By Rayme Samuels
In August of 1988, Brazilian bossa nova legend Milton Nascimento headlined a concert produced by an unknown organization dedicated to bringing world music to South Florida. This October at the Arscht Center, Milton Nascimento performed again, this time with bossa nova outfit the Jobim Trio to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Rhythm Foundation.
The foremost presenter of world music in the region, RF has produced over 250 concerts by artists from Brazil, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe. With an average of 15 concerts and festivals held each year at various venues in South Florida, the RF has found its greatest success specifically with Brazilian artists, including Seu Jorge, Gilberto Gil and Bebel Gilberto. While fall is an important time for the arts, the organization’s signature spring event, the TransAtlantic Series, also serves as a vital exploration of modern world music, an exciting combination of electronica and traditional sounds.
Twenty years ago, RF was founded in Miami to increase multicultural awareness through the presentation of live music and related programming, to develop a diverse audience and to have this audience share experiences and better understand the different cultures that make up South Florida. "In the end, the amazing concerts were just a by product," said Laura Quinlan, the current director of RF whose husband James Quinlan spearheaded the creation of the organization. "We only present artists that we are really passionate about — that we think will connect with people."
They’ve come a long way from humble origins in the historic Cameo Theater on South Beach, and have blossomed from their initial aims to build the nonprofit as well as renovate the building. Their 2008 fall season has been laid out over the month of October and includes Brazilian bossa nova, French electro-pop, electronic tango and argentine jazz:
Friday, October 10th
Polish American Club, Miami
The French electro-pop group, who are icons in Paris, perform with DJ Grand Marnier, and promote the dance craze their beats have inspired called the tectonic.
Tuesday, October 14th
Fillmore Miami Beach
The Argentine-Uruguyan electronic tango group led by Gustavo Sataolalla (cofounder, guitarrist, and Academy Award-winning composer for the films Amores Perros, Motorcycle Diaries, and Brokeback Mountain), producers/keyboardists Juan Campodonico and DJ Supervielle, and a large team of the top tango artists and DJs.
Thursday, October 30th
University of Miami Gusman Hall
Pablo Zieger is Latin Grammy nominated former musical director of Argentine great Astor Piazzola who explores jazz as it meets tango.
For more info on the Rhythm Foundation, visit www.rhythmfoundation.com