as their medium. Our estimable guests include:

  • Dr.George N’Namdi: Director of N’Namdi Center for Contemporary Art
  • Dr.Willie Logan: President and CEO of Opa-locka Community Development Corporation
  • Tracey Robertson-Carter: Executive Director of South Florida Cares Mentoring Movement
  • Neil Ramsay: Arts and Entrepreneurship Consultant

Coffee and Waffles will be served by Mad Chiller Coffee. Presented by: OLCDC, Miami Center for Architecture and Design, and National Organization for Minority Architects South Florida Chapter.

Holiday Happy Hour
Friday, December 19, 6PM – 8PM

Join Prizm for the Holiday Season for a holiday happy hour. General admission $10, donations are accepted.


  • Kehinde Wiley

Urban Arts Week

November 20 – January 15, 2015

KROMA Art Space, 3670 Grand Ave, Coconut Grove

Urban Arts International Art Fair showcases over 25 international renowned artists within various disciplines examining the tussle and lure of the urban landscape and consists of KROMA Art Space and Iris PhotoCollective. Art Basel events feature five events in five days and an inclusive art gallery experience in the heart of historic Coconut Grove.

Trends: Shaping the Future of Art
Tuesday, December 2, 5:30PM

Urban Arts Week opening panel discussion about the newest trends in art, why they are trending, and best practices to engage young artists.

KROMA Opening & Afro-Cuban Jazz Fusion
Tuesday, December 2, 7PM

Exhibit preview with live music. Admission $20 for non-guests.

Lounge Art
Thursday, December 4

Welcome event of great conversations with artists and trendsetters. Music by local DJ.

Sunday Breeze Art  Brunch
Sunday, December 7, 12PM

Sunday brunch with live jazz performance and Caribbean sounds.

The Color of Art – The Game – Panel Discussion
Sunday, December 7, 3PM – 4:30PM

Lively panel discussion on the importance of production, purchase, and power of art by and for people of color.



Fusion MIA: Abstract Masters

Dec 3 – 7

Location: Mana Village Wynwood Pop-up gallery, corner of 2nd Ave and 22nd St
Gallery: 10AM – 10PM (free and open to the public)
BET Art Lounge: 4PM – 9PM daily (featuring BET’s top talent, screenings, panels, and community workshops highlighting “Art is Life” as a central theme)
Fusion After Dark: 10PM – 1AM
Info: Fusionmia.com

RSVP info: eventbrite.com/e/2nd-annual-fusion-mia-presents-the-bet-art-lounge-tickets-14238376367?

The 2nd annual Fusion MIA, an eclectic and critically-acclaimed exhibit curated by father son duo George and Jumanni Nnamdi in the Wynwood Arts District, exhibits the nation’s top African-American Abstract artists, including Howardena Pindell, Rashid Johnson, David Hammons, and Ed Clark.

BET Networks will host the BET Art Lounge showcasing live art, music, and film in an 11,000 square foot pop up tent that will be home to the BET Art Lounge and showcasing upcoming BET and Centric shows and projects. BET Art Lounge will include screenings, talent meet and greets, exhibits, live performances, and community outreach efforts with local high school students and today’s hottest artists. Cast members from the hottest BET and Centric shows such as Being Mary Jane, Nellyville, and Single Ladies will be highlighted during the weekend of festivities. Lecture series will be presented by local Universities that focus on the power and the global influence of black art.

Through My Lens Reception
Wednesday, December 3

Presented by Microsoft and Play to Win Foundation, Fusion MIA kicks off with the photo exhibit, Through My Lens, featuring the emotional and artistic photographs of 25 high school students from Allapattah and Overtown. Ticketed event.

BET Art Lounge: Being Mary Jane Presents “The Stacy Barthe Acoustic Experience”
Wednesday, December 3, 7:30PM – 8:30PM

Being Mary Jane kicks off the BET Art Lounge with Grammy-nominated song writer and musical talent Stacy Barthe. Stacy, a featured musician on the upcoming season of BMJ, is featured on multiple spots promoting the upcoming season of BMJ. BET executive Tamara Gregory will introduce the show via promo and performance. Free.

Fusion After Dark – Heat & Hawks Official After Party
Wednesday, December 3, 11PM – 2AM

Fusion MIA kicks off Art Basel festivities with a white Heat night at the official welcome to Miami party with special guest appearances by the Hawks and Heat players to party the night away after the game and experience Miami’s hottest DJs and muralists as they paint the town to hip hop beats. Hosted by DJ Irie. Admission $25; VIP $50

Fusion After Dark
Thursday, December 4, 10PM – 1AM

Ticketed event

BET Presents H.I.S. Celebrity Style
Thursday, December 4, 7:30PM – 8:30PM

An introduction to H.I.S. followed by a conversation and Q&A on fashion and more. H.I.S. BET is the new destination for Black men. The event will feature a conversation with the stylish men of BET and will feature Boris Kodjoe’s menswear line, Nelly’s new show (via promo) Nellyville, and B.J. Britt from Being Mary Jane. Miami DJ K Foxx from 103.5 The Beat will moderate the evening. Free.

2nd Annual Fly Beyond Awards Dinner
Friday, December 5 – Private reception & BET Pink Carpet: 6PM – 8PM; Awards Dinner: 8PM – 10PM; Party to follow

The event kicks off with a private BET pink carpet reception at 6:30pm and flows into an awards dinner at 8pm celebrating the lives and careers of Smithsonian curator Dr. Tuliza Fleming, artist and African-American art historian and scholar David Driskell and BET CEO Debra Lee for their love and commitment to the Arts sponsored by Grey Goose. Attendees for the private dinner will include artists, collectors, curators, business professionals, taste makers, trendsetters, and media. Ticketed event.

MVM Boutique Fashion Preview Breakfast
Friday, December 5, 9AM – 11AM – Fusion Mia Garden Lounge, NW 23rd St Between NW 2nd Ave & NW 3rd Ave

Fashion and art collides as MVM Miami Boutique hosts a special preview of the 2015 collections of designer, Leila Kashanipour, and famed designer, Jay Godfrey, while enjoying a gourmet brunch catered by celebrity Chef Amaris Jones.

Fusion After Dark
Friday, December 5, 10PM – 1AM

Ticketed event

BET Art Talk
Saturday, December 6, 11AM – 12PM

Art is Life conversation featuring Smithsonian curator Dr. Tuliza Fleming and African-American art scholar David Driskell.

BET Art Lounge
Saturday, December 6, 4PM – 7PM

Preview screenings of BET’s upcoming shows, talent meet and greets, and community panels. Free admission.

BET Presents Book of Negros
Saturday, December 6, 6PM – 7PM

Gather for an introduction of the Book of Negroes via a 3-5 minute trailer followed by a conversation and Q&A with Clement Virgo, Book of Negroes Director, and Ajunanue Ellis, star of Book of Negroes. The discussion will be centered around the origin and historical relevance of the Book of Negroes and the important and unique role of the lead character, Aminata Diallo, in this historical and epic mini-series coming to BET. Free

Centric Presents Single Ladies & The Art of Fashion
Saturday, December 6, 7:30PM – 8:30PM

Join an introduction to the Centric rebrand and the show via a promo followed by a conversation and Q&A on fashion and more. Centric, the first network designed for Black Women, presents Single Ladies with a conversation with Letoya Luckett.

Fusion After Dark ft Erykah Badu
Saturday, December 6, 10PM – 2AM

Headliner Market Group hosts BET’s Art lounge Wynwood pop-up gallery with music by DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown aka Erykah Badu. Admission $25; VIP $50. Tickets available at wantickets.com/Events/ShowEvent.aspx?eventId=172042

Fusion MIA Farewell Brunch & “The Black Renaissance” Fashion Show
Sunday, December 7, 11AM – 2PM

Hosted by Jill Tracy of Hot 105. Ticketed event.

A Caribbean Bazaar
Sunday, December 7, 2PM – 6PM

Presented by Cultures To Go featuring at the fashion show, “Black Renaissance.”

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2014


Haiti Contemporary – “Les Jacmelien IV”

December 4 – April 10, 2015

Haitian Heritage Museum, 4141 NE 2nd Ave, Design District

Internationally-renowned Haitian-American Artist Charles Philippe Jean-Pierre known for his dynamic blend of vibrant graffiti, folk, graphics, and multimedia will feature his neo, and abstract expressionism series in a solo exhibition at the Haitian Heritage Museum show entitled “Haiti Contemporary- Les Jacmelien IV.”

VIP Opening Show
Thursday, December 4, 6:30PM

The fourth in a series of the Haitian Heritage Museum’s Les Jacmelien exhibit opens up with a VIP reception. RSVP required at hhmevents@comcast.net. Guests are encouraged to bring an unwrapped toy valued at $10 or more to benefit children in Haiti.



Black Art in America

December 4 – 7

Brisky Gallery, 130 NW 24th St, Wynwood

Opening Launch
Wednesday, December 3, 11PM – 1:30AM

Multiple events over four days will offer you the opportunity to experience stellar installation of visual artworks, exhibitions, performances, and events.

Mobile Media Lounge “Get Juked” Art Exhibit/Opening
Thursday, December 4, 5PM – 10PM

In The Paint – The Wade Collection 2014
Billi Kid curates a ground-breaking exhibition of original artworks created by three-time NBA champion Dwyane Wade who transformed sections of the 2011 NBA All-Star Game basketball court into extraordinary works of art using only his natural brush, the basketball. “In The Paint” is an exhibition and event hosted by the Brisky Gallery, in association with the NBA, Dwyane Wade, and the Wade Foundation.

Black Art in America Exhibit
Friday, December 5, 2PM – 10PM

Black Art in America Exhibit
Saturday, December 6

  • Art Exhibition – 11am – 10pm
  • Black Art In America Member Signup and Workshop – 11am – 1pm
  • Discussion: Why Black Art in America?- 2pm – 3pm
  • The New Outsider Is In — who will be instrumental in creating new works for the arts market?
  • The Art of Collecting – 4pm – 7pm
  • Collectors Cocktail Party – 8pm – 10pm




December 2 – 4

Yeelen Gallery, 294 NW 54th St, Miami

AYITI KRIYE is a series of new photographic works by French artist Jerome Soimaud created immediately after Haiti’s devastating 2010 earthquake. Soimaud incorporates photographs of religious ceremonies and those taken in the aftermath of the Haïtian earthquake on the ground in Port-au-Prince to create a cohesive, spiritual, and physical understanding of Haïti. Born in Paris in 1964, Jerome Soimaud’s work has shown extensively in the U.S., Belgium, and France.

AYITI KRIYE Artist Reception
December 4, 7PM – 10PM

Partial proceeds will be donated to Motion (AIM) and their Batey 106 Project and the Little Haiti Cultural Center.



Shifting the Paradigm: The Art of George Edozie

December 2 – 7

Museum of Contemporary Art of North Miami (MOCA), 770 NE 125th St, North Miami

Curated by Pr. Nzegwu and featuring contemporary artist, George Edozie, Shifting the Paradigm is designed to tear down aging but still prevalent concepts surrounding the creation, consumption and interpretation of contemporary that will include the Moca Breakfasts – an engagement with contemporary aesthetic issues by scholars, critics, and artists — Moca Moving Images, the series of film screenings, and a host of both public and private events surrounding the exhibition.

Opening Reception
Tuesday, December 2, 7PM

The opening reception to launch a week of activities at MOCA. Free for MOCA members; $25 for non-members. RSVP: eventbrite.com/e/shifting-the-paradigm-the-art-of-george-edozie-tickets-13827631819.


Friday, Dec. 2



Four-time Grammy-winning Philly soul crooners serve up sweet harmonies on classic songs such as “I’ll Make Love to You,” “On Bended Knee” and “End of the Road.” New jack swing man Al B. Sure (“Nite and Day”) opens.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Pompano Beach Amphitheater, 1806 NE 6th St., Pompano Beach; Ticketmaster; $33-$68.



South Florida’s taiko drum ensemble is back with an original adaptation of the famous Japanese legend of the Gojinjo drummers of Nafune. The show blends original compositions with Kiriko-style taiko, the traditional style and rhythms of the Noto area, with the sounds of Japanese koto (harp) and shinobue (flute) adding depth and beauty. Tickets for the original Oct. 7 show will be honored.

Details: 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Amaturo Theater, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org; $25-$35.



Family-friendly concert series kicks off with Latin Grammy-winning pianist and composer Pepe Montes and his band, whose exhilarating sound melds Cuba’s golden era classics of the ’40s and ’50s with contemporary timba rhythms. You’ll hear favorites including the singles “Novelesque” and “Cortadito” from their latest album “Ajiaco,” and many others.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday at Tropical Park, 7900 SW 40th St., Miami; 305-480-1717; free.



Jam band from the musically fertile town of Athens, Ga. (R.E.M., The B-52’s, Widespread Panic), takes the stage for two nights of Southern rock, funk, jazzy improv, indie-rock and psychedelic synth loops.

Details: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Culture Room, 3045 N. Federal Hwy., Fort Lauderdale; www.cultureroom.net; $18.



Two chances to see the legendary prog-rock/pop band Styx churn out hits including “Lady,” “Too Much Time On My Hands,” “Rockin’ The Paradise,” “Come Sail Away,” “Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man)” and “Renegade.”

Details: 8 p.m. Friday at Magic City Casino, 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami; and 8 p.m. Saturday at The Casino at Dania Beach, 301 E. Dania Beach Blvd., Dania Beach; 305-460-6579 or www.magiccitycasino.com; $30-$125.



Latest cutup from the extensive Wayans clan (fans of TV’s “Happy Endings” and “New Girl” will recognize him) continues the talented family’s tradition, with hilarious stand-up.

Details: 8 and 10:30 p.m. Friday, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, and 7 p.m. Sunday; at the Fort Lauderdale Improv, 5700 Seminole Way; www.improvftl.com; $25.

Saturday, Dec. 3



Massive, two-day blowout features the best in modern pop-rock bands on Saturday (Silversun Pickups, Miike Snow, Dirty Heads, AWOLNATION, The Struts, Good Charlotte, Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, Robert DeLong, Glass Animals and Saint Motel) and classic pop, funk and freestyle acts on Sunday (Earth, Wind & Fire, The B-52’s, Expose, The Fixx, Howard Jones, Lime, A Flock of Seagulls and Debbie Deb).

Details: 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday at Fort Lauderdale Beach, Harbor Drive & A1A, 1100 Seabreeze Blvd., Fort Lauderdale; www.riptidefest.com; $49 Saturday, $85 Sunday, $99 two-day pass, VIP $220-$260.



Two chances to see the one and only Barbra Streisand in rare performances in South Florida, in support of her 35th studio album, “Encore: Movie Partners Sing Broadway,” which hit No. 1 on The Billboard 200 on Aug. 26. It’ll be the songbird’s first appearance in the Sunrise/Fort Lauderdale area in more than 10 years, and her first time in the Miami/Miami Beach area since March 1963 at the Café Pompeii in the Eden Roc Hotel.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday at the BB&T Center, 1 Panther Pkwy., Sunrise; 8 p.m. Monday at the AmericanAirlines Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; Ticketmaster; $99-$510.



Internationally renowned jazz pianist brings his exciting hard-swinging, hard-bop style to the stage, cultivated during his time in drummer Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers in the late ’80s.

Details: 8 p.m. Saturday at the Rose and Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, Nova Southeastern University Campus, 3100 Ray Ferrero Blvd., Davie;www.southfloridajazz.org; $40, $10 students.



Former lead singer (as Sonny Moore) for the post-hardcore band From First to Last who went on to find bigger fame as perennial Grammy-winning dubstep god Skrillex will tear up the dance floor for the Basel crowds with his vicious, bottom-heavy beats.

Details: 11 p.m. Saturday at LIV Nightclub, 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; www.flavorus.com; $70-$80.

Sunday, Dec. 4



Grammy-winning bass legend – who co-founded the seminal jazz-fusion group Return to Forever along with keyboardist Chick Corea and drummer Lenny White – has been a musical force of nature for more than four decades, playing both the electric and acoustic upright bass with equal virtuosity. For bass lovers, it doesn’t get any better than this.

Details: 7 p.m. Sunday at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, Amaturo Theater, 201 SW Fifth Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-462-0222 or www.browardcenter.org; $39.50-$59.50.



Country singer/songwriter and Army veteran performs signature hits including “Bonfire,” “Almost Home,” “Redneck Yacht Club,” “International Harvester,” “This Ole Boy,” “Wake Up Lovin’ You” and the No. 1 smash, “That’s What I Love About Sunday,” plus tracks from his seventh studio album, “A Whole Lot More to Me,” including “When I’m Gone” and “I’ll Be Home Soon.” Carter Winter opens.

Details: 8 p.m. Sunday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8th St., Fort Lauderdale;  www.parkerplayhouse.com; $27.50-$57.50.

Next Week 



She’s a little bit country, he’s a little bit rock ‘n’ roll, and together they’re a lot of fun, as this superstar sibling duo has been entertaining audiences for more than 50 years. Fun facts: Donny Osmond won Season 9 of “Dancing with the Stars,” while Marie has helped raise more than $5 billion as co-founder of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Details: 8 p.m. Monday at the Hard Rock Live Arena at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, 1 Seminole Way, near Hollywood; Ticketmaster; $40-$90.



British jazz-fusion guitarist, who co-wrote Al Stewart’s 1978 hit “Time Passages,” teams up with trumpet master Rick Braun and saxman Euge Groove for some jazzy versions of seasonal classics, a few original holiday songs and some of their best known hits.

Details: 8 p.m. Wednesday at Parker Playhouse, 707 NE 8thSt., Fort Lauderdale;  www.parkerplayhouse.com; $33-$53.

free for all


3 P.M. SATURDAY AND SUNDAY: Rachel Kudo and Marina Radiushina team up in a spectacular piano performance of both solo and four-hand repertoire, featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Dvorak and, of course, Chopin; 3 p.m. Saturday at Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave, Fort Lauderdale; and 3 p.m. Sunday at Granada Presbyterian Church, 950 University Dr., Coral Gables; www.chopin.org.

A Portrait of an Artist


LeVan D. Hawkins
A Portrait of an Artist

Writer, poet, and performer LeVan D. Hawkins grew up in Robbins Illinois, a suburb south of Chicago. Established in the early 1900’s, Robbins is 95 percent African American and according to LeVan’s work, filled with an array of citizens from society matrons to thugs, from those with no ambition to extraordinarily proud and driven people. LeVan has also spent over two decades in West Hollywood, California, a city at that time, close to 90 percent white. The exposure to these polar opposite communities has given him a perspective that is rare and that will be on display in his memoir, What Men Do, which he is currently shopping. The memoir documents LeVan’s return to Robbins to live and addresses his intense relationship with his recently-met twenty-seven year-old nephew. Robbins and West Hollywood are as vibrant as the main characters in the book- where the reader gets exposed to the good, the bad, and the ugly. Through e-mails and text messages, LeVan was gracious enough to reveal some intimate details about his work as an artist and the influences that define his writings and performances. The Q&A was edited for length.

What inspired you to bridge poetry and performing art together? Would you say your poems can’t exist without the performance element applied to it?

I’ve been performing in front of audiences since I was a child. I started at church. I did forensics as part as a speech team in high school. My degree is in theater from the Art Institute of Chicago. There are performing elements in pretty much everything I create. Some of the pieces are meant to be read, others are meant to be seen and heard but anything I write, I can turn into a performance. It’s all coming from the same place. I would say, though, I am more interested in theatrical poetry. Poetry as theater and drama.

Obviously, your upbringing has influenced your work. Is there any other thing besides your personal life your creativity is inspired by?

Saying I’m inspired by my personal life makes me seem sort of self-absorbed or more self-centered than I am. I’d like to think I’m not. Once a reviewer called my work “personal yet political.” I like that description. I’m trying to figure whether I take something that happens in my personal life and expand on that or whether I take something political, social and find some way to make that anecdotal. I want to say the latter but I don’t know if that’s totally true. Perhaps I use something in my life when I believe it makes a much larger point. Sometimes I think of myself as an evacuation project and I’m just digging to see what’s there, what has made an impression. Every artist has their upbringing and experiences. I believe the personal is in their work even when the work is at its most abstract. Most of my work is in first person so it’s a little more obvious. It’s not always totally true though, it reflects me by being something that fascinates me.

I spent the first three months of 2016 reading the essays of James Baldwin. He was quite emphatic about not being a sociological symbol. We are human beings experiencing sociological problems – racism etc. Currently, I am my mother’s primary caregiver. This has been going on nine years. Dealing with my mother is my human experience and it and my sanity and health take precedence over me being more involved in the world or having anything resembling a social life. That being said, I do a lot of reading and pondering. Most of the pondering is done in private with a few close friends. I try to keep with what’s going on in the world and I ask myself, ‘How do I express all that I am, all that makes its way to my gut, in my book?’ I see my book as my contribution to the world. Have to get it done!

Could you explain the creative process you undergo when creating a new piece?

A lot of pondering, a lot of note-taking. Then some free association. Sometimes, nothing comes up right away but if I keep at it, I know through experience that something will come up. These days, I’m concerned with quieting my mind, slowing down, digging to find out what’s there. I’m always thinking and though my body is present, sometimes I’m just not there. I’m thinking. Every now and then, something occurs and I am intensely present. I pay a lot of attention to what attracted me and what I see.

I am very interested in multi-media. I would love to collaborate with a visual artist. I did a satire on black male identity called “Black Stuff” with actor and writer Alexander Thomas with visual art from visual artist, poet and performance artist Pat Payne. I loved that experience. My work in that was influenced by rap records, with samples, skits, blunt subject matter, and the aim of “keeping it real.” I often think of making a record and album when I’m putting a show together. What else? I watched the PBS documentary on “Hamilton” and my brain felt like it was going to explode from inspiration. Research, metaphor, contradiction, facing truth. YES! But I don’t know what’s going on in the creative world the way I would like. I’m aware I don’t. Sometimes I lament that. I try to read a lot of reviews and articles on new art and visualize them.

I had a plan. I wanted to complete my book and branch out from there. I’ve been pretty disciplined at that. My memoir incorporates storytelling, poetry, solo performing, public speaking, and performance art and places that voice on the page. I’m interested in expressing me and my interests. I’ve seen a lot more art lately. I recently visited the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art. I’m more up on that world but if you asked me to describe what’s going on – I wouldn’t know how to articulate it.

I’m fascinated with the artistic decision to create metaphor versus creating the literal. Turning experience into metaphor and deconstruction. Who knows? That could be my objective and still, the work will come up sounding like me. Perhaps I will only move a millimeter and I will be the only one aware of it.


Is writing poetry and memoir therapeutic? If so, what rewards you gained from them?

Well, with the memoir, I’m learning about myself, how I feel about things, getting a better handle on what has occurred in my life. I also find myself empathizing with behavior that I had disapproved of. In myself and others though, I find I’m much kinder to others. I think it’s good to ask what made this person behave that way and really examine the possibilities.

With the poetry, I receive messages from poems I’ve written. They’re fully formed when I write them but I don’t always get their messages until I need healing. It’s like they are waiting to teach me lessons. Last week, I received a message from this performance poem I wrote about killing the young me whose freedoms and lack of inhibition caused me too much trouble. The piece is about Aretha Franklin and sexuality. At the end of the poem, the old me rises and declares:

My love is oblivious to decorum
My sex is slurred and unpronounceable
My hurt is hummed and immeasurable
But my belief is all-powerful and inescapable:

I cannot be ignored


I forgot that the old me rose. I tried to kill the old me. The old was free and would NOT die. I needed to remember that.

What other poets, dead or alive that inspires your work?

I started with an anthology called Black Voices. It had tremendous impact on me. The idea of I could write about my life. I found it while I was attending a College Bound Program at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois. I spent two or three summers there. I discovered Langston Hughes – his Harlem world was so Robbins and he was accessible. My high-school at that time was in Robbins and they had the most wonderful library and librarians. Lots of African American literature. I remember an Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee album of them reading Langston Hughes. I wore that out. I devoured James Baldwin’ s fiction. “Go Tell It On The Mountain” is as close to my life as any book. I wasn’t confined to poetry. I just read. I run into my high school’s librarian every now and then, usually at a funeral. She cared about the students and spent a little more time with students like me who she felt had promise and was interested in learning. My heart leaps when I see her; I am once again fifteen. In that library, I learned about Amira Baraka, Gwendolyn Brooks, Don Lee. Somewhere along the way, I discovered Robert Frost, and Anne Sexton. Sexton appealed to my emotional struggles of feeling unloved and struggling with my identity as a man who loves men. James Baldwin put that identity in context and inserted it into a world like Robbins. I recently visited the Robert Frost Museum in Vermont. Still pondering that experience and attempting to articulate all that I got out of it. At that time, I felt it was life-changing. I’m looking for my notes to see why.

Where, in the future, you would like to see poetry and performing art heading?

You know I have no idea. I don’t really know where things are. I am not up on things as I was in the late nineties, early aughts when I attended everything and read and performed almost weekly. I still have the curiosity. That thirst burns within me. Get out and expose yourself to as much as possible. Don’t have limitations. I started in poetry and I went to three or four readings a week. I loved the World Stage in Leimert Park and the Hyperpoetics Series at the Rose Café, both in LA. They were more literary venues. I went to others but those two had an effect on the way I thought and wrote. I have featured at the Stage quite a bit and I was asked to feature at the Hyperpoetics Series but they closed before I could do it. I considered those invites an honor; I had learned my lessons well. Though those places focused on poetry, they affected all my writing. Then I started performing at Highways Performance Space in Santa Monica and it became another home for me. I was taking everything in. I brought all I had experienced, what I saw, what I learned, what I was going through to my performance work.

Instagram didn’t kill the photojournalist

Despite the wild popularity of Instagram and no matter how smart you think your phone is….the pictures you take on your phone and the stuff you guys post on Instagram sucks. Sometime around 1998, I was getting ready to graduate college and like all anticipating graduates, I was clueless about the future. But one thing I was certain of was that I wanted to be a journalist/ photojournalist. Life Magazine was still in print but eventually ceased publication after the Internet had decided its physical presence was no longer needed. I used to go to my school’s library to read archival clippings of old photos on Life Magazine. I spend countless days and long hours in the basement of the library reading biographies on war photographers such as Don McCullin, James Nachtwey, and Robert Capa. My girlfriend at that time was jealous. “How could you spend so much time at the ‘library’”, she used to ask me, insinuating that I was cheating on her. But yet she was right, instead of making love, or spending time on the couch watching “novelas” with her, I was at the library, trying to equip myself with the necessary knowledge to one day be a great photographer such as the legendary Gordon Parks (if you don’t know who he is shame on you, cut and paste his name and Google it, what are you waiting for…NOW). A few years after I graduated and eventually left that small college town, I did a few freelance gigs, writing and photographing for a few publications out of Miami. Despite my efforts at being a decent photographer, the Internet killed my dreams of being a documentary photographer. But I continued photographing but most of those images didn’t get published. They were hidden secrets, even to myself. “Post your photos online” another girlfriend at another time demanded of me. This stubborn idiot eventually listened and now I’m Instagram bitches! (instagram.com/photo_whore)

But I’ll be damn if I post any pictures. The hell with the Internet (minus this blog).


the art of Kyle Mosher


In a blend of pop and fine art, artist Kyle Mosher takes old newspapers, a pencil, paint and a canvas and turn them into fuse of urban, retro luxury (that’s if there is such a thing). This Canada native’s artwork has been featured in galleries across the corner, in magazines across the web and graced private homes across the world. His influences include: Picasso, Twombly, Rauschenberg, Eduardo Recife (Misprinted Type) and the Synthetic Cubism movement. In his own words, his art is “superficial and much recycled world of pop-art with the classic-but-sometimes-stale traditional world of fine art.”