Miami’s avant-dance duo will make you shake your groove thing. The band’s original tracks could be chart-toppers but formulaic they are not. Tony Laurencio layers synth tracks and funk-laden bass lines while Cuci Amador delivers high-energy vocals and serious style. Get ready to move!
Born into a family of famous lap steel guitar players, including his grandfather Henry Nelson who invented the “Sacred Steel” style, Atlanta-based A.J. Ghent is a stormy and swaggering front-man who sings funky tales of beauty, heartbreak, and betrayal. His guitar playing floods the stage with energy – a masterful mix of Jimi Hendrix, Albert King and Ben Harper that lights up his bright summer rock sound. A.J. is featured on Zac Brown’s new release, The Grohl Sessions Vol. 1, on the song, “All Alright.”
Straight from the Sunshine State this soulful ukulele driven foursome combines playful sensibilities with hear & soul melodies for your listening pleasure. Shannon Biss’s vocals make the sun shine a little bit brighter. Congratulations from GrassRoots for the recent feature of The Applebutter Express’s “Hey My Brotha” in Ron Howard’s film The Good Lie.
Miami’s Latin funk & worldbeat band The Baboons create a seamless fusion of all the worldly influences found on the streets of their hometown into a global gumbo with a unique Miami sound. Throughout the years, musicians with diverse backgrounds have added to the band’s palette, blending into a rich blend that includes Latin American, Caribbean, African, Brazilian, Middle Eastern, New Orleans and American roots influences with the energy of rock, the party groove of funk and the freedom of jazz.
Few individuals have had as meaningful and lasting of an impact upon the Dance Music industry as DJ Bill Kelly, Co-founder and Director of the The Winter Music Conference which gathers Dance and EDM performers and industry pros from all over the globe. Bill was presented with the Key to the City of Miami Beach and inducted into the Dance Music Authority magazine’s Hall of Fame.
BMSM formed in 2009 in Ithaca, New York with one goal: to create music that stimulates both body and mind. Today, BMSM is a collective of over fifteen analog artists bringing together musical languages of West Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and North America to create a lush bed of rhythm and harmony that embraces even the most hardcore fans of both Traditional Funk and Avant-garde Jazz. Their songs are Big and sometimes Mean, but Sound a lot more soulful than any Machine!
This female-fronted 5-piece moxy rock band joins us from New York to spread eclectic vintage keyboard sounds, bold electric guitar stylings and Force of Nature vocals from lead singer Maddy Walsh.
Bobby Henrie brings two distinct sounds to Virginia Key this year. One twist-and-turn rockabilly sweat-fest and one flat-picking virtuoso set a la Doc Watson. A guitar genius, Mr. Henrie’s got more than one trick in his stylish hat.
Miami Roots-Rocker Brendan O’Hara moves flawlessly from guitar to piano, singing all the while and bringing you from soul style storytelling to jazz riffs on a tropical breeze. This is South Florida music from one of The Magic City’s native sons.
Funk, Jazz, Mo-Town and R&B inspire Chantil and her band. Twinkling piano, tricky backbeats and original lyrics keep the sometimes poppy sound interesting and layered. Take a listen!
Sounds of Cuba fill the stage when Consortes plays their vibrant traditional songs.
Cortadito is a traditional Cuban Son Trio which focuses on performing the music of early Cuban origins from Son Montuno to Boleros and Bolero Son. This dynamic group brings you back to a time when Trio Matamoros, or Ignacio Piniero ruled the airwaves. An era when popular music was Cuban Music and Son Montuno was influencing the world over.
2014 Native America Music Award nominee Dark Water Rising express a sound and free spirit that showcases lead singer/songwriter Charly Lowery, who was a finalist on American Idol in 2004. Rock and Roll music full of gospel harmonies, hip-hop inflections, Motown Soul and a warm dose of Charly’s Lumbee Indian heritage.
GrassRoots Festival founding band Donna the Buffalo source their sound from old-time American roots, a melting pot heritage drawn on and spun in to audible gold. From fiddle to accordion, scrub board to vocals, Tara Nevins lights up DTB performances with a prolific range. Jeb Puryear’s electric guitar playing moves seamlessly between rocking melodies and a slow sweet ballad style. With duel songwriters DTB displays an incredible musical depth. You might just hear a reggae beat merge with a bluegrass melody, or a zydeco groove take flight on a rock & roll riff!
In a post-modern world of skyscrapers and handheld computers, Driftwood looks beneath the concrete and circuitry to find their sound. Based in Binghamton, NY, their unique blend of old-time folk with modern and world music features melodious fiddle blazing, boundless banjo thwacking, booming upright-bass thumping and gleeful guitar plucking alongside a scrap-wood kick box, clapping hands and stomping feet.
Miami’s own Elastic Bond delivers a unique sonic cocktail with an urban edge and a tropical twist, mixing Latin and Soul with modern sample-based production and the vibrant voice of Honduran songstress Sofy Encanto. Fusing horn section and percussion with electronica, tasty melodies and positive vibes, their funky groove kisses musical boundaries goodbye.
A love of Latin Jazz, Funk, and collaboration created Electric Piquete. See a father-son percussion team drive the beat and thick bass lines drop alongside soulful trumpet. Electric Piquete are not to be missed!
The phrase Hip-Hop based “African Roots music from outer space” hints at the diverse influences that fuel this bilingual songwriter and emcee. See worlds collide at a typical Ephniko set.
Songs in English, Spanish and Portuguese will take you on a global ride across the inventive soundscapes created by this group. Virtuosic fiddle mingles with hand drums while uplifting guitar riffs remind you that home can be anywhere that you find peace.
They call him “alt-country,” “Americana,” and even “Y’all-ternative.” Singer/songwriter Jim Lauderdale is a Nashville treasure who helped lay out the blueprint for the Americana movement of the ‘90s. Jim won a Grammy for Lost in the Lonesome Pines, a 2002 collaboration with Ralph Stanley.
JUke is a Miami-based dirty blues band that adds keys from legendary local acts like ArtOfficial and Spam Allstars to grow into a full swampy septet. Frontman Eric Garcia, aka Uncle Scotchy, howls and raves about love, loss, death and redemption as they push the possibilities of indy-blues straight into the future.
Louisiana natives criss-cross the country bringing Zydeco music and hours of dancing wherever they go. With generations of Zydeco music in their blood and Keith on the accordion to lead the way, this family band will remind you why you love Zydeco or help you discover that you do.
Keith Secola is a member of the Anishinabe Nation and leader of “The Wild Band Of Indians.” He combines Folk Rock and Blues with Native American sensibilities, adding flutes, indigenous drums, and native chants to create a one world musical vision which he has coined “Native Americana.” Keith Secola has a magical way of getting the audience involved in stories and music, often ending a show with a huge participatory round dance.
Afro-Latin rhythms, soul-shaking vocals and a high energy presence define a Lanzallamas live performance. Fabi Patino’s multi-instrumental talent shines next to Cintia Lovo’s vocals. These pillars of the Miami music scene mix hand crafted electronica with the Roots Music that inspires their musical journey.
Harmonium, bass and drums create the backdrop for this duo’s chant inspired vocals. Richmond, VA based Lobo Marino uses world music influences to fuel their rich and meditative sound.
Locos Por Juana is an urban Latin orchestra from Miami whose wide-ranging musical approach draws from tropical styles such as reggae, cumbia, and salsa alongside urban influences like hip-hop, rock, and Latin alternative. This burning, rapid-fire multicultural ensemble heats up to a high-energy hyperactive sizzle on stage. Their biting social commentary integrates a message of unity and their philosophy of “One Sound.”
Pianist and composer Marco Benevento recently dove in to the waters of vocal expression and boy are we glad he did. His self-customized piano bursts with layered melodies and plays original games with bassist Dave Dreiwitz (Ween) and drummer Andy Borger (Tom Waits). We’ve never heard a trio create such a symphonic sound. It flirts with pop, finds strength in rock and jazz and is supremely danceable; a festival highlight to be sure.
MC Yogi combines his love of yoga with hip hop, reggae, electronica, dancehall & dub, making him a pioneer in the fusion of Ancient Yogic Science & Modern Street Culture. With themes promoting Hindu philosophy, his hilarious show offers a rare blend of hip hop with kirtan – a call-andresponse performed in India’s bhakti devotional traditions. Think Beastie Boys meets Krishna Das. “Y’all ready to shake your asana?!”
Griot and Master Kora musician in the African lineage of bards, Kouyate brings the spiritually beautiful sound of the Kora to life for audiences around the United States. This performance is co-presented with Community Arts and Culture, a local non-profit organization that produces the annual Afro Roots World Music Festival in Miami.
Nag Champayons are a six-man audio-visual collective best described as “Tropidelic Afrogalactic.” Their sound speaks to some illicit rendezvous between hip-hop, droning sitars, funk, and the Afro-Cuban empire; dark, hypnotic, and defiantly unpredictable!
Nativos Orquesta brings a dozen or more Miami musicians, members of many different bands, together as a powerhouse world music force. You will hear the hidden gems from many cultures and traditions in the sound of the Nativos. Influences from Cuba, Colombia, Africa, Brazil, Mexico, the Caribbean and more find themselves fused into seamless harmony.
Nikki Talley has hauntingly seductive and raw gritty lyrics which are lifted by a voice that harkens back to her Appalachian roots. Their country inspired ballads showcase a fluid husband and wife collaboration that live full time on the road in a Vanagon.
Formed by 15 year old Cameron Osceola the Osceola brothers became a band in May 2011 and have been playing ever since. The band consists of Sheldon Osceola,10, Cameron Osceola, 15, and Tyson Osceola, 13. They all share the same influences, since Cameron had revealed the sounds of blues, rock, and metal to them. When people hear them play, they really enjoy their music.
Accordionist Preston Frank is the Frank family’s link to the zydeco lineage that anchors their sound and moves our feet! Incredible talent moves right through the fingertips of this Louisiana patriarch. Listen up and listen good to the sounds of Zydeco, Cajun and Creole music preserved and prolific!
DJ Richard McVay is Miami’s premiere vinyl DJ, with a career pedigree nurtured in the greatest nightclubs of the city alongside many of its seediest dive bars. With an eclectic collection of music ranging from Gregorian chants to the latest musings of Cee Lo, Richard spins a weave of music that transcends time to create a mystical intoxication of sensual auditory expression.
Richie & Rosie are two dynamic musicians performing gorgeous music rooted in the Americana tradition. With sweet harmonies featuring Newton’s elegant voice and glittering fiddle, and Stearns’ spooky mantra-groove banjo, they expand the boundaries of traditional music. Together, they create a sound that is sometimes ethereal and sometimes just plain ol’ down home.
Rubblebucket mashes indie-rock, reggae style horns, performance art and a “Dance Or Die” ethic into tight frenetic songs likely to stick between your eardrums for days. Front woman Kalmia Traver splits time between vocals, saxophone and costumed stunt production. We once saw them don giant robot puppet backpacks and romp through a crowd on que, per Rubblebucket’s crowd participation policy, and have been hooked ever since!
Miami’s School of Rock provides musical training for kids interested in playing and writing music! The School of Rock band consists of kids who have learned by collaborating with this amazing local organization!
A soulful brother-sister duo make up the deep beats and messaging of Sihasin. Native drum and otherworldly bass sounds combine to create a rocking spiritual whirl.
A pop sensibility and original lyrics showcase Sindy Rush’s alternately airy and deep commanding vocals. Miami-based and ready to take on the world, this young singer is not to be missed!
Spam Allstars are one of the pioneers of the new Miami fusion sound. The 9-piece Latin, funk, hip hop, dub and electronica band blends improvisational elements with horns, turntables and Pythonesque humour to create what they call an electronic descarga. They’re highly danceable and wide-reaching sound is pure funky fusion!
Suénalo is Miami’s premier 8-piece Latin jam band, with a signature sound embracing funk, hip-hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more. Their irresistibly infectious music provides the perfect soundtrack to the harmonious celebration of multiple cultures and love.
This dynamic foursome can hush a room with a wrenching ballad as easily as they can inspire a room to dance with glee. Swear and Shake has directly supported the Lumineers, Delta Rae and ZZ Ward. Though the tempo shifts, the spirit is constant, folk inspired gutsy and unafraid to tell the heartbroken truth. Festival highlight!
Tamboka is inspired by Funk, Cumbia, Soul and Jazz, fused through the lens of Latin culture and born to make you move! Hear this local collective as they remind you of Samba and introduce you to the new Miami sound.
This experimental collective creates a psychedelic hip-hop, funk and electronic experience that will have you seeing the world a little differently by the end of the set. Unabashedly wild and intent on amping up the crowd, this Miami crew takes the stage by storm and keep the party popping.
In Brazil, Galera refers to ‘the most popular place in a football stadium’ where the most excited fans gathered & now means ‘a big group of friends’. Each one of Uma Galera’s band members is from a different country, bringing their unique cultural perspective and rhythmic styles to the table. In the mix is ska, funk, cumbia, samba, reggae, salsa, murga, punk, rock, bossa nova, blues, jazz, and so much more. Fueled by their friendship, the band expresses and lives strongly the message of global peace and unity.
Uproot Hootenanny is a five-piece string band from Boca Raton who specialize in folk, rock, pop, Celtic, bluegrass and country music. Their high energy live shows feature a vast repertoire loaded with smile-filled non-stop fun.
An Afro-Cuban group inspired by folklore and the Rumba Yoruba Congo and Arara traditions brought to Cuba by the African Diaspora. Drums and vocals to move the soul!
Friends of the old-time minor key, Irish dance music and the legendary Atlantic/Stax sound, Wildcat Creek hails from a space between the Ithaca Flats and the South Shakori Waterways. Featuring Claire Byrne from Driftwood and Jordan Puryear from Bubba George String Band, the instruments are simple – fiddle, banjo, guitar and bass – but the possibilities are endless.
This traditional West African drum and dance company will mesmerize you with their layered beats, exquisite costume and the coordination of disciplined movement with celebration! Watch Zey Blan Ta and be transported to a place where the sound of the drum beats with your heart.
Zona De Bomba was founded in Miami by a collective of musicians passionate about promoting the Afro-Boricua tradition of bomba, and related musical styles from Latin America and the Caribbean. Drums, voices, and dance make up the dynamic of bomba, and the magic truly happens when dancer and drum connect.