Best Basel 2018

If you don’t already know about the art festival that started in Basel, Switzerland and has grown to include two other international art festivals, here in Miami and in Hong Kong, then check out the history, here, now.  

Art Basel, here in Miami, happens at the start of December each year.  It brings celebrities and crowds from many areas together for the love of art. 

I have been in previous years, to a cocktail party hosted by Daymond John, parties hosted by spirit sponsors and to the gallery shows – both the small intimate galleries and the enormous commercial trade tents filled with an endless plethora of options.  But this year was my best Basel, yet.

For one, I had visitors in town which always brightens my mood because I like to be around my tried and true folks.  It’s nice to have family visit.

For two, this year I went to an event every day from Wednesday until Saturday.  I felt like I was on vacation, too!  And it was right on time.

The highlights of the week were definitely the music parties.  From DJ sets to full on bands, y’all came to Miami to jam, and that we did.

Robert Glasper – is it a show or a party?  I can’t tell.  He was at a place called 1-800-Lucky, which is apparently an Asian market place with 4 or 5 restaurants to choose from inside.  I will have to try the food another time.

On the patio outside, the band and their DJ kept us grooving hard enough to forget that the temperature had dropped into the 50s that night.

Mr. Glasper is a jazz pianist who has merged into other genres including pop and hip-hop quite successfully.  He accompanies the best artists.  But, his energy live is what I was most impressed with, he is charismatic, funny and seemingly fearless when he is on stage.  I love that energy.  I wish I could duplicate if for myself.  I would absolutely go to another of his parties, I mean shows, again.

  

c Nakeesha

Bacardi had a “No Commision” party at the Faena Forum hosted by Swizz Beatz.  I think they could have handled the entry better but thankfully it was warm and breezy that night so we made the best of it.

The Faena Forum is a great event space with many different rooms and bars.  I went there the first time over the summer during Miami Swim Week.  This time we were in a giant room with two or three upper balcony tiers.  

I enjoy good rum and Bacardi was being generously complimentary.  The music was good, too.  I would like to know who made the jacket Swizz was wearing.  It was this colorful amazing Aztez looking print set against a teal leather border.  So funky fresh, I saw the jacket, outside, before I ever saw him on stage.

The photo does not do justice to the jacket.

Talking with other attendees, I was informed that there were more artist performances at this event last year.  And from what I hear, there were also more the following night.

Running neck and neck with the Robert Glasper party, I mean show, was a DJ set from QuestLove of the Roots, currently the house band for the Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.  

It was at the smallest, I mean intimate, little place I have never heard of or even knew was there.  The Anderson, on the 79th Street Causeway, is the type of place you don’t know is there until you know it’s there.  I passed by it when we first got there, you just can’t tell much is going on by looking at the front facade of the place.  

When you go inside, after you enter the red door, there is a bar as soon as you get in the building.  There is a patio area through a door to the right that is covered by beautiful plants, hanging everywhere.  We didn’t eat there but some other patrons gave a real enthusiastic, “Yaaassss”, when I asked if the food was good.  So again, maybe I will get to check out the food another time.

I knew it was going to be a good night when all three bartenders broke out into song with me singing, Hall & Oates – “I Can’t Go For That“! HEY!

When QuestLove arrived he had to walk by me to get to his equipment.  Yes, I was leaned over on the baby grand where he was set up.  He was very polite.  And I would like to apologize for not remembering to turn off my flash.  No disrespect intended.  

I am going to count those couple of hours on the dance floor as a work out, seeing as how my thighs were sore the next day from dropping like it’s hot, cause it is.  

I found myself  memorized with the way he was spinning and mixing.  It reminded my of my first gig as a DJ, way back when we were still working on vinyl.  Things are so different now.   

I love seeing so many people of so many spaces and places coming together to support art.  Looking forward to next year.  Can Basel get better! 

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