Grammy-nominated Afro-Colombian hip hop group ChocQuibTown is named after their hometown region of Colombia – the city of Quibdó in the state of Chocó. Using tropical hip hop beats as a framework to reveal their own culture, three rappers trade uplifting verses in Spanish and English. Their high-tech, pop-friendly sound incorporates Latin rhythms, reggae, electro, folk and a myriad of African and Central American influences.
Del McCoury is undeniably one of the most talented, revered and vital artists in bluegrass history. He’s been the epitome of the “high lonesome sound” for over four decades, including a stint as lead singer for Bill Monroe’s Blue Grass Boys. His sound encompasses shades of blues and gospel and his devoted audience runs the gamut from tie-dyed neo-hippie jammers to suspendered good ol’ boys. The band’s instrumental and vocal firepower, consummate showmanship, high spirits and deep-rooted dedication to bluegrass heritage have led them to more International Bluegrass Music Association awards than any other artist in history. With sons Ronnie and Rob by his side, McCoury’s impeccable virtuosity remains as stunning as ever.
From Cajun to country, reggae to improv, zydeco boogie to roots-rock riot, Donna the Buffalo aims for the best of what music has to offer. Their singular sound features upbeat grooves, inspirational lyrics, memorable hooks, superb musicianship and an overwhelming sense of celebration. They’re an American institution, socially conscious yet eternally danceable. Donna the Buffalo started the GrassRoots Festival over 20 years ago outside of Ithaca, NY to raise money for local charities and showcase the sounds of their friends and inspirations from around the world. The band features multi-instrumentalist Tara Nevins, guitarist Jeb Puryear, keyboardist Dave McCracken, bassist Kyle Spark and drummer Mark Raudabaugh.
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 blazing fiddle action, boundaryless banjo, booming upright bass and gleeful guitar alongside a scrap wood kick box, clapping hands and stomping feet.
Elastic Bond embraces their Miami roots by delivering 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 a horn section and percussion with electronica, tasty melodies and positive vibes, their funky groove kisses musical boundaries goodbye.
Born in Wildwood, FL, country singer/songwriter Elizabeth Cook had her own band at age 9 and has appeared on The Grand Ole Opry over 100 times. Her clear, beautiful voice and strong songwriting earns comparisons to classic country divas like Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton. With a complete command of the power, grit and honesty of pure old-time country, her sound careens well outside the bounds of Opryland, shifting from waltzes and bluegrassy numbers to alt-country, pop ballads, and flat-out rockers.
Named in honor of the legendary abolitionist, John Brown’s Body has an organic roots reggae sound that’s both reverent and revolutionary. Based in Ithaca, NY, their lyrics speak of spiritual and social uplift with gorgeously melodic vocal hooks and a rhythmic style based on the classic reggae of the mid-’70s. But this is “Future Roots Music”, where elements of dub, electronic, funk, ska, hip-hop, and dubstep are peppered throughout their soothing sound.
JUke is a Miami-based dirty blues band that adds horns and 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 rev the possibilities of indy-blues straight into the future.
Louisiana-based accordionist Keith Frank combines Creole and Cajun sounds with massive elements of funk and soul, putting his own singular spin on genuine American roots music and transforming it into a modern day dance party. Adding elements of R&B, blues, pop, rock, reggae, and even hip hop, the sonic gumbo he cooks up is known as “nouveau zydeco,” and no one does it better. Keith Frank is forging his own urbanized and infectiously danceable style, with legendary shows that unleash an uninterrupted flow of positive, uplifting music. Together with the Soileau Zydeco Band, he’s gained critical acclaim on the international festival circuit.
Keith Secola & Wild Band of Indians combines rock and roll with Native American sensibilities, adding flutes, indigenous drums, and native chants to their musical vision. Hailing from Tempe, AZ, their sound is a unique blend of folk, rock, reggae and world beat – what they call Native Americana music – with an ample dose of humor, style and audience participation. An inspirational eclectic soundscape is their goal, with hopeful lyrics aiming for a unified world
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 sure to get you moving. Their biting social commentary integrates a message of unity and their philosophy of “One Sound.”
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-and-response performed in India’s bhakti devotional traditions. Think Beastie Boys meets Krishna Das. “Y’all ready to shake your asana?!”
Miami-based pop rockers Minimal play an eclectic and versatile mix of indie and alternative rock with electronic flirtations embodied in drum machines, sequencers and samplers. This international project of Spanish-language musicians from Colombia, Peru, and Nicaragua offers a refreshingly upbeat take on the disorder of our lives. Their fast-paced tempos and wide variety of musical textures create tasty bittersweet candy for fans of wallflower angst electropop.
Bogota’s Monsieur Periné draws inspiration from the spritely jazz manouche of Django Reinhardt and 1930s France, mixing swinging gypsy jazz with a sprinkling of pan-Latin sounds such as son, tango, and samba to create their own “suin a la Colombiana” (“Colombian swing”). They balance their virtuosic musical fusions with colorful rhythms, sugar-sweet sunshiny vocals, spot-on pop sensibilities and a bouncy, tropical vibe.
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, they hail from Little Haiti, the psychedelic underbelly of Miami’s most rebellious neighborhood.
Oliver Mtukudzi is one of the true giants of African pop and the best-selling artist in his home country of Zimbabwe. Gifted with a deep, gutsy voice, he plays a unique blend of southern African musical traditions with pop influences and a distinctly exotic gospel/R&B air. “Tuku” music is undeniably contagious, with moods ranging from fast-paced dance beats to gentler repetitive rhythms with socially conscious lyrics that capture the heart of his people.
Accordionist Preston Frank has been laying down his blazing bayou boogie and unabashedly traditional Louisiana zydeco for decades. His trademark swamp groove is a combination of Cajun, funk and soul, a smooth and flowing Creole sound that instantly makes you start to move. The jumping rhythms and festive vibes rest in his hands while his fingers work magic on the diatonic accordion. Firmly planted in his musical roots for over thirty years, Preston Frank remains an important force in preserving traditional zydeco and Creole French music.
Richie Stearns and Rosie Newton are two dynamic musicians performing gorgeous music rooted in the Americana tradition. As a member of Donna the Buffalo and The Horse Flies, Stearns became a lynchpin of today’s American roots music revival. With their sweet harmonies and innovative arrangements, Newton’s elegant voice and glittering fiddle complements Stearns’ spooky mantra-groove banjo as they expand the boundaries of traditional music. Together, they create a sound that is sometimes ethereal and sometimes just plain ol’ down home.
The Resolvers are a ten-piece powerhouse from Deerfield Beach, FL with a uniquely soulful “Big Band Reggae” sound which draws from classic Jamaican roots reggae, rock steady, and ska alongside American rock, funk, soul and New Orleans jazz traditions. Their explosive live show features threads of Beatlesque pop, jazzy horn arrangements, beautifully blending voices and wild boppy solos.
David Rodríguez Labault, known as Sie7e, is a Latin Grammy-winning singer/songwriter from Puerto Rico with an eclectic style that fuses rock, pop and blues with tropical sounds such as salsa, flamenco, bomba, batucada and one-world conscious reggae. Weaving together upbeat horn and guitar lines with bustling percussion parts, his performances have a childlikeexuberance and unbridled enthusiasm, with positive lyrics full of social awareness, humor, irony and love.
Hailing from Ft. Lauderdale, Sosos is an acoustic band who base their music around root instruments such as upright bass, pump organ, banjo, djembe, drums, melodica, and even a box of rocks at times; thus generating their own brand of energy. Displaying a diverse balance of talent that brews up catchy tunes, Sosos captivates audiences with smart musical melodies and lush vocal harmonies.
Spam Allstars are one of the premiere 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. Their highly danceable and wide-reaching sound is pure funky fusion!
Suenalo is south Florida’s premier 8-piece Latin jam band whose signature sound embraces funk, hip-hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more – the quintessential embodiment of Miami as melting pot. Their dynamic vocals and irresistibly infectious music provides the perfect soundtrack for celebration. Put on your dancing shoes for this hard-grooving fusion of sounds!
Asheville, NC’s Toubab Krewe sets a new standard for fusing West African music with rock and roll. They blend instruments such as kora and ngoni with influences ranging from country and Latin to reggae and hip-hop. Their music is danceable and celebratory, with interweaving melodies floating over two drummers locked in hypnotic beats. Their singular sound is a blend of authenticity and unpredictability – expertly meshed surf guitar with Malian rhythmic patterns, a “Dick Dale goes to Timbuktu” experiment in Afro-California fusion.
Uproot Hootenanny is a five-piece acoustic string band from Boca Raton with roots stemming from traditional Celtic and Americana music and a sound incorporating hard driving bluegrass, rock, pop and country influences. At the forefront of modern roots music, their high-energy live shows feature a vast repertoire loaded with gorgeous vocals and smile-filled non-stop fun.
And Many More…..