Having failed to make it with Miffecito, having missed Teo Castellanos’ Third Trinity and having rolled snake eyes on the Backyard Bash, I am feeling like a jinx at the crap tables, but ready to double down.
Against all odds, I would like to try my hand again at film with Patrick Jimenez’s France Cinema Floride’s 2014, and I intend to try to see Etienne Charles at the South Miami- Dade Cultural Arts Center. Wish me luck.
I’m gon’ go call my crew; you go call your crew; we can rendezvous at the Tower around two. This is if you and your posse want to see Colt 45 on Sunday, Nov. 2, roundabout 2 p.m. Two days earlier, on Halloween, at 7 p.m., France Cinema Floride’s opening night brings the American premier of BBQ, a well-received comedy directed by Eric Lavaine. Here, the leading man has a heart attack after having lived quite carefully. So, of course, he decides to change.
In between, Saturday at 6 p.m., another promising comedy, Serial (bad) Wedding presents a cultural clash among conservative, upper-class Catholics and their sonsin- law — one Muslim, one Jewish and one Chinese. I guess in French films, yellow is the new black (I apologize in advance). Daughter number four marries a good catholic, praise the Lord. There are a number of other films in the series, which look quite worthwhile, including the finale, 24 Days. Weather permitting, you can go across the street to chill in Ball & Chain’s garden or have a scoop of Abuela Maria, Willy Cherrino or chocolate at Azucar.
In my dreams, I hang in Paris at the club in 1949 listening to jazz, but nobody is smoking but the drummer. Somehow, I expect Etienne Charles, reinterpreting the Creole, to transport me there by way of the Caribbean on Saturday night, Nov. 1, at 8 p.m. This Trinidadian trumpeter’s newest effort, Creole Soul, provides his interpretation of what has now become almost stereotypical – fusion. Since blending knows no boundaries – borders, instruments, genres, rhythms, cultures, subcultures, religion – wondering what rivers are left to cross can make someone wonder. Combining klezmer with steel drums, electric violas and two MacBooks may sound innovative, but will it sound good?
This is the perpetual snare that traps those who aim to break ground with multiculture; it does not automatically work. Kimchi tacos get rave reviews. Cronut pasta with pomegranate seeds does not work.
In the past few years though, particularly last year, SMDCAC’s curators mined these veins gorgeously, with Kurt Elling, Jon Batiste and Poncho Sanchez just killing each of their shows. Eric Fliss, GM of the venue, is part savant, part magician, on the hot streak and all in on the cast of performers who somehow routinely fill the room with whatever it needs to bounce, levitate and groove.
Etienne Charles’ own journey needs a fistful of pushpins – Trinidad, FSU, Julliard, Michigan State. While this resume used to be a roadmap for tomorrow, it is not this way anymore. It’s just soul music 2014. I suspect, however, that Mr. Fliss and staff have vetted Mr. Charles. So I intend to attend.
Hopefully, these upcoming events are the first lucky sevens for my winter schedule, and we will all soon be rolling onward and upward.
Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to firstname.lastname@example.org.