When “world music” began gaining popularity in the United States, that amorphous term usually meant African and Caribbean, but it has expanded to encompass the globe. A fascinating example is Yemen Blues, which plays the downtown club Grand Central on Saturday as part of the MDC Live Arts series.
Lead singer and co-founder Ravid Kahalani grew up in Israel in a Yemeni family immersed in traditional Jewish cantorial music, did a rebellious teenage stint with American blues and soul, swerved into Serbian Orthodox liturgical music and classical countertenor singing, and toured with Israeli star Idan Raichel.
Kahalani joined fellow Israeli bassist and oud player Omer Avital, who combines knowledge of Jewish, African and Arabian music with jazz chops that have earned him touring and recording gigs with the likes of Wynton Marsalis and Joshua Redman. Yemen Blues’ nine members live in New York but hail from Israel, the United States and Uruguay.
Yemen Blues plays at 9 p.m. Saturday at Grand Central, 697 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Tickets are $20 in advance, $25 at the door, $10 for MDC students; 305-237-3010, mdclivearts.org.
Tenors in Aventura
Three great Broadway tenors will gather on the stage of the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center at 8 p.m. Friday as part of the city’s Founders Day Weekend celebration. Brent Barrett (most recently in Chicago), Matt Cavenaugh (a Tony winner in the most recent West Side Story revival) and Ron Bohmer (most recently in the A Little Night Music revival) will sing songs by Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Frank Loesser, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, Irving Berlin and more. The center is at 3385 NE 188th St. in Aventura. Tickets to the single performance are $40 and $45; 877-311-7469, aventuracenter.org.
In honor of Universal Children’s Day, TEDxYouth@Miami will present “Ideas Worth Spreading” at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. The event will include South Floridians ages 10 to 23 sharing their stories of resolve, struggle and inspiration as well as an El Sistema-inspired performance by a 12-piece string orchestra and tap dancing by Thomas Armour Youth Ballet dancers. Tickets are $25 at 305-949-6722 or arshtcenter.org. Additional information is at tedxyouthmiami.com.
Miami’s Roxy Performing Arts Theatre is tackling a dual-language edition of Disney’s Aladdin, with English and Spanish dialogue and lyrics intermingling in the show. Michelle Negrin gets the leading lady role of Princess Jasmine, and Kevin Yungman stars as the title hero. They’re joined in the benefit for Roxy’s student scholarship fund by 68 young actors and members of the Greater Miami Youth Symphony.
Performances are 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday 2 and 5 p.m. Sunday from Friday through Nov. 18. The Roxy Performing Arts Center is at 1645 SW 107th Ave., Miami. Tickets are $20; 305-226-0030, roxypac.com.
Visual arts notes
• The Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th St., North Miami, presents a book festival, H aiti En Livres: Haiti Through Books, from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday featuring discussions and signings by writers Eddy Cavé, Josaphat-Robert Large, Adrienne Aristil, Angie Bell, Bito David, Yanick François, Maxime Jean-Louis, Hervé Fanini-Lemoine, Navia Magloire and Christian “Kristo” Nicholas. Tickets are $5, $3 for students with ID, and free for members and North Miami residents; 305-893-6211, nocanomi.org.