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Music, art find a new home and boost tourism in Bal Harbour

BAL HARBOUR

Musical acts and movies by the beach highlight Bal Harbour’s Cultural Series.

BY RODOLFO ROMAN
Special to The Miami Herald
Local musicians and artists in South Florida have a new spot to showcase their talents: Bal Harbour.

Looking for ways to boost tourism and promote local arts, the village launched Bal Harbour’s free cultural series this month, featuring live musical performances and outdoor movies.

“One of the things important to us is to give local arts a platform,” said Carolyn Travis, Bal Harbour’s director of tourism marketing, in a phone interview.

On Thursday, the series continues with a beachside performance by The Gypsies — composed of members of the Gipsy Kings — along with New World Symphony at 7 p.m.

Next month’s lineup includes Spam Allstars and a joint performance by Nestor Torres alongside musicians with the Florida International University School of Music. The village council recently approved $108,000 in village resort tax funds to pay for free concerts and movies that take place at Bal Harbour Shops and on the beach behind ONE Bal Harbour resort.

Local and national sponsors will also help cover costs, said Jay Smith, village director of community outreach.

All events are free for residents and visitors.

The series kicked off earlier this month with a performance by local Latin band Suenalo.

Suenalo manager Luis Gonzalez said the event, which he said drew about 200 people, helped promote the band.

“You get the respect of Bal Harbour’s market, which has it all,” he said in a telephone interview.

While places like Coral Gables and Miami Beach frequently showcase local musicians, Gonzalez said catching a show at the mall is a unique experience.

“It’s a great feeling that you get because you can buy a purse and then you can stay and dance,” he said.

The series continues through April, although Travis said, plans are in the works to start the series again in November.

Organizers are allowed to host events on the beach six months a year because of turtle season, which starts in April and ends in October, Travis said.

Mayor Jean Rosenfield said the series highlights local talent and Bal Harbour’s scenery.

“The setting is magnificent,” she said in a phone interview.

“A lot of cities have outdoor activities, but not with the ocean and palm trees.”

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