Florida International University
MIAMI — The sounds of blues, jazz and gospel will echo through Jumbo's restaurant every weekend with the start of weekend open-microphone events on March 26.
Local artists can sing the blues Thursday nights, get down with jazz on Fridays, and sing out gospel on Sundays. There is no cover charge for the event.
Community activist Kenny Knight is organizing the events for Bobby Flam, whose family has owned the popular soul-food restaurant at 7501 Northwest 7th Ave. for more than 50 years.
Open 24 hours, Jumbo's is a community landmark that in 2008 received an American Classics Award from the James Beard Foundation, recognizing “small, regional restaurants, watering holes, shacks, lunch counters, and similar down-home eateries.”
Flam said the restaurant has offered entertainment before.
“We've had gospel Sundays and one-man bands,” he said. “I'm not trying to be a night-club…I'm a 24-hour diner known for good food, inexpensive prices and friendly service.”
Knight said he hopes the events will offer locals an entertaining gathering place, and bring people to Liberty City.
“We were not only thinking about the neighborhood but at the same time thinking about the young people and providing the venue, a place where they can come and entertain,” Knight said.
The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center began offering open mic nights three months ago, but with restricted hours.
“At the Miami-Dade County facilities we had to get out at 11 p.m,” said Knight. “People don’t come out until about 1 a.m., so we moved it to Jumbos.”
For information or to sign up for Jumbo's open-mic nights, call Knight at 305-305-2699 or Jumbo's at 305-751-1127. You can also learn more about the restaurant on its website, jumborestaurant.com.
Photo by Khary Bruyning. Jumbo's Restaurant