Public radio station WDNA 88.9 FM launches a free jazz-history lecture series at 7 p.m. Tuesday with a presentation on the roots of jazz by pianist and series curator Jim Gasior.
The eight-lectures series continues with Chuck Bergeron on "New Orleans: Birthplace of Jazz" Oct. 29, Nat Chediak on "Six Decades of Latin Jazz" Nov. 26, Robert "Bebob" Grabowski on "The Roots of Swing" Jan. 28, Donald Spivey on "Bebop, Hipsters and the Counter-Culture Movement" Feb. 24, Shelly Berg on "The Great American Songbook" March 25, Ed Calle on "John Coltrane: The Man, Music and Legacy" April 29 and Gasior on "1959 and the Proliferation of Jazz Styles" May 27.
The lectures take place at WDNA’s studios, 2921 Coral Way, Miami; 305-662-8889, wdna.org.
New works by four South Florida playwrights will be presented in free staged readings at the Deering Estate at Cutler on Sept. 29 as part of From Scratch, a festival from Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs’ Playwright Development Program.
Andie Arthur’s teen-friendly The Secret of the Biological Clock, about a 16-year-old searching for her biological father, kicks things off at noon. It’s followed at 2 p.m. by Edward G. Excalibur’s Flashing Lights, about a woman whose marriage is falling apart; 5 p.m. by Susan Westfall’s Two Weekends, about old friends whose lives change, and 7 p.m. by Vanessa Garcia’s The Cuban Spring, about a woman having an identity crisis.
The Deering Estate at Cutler is at 16701 SW 72nd Ave., Miami; 305-235-1668, ext. 233, deeringestate.org.
Miami City Ballet is using a Broadway star to tempt audiences to try ballet. Purchases of two regular-season performances between now and Oct. 7 will include an early chance to buy tickets to MCB’s Nov. 1-2 Open Barre in-studio performances featuring Chita Rivera.
Rivera, who originated the role of Anita in West Side Story, helped coach company dancers in Jerome Robbins’ West Side Story Suite for this season’s Program III. Her Open Barre appearances will be hosted by choreographer, director and producer Bob Avian, an MCB board member.
Open Barre admission is $35, with performances at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2:30 and 7 p.m. Nov. 2 at the Lynn & Louis Wolfson II Theater at Miami City Ballet, 2200 Liberty Ave., Miami Beach. Tickets are available at 305-929-7010 or miamicityballet.org.
The Latin Songwriters Hall of Fame co-hosts a free master class Tuesday with Grammy winner Desmond Child and fellow writer-producer Rudy Perez at Avenue D Jazz & Blues, 8 S. Miami Ave., Miami. They will be joined by artists Jodi Marr, Fonseca and Erika Ender for an evening of Latin ballads and lessons.
A cash-bar reception begins at 6 p.m. with the master class from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Valet parking is available for $10; avenuedjazz.com.
Roc Laseca, curator of Bill Viola: Liber Insularum, presents the first of four lectures in the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation’s Contemporary Art Talk Series from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at CIFO Art Space, 108 N. Miami Ave., Miami.
The series continues with Bonnie Clearwater Oct. 2, Deborah Cullen Oct. 5 and Elizabeth Cerejido Oct. 10. Admission is $65 each or $200 for series. For each series subscription sold, CIFO will provide admission to a New World Symphony student; cifo.org, 305-415-6343.