dorothy_norwood.jpgMIAMI — The stellar February lineup at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County steps up  this weekend with the Ayikodans 25th Anniversary and continues from there to strut that jazz, dance and gospel stuff.

The award-winning Arsht Center is at 1300 Biscayne Blvd., in Miami. For tickets and other information, call 305-949-6722 or visit

The Arsht Center’s February offerings include: Ayikodans 25th Anniversary, Friday, Feb. 15

Ayikodans, the stunning dance ensemble based out of Port Au Prince, Haiti that has received glowing international media attention, made its Arsht debut when the center’s President/CEO John Richard and prominent community leaders joined forces to save the dance troupe after the devastation of the 2010 Earthquake in Haiti.

Among notable milestones since then, founder/artistic director Jeanguy Saintus was invited by the Lincoln Center to stage a piece for its prestigious Out of Doors festival.

In a triumphant celebration of its 25th Anniversary season, the full Ayikodans company of dancers, drummers and vocalists returns with an all-new program in the Carnival Studio Theater of the Ziff Ballet Opera House on Friday, Feb. 15 at 7:30 p.m., with additional performances on Saturday, at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 17 at 5 p.m.

Monk & Coltrane Friday, Feb. 15

In celebration of Black History Month, Jazz Roots honors the legacy of two of the most influential musicians in the history of jazz — Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, Friday, Feb. 15 in the Knight Concert Hall.

The special concert will be headlined by T.S. Monk, critically-acclaimed drummer and son of icon Thelonious Monk. Dedicated to keeping the musical legacy of his father alive, T.S. Monk founded the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, building it to one of the pre-eminent musical education institutions in the world.

In honor of his father’s 80th birthday, he recorded a tribute album, Monk on Monk, which received Downbeat magazine’s Album of the Year Reader’s Choice Award.

Monk will be joined on stage by the supreme musicianship and improvisatory skills of the quintessential jazz vocalists Kevin Mahogany and Nnenna Freelon. The program will also showcase the high-energy quartet of two-time Grammy Award-winning tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts, who counts Coltrane as one of his major musical influences.

Free Gospel Sundays with Dorothy Norwood, Sunday, Feb. 17

With the First-Access Passes all gone, only the 3 p.m. standby line is available for the 4 pm., Sunday, Feb. 17 performance of “World’s Greatest Storyteller,” in the Knight Concert Hall.

Dorothy Norwood, who has been ministering for more than five decades, began her career at age 8 singing alongside the indelible Mahalia Jackson.

She eventually shared the stage with Gospel greats the Rev. James Cleveland and Albertina Walker. Her songs such as Victory is Mine, featured in the Oscar-winning movie The Help, and Somebody

Prayed for Me have earned her countless honors including two Dove Award nominations, six Grammy nominations and 3 albums appearing on Billboard’s Top 40. Her ministry remains a mainstay in the Gospel world and continues to flourish with her latest CD release God’s Been Just That Good. Dorothy Norwood will be joined by The Miami Mass Choir, ensuring a hand clappin’ foot stompin’ good time.

(To be alerted when First-Access Passes become available for future Free Gospel Sundays concerts, sign up for the Arsht Center email list at and register to receive information about R&B/Gospel shows.)

Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, Friday, Feb. 22

One of the world’s most popular and beloved dance companies, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. in the Ziff Ballet Opera House as part of a 21-city United States tour led by Miami’s own Robert Battle. Additional performances are Friday, Feb. 22 at 8 p.m., Feb. 23 at 2 and 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m.

In his second season as artistic director, Battle continues to surprise and delight audiences with premieres and new productions that expand his vision for the company, adding dynamic choreographic voices to the repertory that stretch Ailey’s extraordinary artists in new ways.

A variety of repertory favorites and classic Ailey works will also be performed, including the Ailey signature masterpiece, the acclaimed must-see Revelations.

For tickets and other information call 305-949-6722 or visit