Category Archives: Jazz

(Mostly) Jazz swings at the Betsy on SoBe: Art Basel and Beyond

Here at the Miami Arts Review we’ve grown very fond of the Betsy Hotel for its dedication to injecting arts and culture into public space. As Art Basel returned to the city for its 2015 winter run, South Beach’s dining and entertainment scene featured a plethora of venues to enjoy live music, but few are so committed to ensuring the quality of the Betsy Hotel’s (Mostly) Jazz live music series. Twice weekly, and more frequently during Art Basel, hotel guests, diners at BLT Steak, and the savvy music aficionado are privy to an array of world-class musicians presenting in the lobby’s performance space. Continue reading (Mostly) Jazz swings at the Betsy on SoBe: Art Basel and Beyond


Your New Jazz Fall Back : KJ Trio @ Lagniappe

Miami is a fast-paced city. Alive, pulsing with art and music. Miamians party like it’s a job – in the City of Vices, partying can, in fact, be a job.

Trust us, Sunday night rolls around and we don’t want to sit at home and lament the coming Monday either. But perhaps painting SoBe red all weekend didn’t leave you with much energy for another night out. So try on our favorite new routine for a change of pace.

The ever-popular Lagniappe doesn’t need help bringing business through the door. The renovated Midtown-based house-turned-wine garden has a wide following, with live music seven nights a week, a limited but excellent menu, and some of the best wine selections in Miami. Each night of the week, however, brings a different energy, and Sundays just may be the classiest.

A typically quiet night for restaurants and bars, Lagniappe has smartly secured the KJ Trio for Sunday night sets. Founded and run by Costa Rican composer and bassist Kenneth Jimenez, the group plays a majority of original compositions punctuated by a few key classic standards for several hours of fantastic modern jazz. Still an undergraduate student at Florida International University, Jimenez has been performing professionally in Costa Rica since his teens and the US since he transplanted here for a musical education. The young bandleader, at 24, has a natural knack for writing. His compositions balance the sensibilities and heritage of the great jazz tradition with some Latin nuance and modern evolution. Keyboardist Derek Fairholm improvises with exceptional lyricism, a rare talent, and drummer and prominent Miami jazzer Rudolfo Zuniga rounds out the group with richly intricate and melodious percussion.

These guys are energetic, easy to talk to, and happy to play, and the gratefulness of crowd is apparent. The trio seeks no attention or ‘bandstand’ (pun only mildly intended), but always manages to hush the room and garner applause as they settle into their sets. Go frequently enough and you might catch them on a night when friends of theirs visit and step in for open jam sessions. The energy is magnetic as musicians from Miami, Chicago, and New York all feed off of each other, often playing together for the first time in years.

The KJ Trio can be found around town and are hire-able for private events, but catch them at Lagniappe for a Sunday night to clear your head before Monday hits. KJ hits at 9pm. for booking.

Sundays 9-11pm
@ Lagniappe
3425 NE 2nd Ave
Miami, FL 33137