While art dominates Miami during Art Basel for obvious reason, the week also happens to be one of the best weeks to catch some of the best music you will hear all year.
Kendrick Lamar, Boy George, Questlove at MANA Wynwood Art Basel
Kicking off the five-day week is a private performance by superstar rap artist Kendrick Lamar. Thursday will host Darkside, the widely acclaimed collaboration between electronic producer Nicolas Jaar and guitarist Dave Harrington. Friday evening, Boy George playing his first concert in the United States in over ten years in an acoustic performance that will include music from his newest album This Is What I Do. Questlove of the R&B band the Roots (which also happens to be late night host Jimmy Fallon's house band) will be stopping by for a performance on Saturday with a secret special guest. Sunday will host Fool's Gold, a free daytime party with DJs like Trick Daddy, Flosstradamus, Dave 1, Young Thug and more.
Festival begins Wednesday, December 4 and ends on Sunday, December 8 at MANA Soundstage, 318 NW 23rd Street. For more info, go to www.artbaselmanawynwood.com.
Tegan and Sara at Scope + Vh1 Party
Last year's Scope + Vh1 party brought an amazing performance by Canadian rock band Metric and this year they will be bringing another indie favorite from the United States's northern neighbor. Canadian indie duo Tegan and Sara will be making a splash on the sands of Miami Beach for their first performance in Miami in over three years. They'll play music from last year's acclaimed album Heartthrob and lots of old favorites. While the party is technically closed off to the public, you will still be able to witness the performance from just outside the performance area. Also joining the band will be DJ Cassidy and Brendan Fallis.
8 PM to 12 AM on Friday, December 6 at the Scope Art Fair tent on beach at 11th Street and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. Party for VIP or Platinum Scope Art Fair attendees or invite-only but performances viewable by the public. For more info, go to www.scope-art.com.
For several years now, Basel Castle has arguably been the most anticipated music event during Art Basel, always providing a stellar all-day line-up of emerging musicians and DJs. This year, the castle is making the move from Wynwood to downtown Miami's Grand Central Park with a roster that's bigger than ever. Among the line-up are electronic stars Gesaffelstein and SBTRKT, hip-hop prodigies Chance the Rapper and Travi$ Scott and rock bands Cusses and the Knocks.
Festival begins at 12 PM on Saturday, December 7 at Grand Central Park, 721 NW 1st Avenue, Miami. $20 to $50. For more info, go to www.baselcastle.com.
Look Alive Fest
Fans of alt-rock will go wild for this two-night festival taking over two of Miami's favorite underground venues. Churchill's will be kicking off the fest Friday night a line-up of emerging rock bands and a headlining performance by critically acclaimed post-industrial band Wolf Eyes. Saturday night takes the fest to Gramps with the only Florida stop on noise collective Indian Jewelry's tour as well as another series of talented local and national rock bands.
First night begins 8 PM on Friday, December 6 at at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave, Miami with $10 admission. Second night begins 8 PM on Saturday, December 7 at Gramps, 176 NW 24 St, Miami. For more info, go to www.lookalivefest.com.
Chris Cornell helped pioneer the grunge movement in the 1990s with Soundgarden and has since seen a long, illustrious career later as a solo performer and the lead of Audioslave. During Art Basel, Cornell takes to the stage to show off acoustic renditions of favorites from his long career as well as songs from Soundgarden's latest album King Animal.
8 PM on Thursday, December 5 at Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd, Miami. Tickets start at $46. For more info, go to arshtcenter.org.
Ghostface Killah of Wu-Tang Clan
Ghostface Killah has garnered a huge reputation as one of the best rappers of his generation for being one of the founding members of legendary rap group Wu-Tang Clan. The rap group will be making the rounds at several of the Art Basel parties throughout the week but the highlight will be when Ghostface Killah shows off his skills at the Stage in Design District. He will be performing material from his latest album Twelve Reasons to Die and old favorites. Making an appearance is his Wu Tang bandmate Sheer Louch.
10 PM on Friday, December 6 at the Stage, 170 Northeast 38th St., Miami. Tickets start at $33. For more info, go to www.stagemiami.com.
Pop-up Piano Miami
For those who prefer their music to be spontaneous, check out this three-day project that fuses art and music. Pianos painted by local artists will be making their way around the city and will make their way to three destinations. At each spot, the pianos will be played by prolific pianists like Rami Jaffe of the Foo Fighters and Jessy Greene, who has performed for Pink. Each day will provide new music with a plethora of free food and drink to quench your appetite.
Takes place at various times and locations from Thursday, December 5 to Saturday, December 6. For more info, go to www.popuppianomia.com.