More than 20 million metric tons of mangoes are grown throughout the tropical and subtropical world, and June is when the "king of fruit" ripens in South Florida. Any excuse for a festival. In proper "set up tents and they will come" fashion, the City of Deerfield Beach's 19th-annual Mango Festival gives a nod to locally grown varieties, which help sweet-talk huge musical talents like Mighty Sparrow ("Calypso King of the World") into performing. Sure, it'll definitely be raining mangoes, but the main focus of the occasion is music. The three-day festival coincides with Juneteenth (June 19 is African-American Emancipation Day) as the oldest known celebration of the end of slavery, as well as Black Music Month -- proclaimed just last year by George W. Bush to "celebrate the ways that African-American music has helped shape American Society."
About 20 groups will perform in various genres, including Caribbean, traditional to contemporary rhythm and blues, and gospel. Kicking things off on the main stage Friday night is Haitian star Won-G, followed by Mighty Sparrow ("He's to Caribbean Calypso what Elvis Presley was to rock 'n' roll," festival spokesperson Ric Green says) and the Gap Band. That's enough to cause involuntary booty movement in even the most jam-depleted DNA. A parade begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, starting at Pioneer Park, and goes along MLK Boulevard to the festival. Bobby Womack performs Saturday evening, and if you overdo it in funky town, you can repent on Sunday with the gospel sounds of Lee Williams and the Spiritual Q.C.'s. More than 150 vendors and businesses will offer food, arts and crafts, other services, and uh, mangoes. Festivities get down on Dixie Highway between Hillsboro Boulevard and SW Tenth Street in Deerfield Beach from 5 to 10 p.m. Friday, noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, and 1 to 8 p.m. Sunday. Advance tickets cost $7 for adults, $5 for children age 10 and under. They cost $10 and $7 respectively on the day of the event. Reduced prices of $5 and $3 are offered Friday night only. Proceeds go toward education scholarships for Deerfield Beach students. Call 954-480-4433, or visit www.deerfield-beach.com. --Michele D. Omenson
Still Against It
When British political punk/hardcore band the Subhumans initially split up in the mid-'80s, singer Dick Lucas enthusiastically turned to ska-punk, despite criticism by the Grand Old Punk types that only fast music can be punk. Oh yeah? Well, bollocks to you, mate! Try telling it to Miami's Against All Authority, which came along at the inception of the '90s ska-punk explosion and is still together -- unlike the many here-today, gone-tomorrow kids that have always populated the punk scene. "But horns aren't punk," you say. Well, try listening beyond that -- to the lyrics -- and you'll hear all the same themes you'd hear on an Exploited album: distrust of the system, hatred of cops, working-class pride, and liberal use of the f word. AAA recently returned home after a national tour with the Suicide Machines and the Code. The band's also awaiting the release of a split EP with Common Rider, led by former Operation Ivy vocalist Jesse Michaels. AAA offers pitside assistance after Irish Car Bomb and the Aftermath, at 6:30 p.m. at the Factory (2674 E. Oakland Park Blvd., Fort Lauderdale). The cost is $8. Call 954-564-ROCK. -- Jason Budjinski
Soca Saturdays power the Banana Boat
For some high-energy, island-style liming, get your bamshee to the Banana Boat (6242 W. Oakland Park Blvd., Sunrise). Patrons of the local nightspot's Socamania Saturdays dance into the place and over to the bar, typically for Heinekens and Coronas, even though Carib is the brew of choice on Trinidad, where soca's calypso-Indian rhythms were born. "The people really come to have fun," Banana Boat co-owner Garnett Newman says. Hal "The Wizzard" Cooper, manager/DJ for Irie Vibez web radio, approached Newman with the idea after listeners e-mailed requests for soca parties. "We're catering to the Caribbean population as opposed to Jamaican people [exclusively]," Cooper says. Irie Vibez DJs, including Trinidad native Eternal Vibes, spin the tunes of such artists as Alison Hinds and Rupee (Barbados), Kevin Little (St. Vincent), Burning Flames (Antigua), Jam Band (U.S.V.I.) and Miami's Giselle D'Wassi One. The Wizzard and DJ Sky Toppa play Jamaican reggae in between. Admission costs $10 but is free for women until 11:30 p.m. Call 954-742-3344, or visit www.irievibez.com. --Michelle Sheldone
Hey, you, Mr. Highfalutin Jazz Musician. You're always dissin' rock music for its simple structure, proclaiming jazz to be so much better. Well, sorry to burst your ego, but there are other forms of music freer and more improvisational than jazz. For a real lesson in free form, check out the 7 p.m. performance of North Indian classical vocalist Veena Sahasrabuddhe at the Broward County Main Library (100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale). Accompanied by tabla drums, tanpura (a droning lute), and harmonium (a small keyboard), Sahasrabuddhe improvises her vocals on the spot; it's up to the band to pay attention and hit all the right accents. Sahasrabuddhe's khayal-style compositions have parts free of both instrumentation and a set time signature. You can't get any more unstructured than that. Tickets cost $20 and $30. Call 954-357-7444. -- Jason Budjinski