Few musicians can say they transcended their craft to achieve the vaunted status of cultural icon, especially if you consider an untimely demise to be a prerequisite. John Lennon, Elvis Presley, and Jimi Hendrix may have defined their generations, but none can claim the worldwide renown of Bob Marley. In his time, Marley sparked his own movement (among other things), and this weekend's 12th Annual Bob Marley Caribbean Festival keeps the legacy of the Jah people going.
This month would have marked Marley's 60th birthday. And while it's been nearly 25 years since his death, Marley remains one of the world's most influential musicians. The music as well as the message lives on at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater when an intoxicating lineup of reggae and rap acts lights up the stage for goodwill and a good time. Hosted by DJs Kahlid, Waggy T, and Jah Stream, the festival features a veritable bevy of Marleys with performances by Ziggy, Steven, Damian "Jr. Gong," and Ky-Mani. Other acts include Beenie Man, T.I., Elephant Man, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, and Jahlon. But the real attraction is the opportunity to stand outside and get completely baked (we're talking sun rays here, of course).
This year's theme, "Pass It On," refers as much to Marley's message of peace, love, and unity as to the thinly veiled double-entendre. Admission to the festival includes a donation of four canned goods benefiting Food for the Poor Inc., a nonprofit organization that aids impoverished people throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. The festival has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to assist homeless shelters, job placement organizations, and other such groups. Besides philanthropy, the festival offers the chance to appreciate Caribbean heritage through art, crafts, cuisine, and loads of music.
Don't pass but give at the Bayfront Park Amphitheater (301 N. Biscayne Blvd., Miami) on Saturday. Gates open at 1 p.m., with music blazing all day. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $28.50, and don't forget those four canned items. Call 305-665-5379, or visit www.bobmarleymovement.com. -- Paul A. Leone
Kiss My Boubou!
"There's no Sean John and Phat Farm" at the Black History Art and Fashion Show Friday night, says Derrick Corker, who's helping organize the event at his workplace, Mary Saunders Park (4750 SW 21st St., Hollywood). The event celebrates African-American style -- with more emphasis on the African than the American. If you don't know your dashikis (shirts) from your boubous (robes), you might want to get the 411 from the handful of black beauties who will be modeling all evening.
After browsing the jewelry and art for sale, pull up a djembe and settle into a drum circle, or hunker down and watch performers like Miami's Alexis Labat, an R&B singer who's appeared on Soul Search and Stars of the Future. "We're holding an African-American talent show," Corker says, but you have to contact him in advance if you want to try out for it. "We're not just letting anyone in," he says. He's on the lookout for performers like Labat -- "maybe they can be the next people to make African-American history." The party goes down from 7 to 9 p.m., and it's intended for ages 18 and up. Call 954-985-1990. -- Deirdra Funcheon
Party in Pink
Dance, drink, and donate
Sheri Pogoda may not be a rich philanthropist who can bolster a cause with the wave of a check. Nope, she does her charity work the old-fashioned way -- by throwing a party like Friday's "Outrageous: A Preferably Pink Costume Ball" at Old School Square (51 N. Swinton Ave., Delray Beach). Pogoda's no stranger to event planning, having catered on multimillion-dollar yachts and organized previous costume balls. But this one benefits Southeast Asia's tsunami victims; all proceeds go directly to the American Red Cross, from the cash bar to the photographer snapping pictures of costume-clad partiers. For all you macho men afraid of looking fruity, you don't have to wear all pink. "I called it Preferably Pink because I don't want to scare away all the guys," Pogoda notes. "They can wear a pink tie if that's all they want. They don't have to dress up like the Three Little Pigs or Cupid." The party starts at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $40 to $65. Call 561-274-3555. -- Jason Budjinski
This is a good year for public art. Just as New York City packs up Christo's $20 million Gates installation, the City of Lake Worth is launching its own, slightly more cost-efficient public art event -- its annual street-painting festival. For two days, hundreds of chalk artists will use the streets of Lake Worth as a canvas and create an array of original art and reproductions, ranging in quality from the good to the not-so-good to the amazing. During the festival, art lovers can stroll among the temporary masterpieces, chat with the artists, and deepen their appreciation for the transitory nature of beauty. Beat that, Mayor Bloomberg! The festival takes place Saturday, February 26, and Sunday, February 27, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in downtown Lake Worth. The event is free. Call 561-582-4401, or visit www.streetpaintingfestivalinc.org. -- Jeff Megahan