Called to priesthood by verse and inspired by African poets known as griots, Adrian Castro writes and recites rhythmic tales of history, civilization, and spirituality. The way this Cuban-Dominican Miami native sees things, maracas swim in his veins, Caribbean people are born in a downpour of heat and humidity, and palm nuts musically converse. "Poets, in order to be complete poets, should be able to render their work," Castro says. "Poetry comes from the oral tradition."
A self-described "poet of place" who works best in tropical surroundings, the 37-year-old is a babalao, or high priest of the Yoruba religion, from which Santeria evolved. His pulsating recitals combine the English, Spanish, and African languages and emphasize myth and migration. Castro began sharing his writings 16 years ago during open-mic nights at Miami's Cameo Theatre. His first poetry collection, Cantos to Blood and Honey, has since been published, and he has been called one of the most vibrant and original poets of today. He performs at 7 tonight at the Palm Beach Institute of Contemporary Art (601 Lake Ave., Lake Worth) amid the complementary creations of artist Michael Joo. Admission costs $3. Call 561-582-0006. --Michelle Sheldone
Caribbean fest kicks off
"It used to be a backyard event," 27-year-old Kareem Williams says of the "Summer Sizzle" Caribbean festival he's planning with three buddies. "But we ran out of room and realized we need to take it to a park." They also realized they needed some radical entertainment, so they hired Frankie Paul, the prolific (he's released more than 30 albums) and nearly blind dancehall star who's often called Jamaica's Stevie Wonder. Next, they realized that they needed to pay for all this, so they got sponsors. This brilliant idea means that admission will be free, and you might even win two airline tickets from Air Jamaica (a sponsor). Head to Meyer Amphitheatre (105 Evernia St., West Palm Beach) to fill up on jerk chicken, check out the talent show, and, we suggest, become good friends with Kareem. Who knows? P. Diddy could be underwriting your next birthday. Call 561-236-2537, or visit www.fullavibes.com. --Deirdra Funcheon
Home show features gadgets and gurus
Attention, home shoppers: Trade your personal virtuosos in for a computerized piano-violin duet with self-sliding bow and automated keys. The 1,000-exhibitor Fort Lauderdale Home Design and Remodeling Show houses an eclectic collection of goods and services and comes to the Broward County Convention Center (1950 Eisenhower Blvd., Fort Lauderdale) May 28 through 31. Neophyte do-it-yourselfers can sit in on a seminar led by TLC's In a Fix designer Nani Vinkin and forego wall removal-related remodeling for giclee appliqué windows and doors. Cost: $8 adults, $1 children under 13. Call 305-667-9299. --Michelle Sheldone
Downtown Hollywood's been booming like a low-ridin' El Camino, and Fresh Thursdays at Ginger Bay Cafe (1908 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood) are part of the reason. Whether inside the club or out back, the self-proclaimed "best Thursday night hot spot" in South Florida serves up nonstop dancehall, hip-hop, soca, and classic reggae through the wee hours. Admission costs $10 for gents, $5 for ladies. Call 954-923-1230. -- Jason Budjinski