Here are a few randomly selected recommendations among the many acts playing the Miami Music Festival. Visit MiamiMusicFestival.org for individual venue details. Many of these funky-named places you've never heard of are subdivisions of real venues, with made-up names just for festival purposes. Others venues are tents; Transit Lounge alone will host a couple, as well as putting on separate showcases within its walls. Three-day festival wristbands are $50 ($35 for students); one-day wristbands are $25 ($20 for students). Otherwise individual show admission is $10.
Alex Cuba: Born on the island but now based in British Columbia, Cuba specializes in a world-fusion blend of pop-rock anchored by his jazz-trained guitar playing. But though he sings entirely in Spanish, his sound is still pop oriented, and could appeal equally to fans of any number of laid-back, surfy Anglophone troubadours.
10 p.m. Thursday, at Transit, 729 SW 1st Ave. 9:45 p.m. Friday, at the BMI Showcase at the Patio at Transit, 729 SW 1st Ave. 1 a.m. Saturday night (Sunday morning) at Gordon Biersch, 1201 Brickell Ave.
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Electric Piquete: Miami New Times' Best Latin Band of 2009, this Hialeah-based sextet covers Latin, funk, and jazz fusion territory all at once. But don't worry, they never get too noodly -- the playing is always tight and high-energy.
12 a.m. Thursday night (Friday morning) at Hard Rock, 401 Biscayne Blvd. 11 p.m. Friday at Transit Tent 1, at the corner of SE 8th Street and South Miami Avenue.
Amaury Gutierrez: One of the leading lights of the younger wave of Cuban exile musicians in Miami, Gutierrez specializes in introspective, heartfelt tales of relationships gone sweet and sour. Not only has he scored a Latin Grammy nomination and sold hundreds of thousands of records, but his support of the dissident movement on the island has earned him endless brownie points here.