Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: Salsa to the max with The Rhythm Foundation at North Beach Bandshell

Miami Beach High graduating senior Mary Figueroa with late singer Carole Taran’s son, Adam Taran.
Miami Beach High graduating senior Mary Figueroa with late singer Carole Taran’s son, Adam Taran.

As part of its Dance Band Night on the second Thursday of each month, The Rhythm Foundation will host a free salsa evening — including a dance lesson and live concert — at the North Beach Bandshell on June 11.

The event kicks off 7 p.m. with dance lessons by Miami’s Kings Dance Studios, followed by a live performance at 8 pm by salsa orchestra Conjunto Impacto.

Originally formed in 1976 in Miami, Conjunto Impacto performed live for a decade, served as backup locally for the likes of Celia Cruz, Ismael Mirando and Chendo Feliciano and produced eight LPs – all under the direction of bassist Mario Perez.

The group reunited in 2011 after 26 years and was featured in a 2015 award-winning documentary, Sweet & Sour Salsa, about Perez’s story — a bandleader and kung fu master, now battling advanced-stage Parkinson’s disease, working to ensure his musical legacy continues.

Monthly Dance Band Nights, free and open to the public, feature different musical groups and a variety of dance themes (swing, ballroom, tango, square dancing, etc.) with professional dance instructors prior to help the crowd learn or refresh their moves.

Founded in 1988, The Rhythm Foundation is a Miami Beach-based nonprofit that strives to increase international awareness through live music with a focus on cultures connecting to South Florida.

The North Beach Bandshell is located at 7275 Collins Ave. For information, visit or call 305-672-5202.

Hotel hosts beach cleanup

Eco-friendly 1 Hotel South Beach, which opened March 25, hosted a beach clean-up in partnership with Patricia and Philip Frost Museum of Science and Museum Volunteers for the Environment (MUVE) on May 26.

Cleanup supplies were provided by Frost Science and MUVE, the Museum’s habitat restoration project that encourages volunteers to take action to improve the environment.

Frost Science staff including Chelle King, exhibit developer/MUVE coordinator, introduced participants to an awareness app, the Marine Debris Tracker, which charts how beach trash circulates through various coastlines in Miami and monitors the success of the cleanup and future cleanups. Results: the group of 30 volunteers collected 1,030 pieces of trash, consisting mostly of cigarettes (299); paper food wrappers (72) and various plastic items (453) from the beach behind the hotel.

Speaking of the Frost Museum of Science, it will host its fourth annual Miami Underwater Festival June 11-14, the museum’s last signature event at its current location (3280 S. Miami Ave.) before it moves to downtown Miami’s Museum Park in 2016. For details, call 305-646-4200 or visit

1 Hotel South Beach — formerly The Perry, The Gansevoort and The Roney Plaza — is located at 2341 Collins Ave. For future hotel events, visit the hotel’s Facebook page or call 305-604-1000.

High school senior wins performance award

The second annual Carole Taran Award for Excellence in Performing Arts at Miami Beach Senior High was presented to senior Mary Figueroa, on behalf of the school’s Fine Arts Academy faculty on May 22.

"Mary is a shining star in musical theater. She is extremely talented and has a phenomenal voice," said Nina Duval, lead teacher and fine arts chair at the high school.

Figueroa, 18, of Miami Beach will attend Columbia College Chicago in the fall, studying for a bachelor of fine arts in musical theater degree.

Throughout high school, Figueroa performed in multiple school productions, was rated “Superior as a Solo Artist” and has performed in numerous public service, community and hospital events. In recognition of her efforts, she received a plaque and a $500 scholarship check, courtesy of 1308 Productions.

Carole Taran, who attended Beach High, was a singer, entertainer, producer and businesswoman who carved paths for others to achieve success in the entertainment industry. She passed away in 2013 at age 72.

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.