Labor Day Weekend is that time when we honor the worker, without irony, by not working, by relaxing, giving ourselves an extra day to do things that perhaps bring us closer to resembling our authentic selves.
Singer Leslie Cartaya isn’t much on relaxing. And neither is the other Leslie Cartaya. Or the third Leslie Cartaya.
The Latin Grammy-nominated voice of Miami’s excellent Afro-Cuban funk quartet Palo! will be among the best reasons to go to the free Ball & Chain Music Festival in Little Havana this weekend.
The festival, now in its fourth year, will feature more than 100 local acts, including bands and DJs, Friday-Sunday. They include Palo!, TimbaLive, Tiempo Libre, Marlow Rosado, Lemon City Trio, Suénalo, Conjunto Progreso, Vlade Divak, ArtOfficial, Aaron Lebos Reality, Elastic Bond and the Electric Kif. Admission, as always, is free, but if you want a table, try to reserve one at BallAndChainMiami.com.
A Kendall resident who is married to Palo! percussionist Raymer Olalde, Cartaya also performs with the Leslie Cartaya Project, which is home for her other influences, everything from reggae and salsa to jazz.
Cartaya grew up in San Nicolás de Bari, outside of Havana, before moving to the National School of Arts, a boarding school where she was immersed in Beethoven and Mozart. But during this time, her teenage years, she also added Ella Fitzgerald, Barbara Streisand, Billie Holiday, Nancy Wilson and James Brown to her playlist of Celia Cruz, Benny Moré and Trío Matamoros.
“I have a lot of influences. My upbringing had a lot of varied rhythms. I sing in English, Spanish, Portuguese. Maybe that’s why my music is so crazy,” Cartaya says, laughing.
This other version of Cartaya also will entertain at the Ball & Chain Music Festival, a Sunday performance that may draw from her 2013 debut “No Pares,” a double album that included a bolero version of Adele’s “Set Fire to the Rain.” It was nominated for a Latin Grammy.
The third version of Cartaya is no stranger to viewers of Telemundo's “Don Francisco Te Invita,” the weekly variety show where she has led the house band since the show’s debut in 2016. The band, Sexta Clave, is an all-female six-piece made up of Cubans from South Florida.
Telemundo recently announced it was canceling ”Don Francisco Te Invita” in December. Of course, Cartaya is looking to keep the band together.
“They have the rights to the band, but we’re trying to establish what is going to happen. The girls want to keep it going. We don’t want to stop it, because it sounds good and we have a lot of fun playing together,” Cartaya says, before catching herself. “We’ll see. I have so many things going on. Managing time is the hardest thing in the universe.”
For more information, visit Facebook.com/LeslieCartaya.
A few hundred tickets remain for Jay-Z and Beyoncé’s On the Run II tour stop at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens 7:30 p.m. Friday, with prices starting at $84.50 in the upper deck (Ticketmaster.com) … You can still get the promotional-discount $25 seats under the roof for Charlie Puth and Hailee Steinfeld 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Coral Sky Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach (Ticketmaster.com) … General-admission $25 tickets are available for MC5 legend Wayne Kramer’s Kick Out The Jams 50th Anniversary Tour at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale 7 p.m. Wednesday, with locals the Goddamn Hustle (JoinTheRevolution.net).
Stars of EDM will be in South Florida all weekend: DJ Khaled (after his performance at the Jay-Z-Beyonce show) and DJ Irie will perform at Liv on Miami Beach Friday night, followed by Cedric Gervais on Saturday (LivNightclub.com). ... Steve Aoki spins at Story in Miami on Friday (StoryMiami.com). ... Tracy Young spins the rooftop at No. 3 Social in Wynwood Saturday night (No3Social.com) … Josh Wink (with Matthew Dear) will do the sound Saturday night at Treehouse on Miami Beach (TreehouseMiami.com) … At The Venue Fort Lauderdale, the 32,000-square-foot complex in Wilton Manors, Danny Tenaglia and Rabbit in the Moon will lead an army of DJs on Sunday night (Facebook.com/TheVenueFortLauderdale).
This may yet turn out to be a good weekend to get outside. Coral Springs will get all funky 6-10 p.m. Saturday during Bites ‘N’ Sips on the lawn at City Hall, a night of food trucks, drinks and music from Miami’s reliably awesome Spam Allstars (Facebook.com/SpamAllstars). Visit CoralSprings.org/events. At the bucolic Sons and Daughters Farm and Winery in Lake Worth, Miami physicist-turned-folksinger Keith Johns will share his revelatory music beginning at 7:30 p.m. Saturday. The night begins in a different way at 6 p.m., when professional “impalement artist” (knife thrower) Doc the Knife (Season 11 of “America’s Got Talent”) will entertain. Admission $5 at the gate. Visit Facebook.com/SonsAndDaughtersFarm.
Actor-comedian Deray Davis (“21 Jump Street,” “Barbershop (1 and 2),” “Scary Movie 4,” “Entourage” and “The Boondocks”) will do five shows Friday-Sunday at the Palm Beach Improv, with tickets starting at $27 plus two drinks (PalmBeachmprov.com) … Nationally touring funnyman Jo Koy brings his Break the Mold Tour to the Seminole Hard Rock in Hollywood 8 p.m. Saturday (MyHRL.com) … “America's Got Talent” comic D.J. Demers (Season 11) is the headliner at a Festival of the Arts Boca fundraiser 8 p.m. Saturday at the Mizner Park Comedy Club (inside the Mizner Park Cultural Center). Tickets start at $20 (Facebook.com/FestivalBoca).
Kids ride free
Kids 12 and younger ride Brightline for free with the purchase of one adult Smart service ticket on Labor Day Weekend. Visit GoBrightline.com.
It’s Marshmallow and Bacon Weekend at NoBo Brewing in Boynton Beach, with beers such as Marshmallow Milkshake IPA being highlighted on Friday (apparently National Marshmallow Day) and Saturday (yes, National Bacon Day) offering French Vanilla Bacon Coffee Porter and the like (Facebook.com/NoBoBrewing) … Beginning at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, Funky Buddha Brewery in Oakland Park will offer two fan favorites in bottles: Last Snow Coconut & Coffee Porter will be available in 12-ounce four-packs and the chocolate-y double brown ale Save Some Room For Later will be released in 22-ounce bottles (Facebook.com/FunkyBuddhaBrewery) … LauderAle will brighten your Monday with the latest fruit of their labor, with a noon release of the hoppy blonde ale I Got Lost On The Way Here, a sly wink at the brewery’s slightly remote location (Facebook.com/LauderAle).
Got some Canes over here
The Balcony on Las Olas (owned by former Miami Dolphin Kim Bokamper) will offer a variety of beer and food specials during football season, beginning on Sunday night with the Miami-LSU game. When the Canes score, everyone in UM colors will be rewarded with buy-one-get-one beer from Miami’s Concrete Beach Brewing. If LSU scores, fans in their gear get BOGO Abita Amber Ale. The day will begin at the other end of the spectrum, as the Balcony debuts its Revitalize Sundays rooftop brunch party series, which includes an open bar and Cirque de Soleil performers. Cost is $99 per ticket ($124.74 with tax and 20 percent gratuity).Visit TheBalconyLasOlas.com.
Duke Johnson, the beer
On Sunday, before the Miami Hurricanes dispatch LSU in their season-opening game in Dallas, Biscayne Bay Brewing Co. in Doral will release “The Duke” Brown Ale, a beer named for former Hurricanes star Duke Johnson, now part of the ownership team at Biscayne Brewing. The beer will be sold in the tap room, with proceeds supporting the Duke Johnson Foundation. "It's exciting to see what's happening with craft beer across the country and, as an entrepreneur, it’s an industry I'm looking forward to being a part of,” said Johnson, a Miami native who just signed a three-year contract extension with the Cleveland Browns, in a statement. “I've been blessed to have much success in my life and … I want to pay it back and make sure others have the same opportunities I've had in football and in life.” Visit BiscayneBayBrewing.com.
Some of South Florida’s best bands, drinks, art exhibits, a giant slip ‘n’ slide and a floatie costume contest? That’s how we put an exclamation point on summer around here. The Bridge in Miami will host Wet, a fundraising party on Sunday celebrating its newly remodeled space — which includes a live recording studio that will offer free and subsidized recording services to local artists, activists and musicians, thanks to a Knight Foundation Arts Challenge Grant. Beginning at 3 p.m., performers will include Smurfio (Afrobeta), Cog Nomen, the State Of, Sol and the Tribu and Ashiyushi. The Bridge is at 4220 NW Seventh Ave. Tickets cost $10 at the door, $5 in advance at WetTheBridge.splashthat.com. Visit Facebook.com/TheBridgeMiami.
Not content to be one of the recommended stops during Boca Restaurant Week by the Sun Sentinel’s professional eater, Mike Mayo, on Sunday Ouzo Bay in Mizner Park will launch a new brunch. Running from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., the four-star Greek-inspired restaurant will offer 25 items on a menu highlighted by the Lobster Cobb Salad (poached Maine lobster, romaine and bibb lettuce, avocado, soft boiled egg, applewood bacon, buttermilk vinaigrette; $24) and a lineup of $15 all-you-can, mix-and-match drinks, from mimosas and bellinis to sangria and sparkling rosé. Remember, no alarm clock on Monday. Going forward Ouzo Bay will offer Saturday brunch, too. Visit OuzoBay.com.
Veggies and bourbon
You may have heard that the Park Tavern, always one of my favorite spots in Delray Beach, has tweaked the menu with healthful, “feel-good” items that include vegetarian and gluten-free options, “putting a stronger focus on feeding into Florida’s healthy lifestyle,” as co-founder Brian Able puts it. Which is fine. But even better is Park Tavern’s new private barrel bourbon flight, with pours of Blanton’s Barrel No. 237, Buffalo Trace Barrel 44 Eagle Rare Barrel 405 for $8. Visit ParkTavernDelray.com.
All eight Harry Potter films, along with “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them,” will screen at three Cinemark theaters in South Florida Friday-Sept. 6. The screenings will take place at Cinemark Palace 20 in Boca Raton, the Cinemark Boynton Beach 14 and the Cinemark Paradise 24 in Davie. Tickets cost $5, with $25 festival passes sold out (Cinemark.com/WizardingWorld) … More heroism can be found at five IMAX theaters during the Marvel Studios’ 10th Anniversary Film Festival running through Sept. 6 with all 20 titles in Marvel Studios’ superhero universe. Screenings will take place in IMAX theaters at AMC CityPlace 20 in West Palm Beach, the Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale, AMC Aventura 24, AMC Sunset Place 24 in Miami and Regal Kendall Village 16 in Miami. Tickets cost $6 per film, with festival passes available (Fandango.com/MarvelStudios10).
Yes, Monday brunch. Etaru in Fort Lauderdale and Hallandale Beach will host brunch on Labor Day, a full spread of the swank Japanese robatayaki restaurant’s signature brunch menu and bottomless pours of Whispering Angel Rosé for $55 (EtaruRestaurant.us). … All Rocco's Tacos (Royal Palm Beach, West Palm Beach, Delray Beach, Boca Raton and Fort Lauderdale) will offer brunch on Monday until 4 p.m., when you can wash Rocco’s Fuego Chicken & Waffles down with $13 bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys (RoccosTacos.com) … The oceanside Terra Mare at the Conrad Fort Lauderdale on Monday will serve happy hour specials open-close, including dishes for $10 and under, $5 beers and $8 glasses of wine (TerraMareFL.com).
The Joel DaSilva Big Band riles things up at 9 p.m. Thursday (Aug. 30) at the Venu in Boynton Beach (Facebook.com/Joel.DaSilva.773) … Surf-noir trio Haute Tension completes its 31-day tour of the city with an album-release party at Sweat Records in Miami 7 p.m. Friday (HauteTensionBand.com) … 33 Years brings indie-rock folksiness to Mathews Brewing in Lake Worth 8 p.m. Friday (33Years.com) … Oye, Mamacita! Birdman’s Clambake brings the party rock to Bar Nancy in Miami 10 p.m. Friday (Facebook.com/BirdmansClambake) … DJ Le Spam will spin the after party for a 10 p.m. Friday show by the Heavy Pets at the Venu in Boynton Beach (Facebook.com/TheLocalVenu) ... Matchstick Johnny alights at the Poorhouse in Fort Lauderdale 10 p.m. Friday and at Dada in Delray Beach 11 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/MatchstickJohnny) … The pride of Davie, Woolbright delivers urgent rock to Space Mountain Miami on a bill that includes Tallahassee’s Pool Kids, Palomino Blond, Florence & Normandie and Superhaunted at 8 p.m. Saturday (WoolbrightFL.bandcamp.com) … Original keyboardist Ron Anthony rejoins the Kinected for a show at Boston's on the Beach in Delray Beach 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/TheKinected) … The Inner Court adds live jazz to Tarpon River Brewing in Fort Lauderdale 8:30 p.m. Saturday (Facebook.com/InnerCourtBand) … Shroud Eater, Hollow Leg, Ether and Bleeth sharedelicious gloom and doom at Las Rosas in Miami 9 p.m. Saturday (LasRosasBar.com) … Celebrated blues guitarist Albert Castiglia is at LauderAle in Fort Lauderdale 7 p.m. Sunday (AlbertCastiglia.net) … Tchaa, the Blues Crusaders, Joey George and Medicine Hat gather for Ray's Downtown’s Bride of Ray show at Voltaire in West Palm Beach 8 p.m. Sunday (Facebook.com/VoltaireWPB).