Abdías Ernesto García is a talented multi-instrumentalist, composer and music producer from the caribbean island of Puerto Rico. His third release “Mas Colores y Menos Horrores” on his indie label “Tacatantán Records” evokes the sentiment of a troubadour with the heartbeat of a percussionist. His versatility as a musician and singer has allowed him to share the stage with artists such as Tito Puente, El Gran Combo, Donna The Buffalo and Keith Secola among others. Abdias also offers dynamic workshops on latin percussion, improvisation and songwriting. He is offering a latin drum workshop at the festival, check the schedule!
Araka is Spanish slang for “Watch out!” Miami’s masters of reggae and Latin groove are hot hot hot live, where blistering guitar licks collide with swinging salsa and big band aplomb in perfect harmony. These ska-rockers offer an eclectic mix reflecting their diverse backgrounds from Peru, Cuba and Puerto Rico. In the spirit of Sublime and Los Fabulosos Cadillacs, their worldwise sound is designed to make you move.
ArtOfficial blends hip-hop, jazz and indie beats, mixing smart MCs with fleet-fingered musicians to merge rap’s Golden era with the electric sizzle of ’70s funky jazz. Miami’s hometown heroes play an unflappable blend of sunny old-school sounds with an organic live touch and triumphant, positive rhymes.
Big Cosmo, Hailing from Jacksonville Beach, Randy “Big Cosmo” Judy brings his own brand of Florida sunshine and foot-stompin’ guitar wherever he goes. But his cosmic cowboy blend of Americana, hope, bluegrass, happiness, folk music, joy, rock and love sounds best of all in the sunshine where it was born.
Bird Named Python, a groove-based rock ‘n’ roll band created from four very different musicians, Bird Named Python mixes passionate dirty blues harmonica with guitar contortions, groove-filled bass and gospel-tinged percussion. Their debut show will be at the Virginia Key Grassroots festival on February 22nd. Be there to see their live debut!!!
Bobby Lee Rodgers Trio fuses rock, funk, jazz and blues into a magical musical tapestry. Also a stellar songwriter, vocalist and guitarist , Rodgers was a founding member of the legendary Southern band The Codetalkers, which often featured Col. Bruce Hampton from the famed Aquarium Rescue Unit. Rodgers’ energy and soul even led him to become one of the youngest ever instructors of Jazz Studies at the prestigious Berklee College of Music at the ripe old age of 23.
Call 2 Rise backed by SelahStar featuring Jasent. Miami-based Call 2 Rise celebrates the diversity of the reggae sound and plants its roots firmly in the Caribbean. Hailing from Guadeluope and Jamaica, Benji Cospolite and Najeeb Campbell are proudly carrying their homespun traditions into the next century.
Cortadito is a traditional Cuban Son Duo which focuses on performing the music of early Cuban origins. From Son Montuno to Boleros and Bolero Son, this dynamic duo 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. From time to time Cortadito is backed by a variety of guest musicians which gives the group a sound reminiscent of the Buena Vista Social Club.
COPE, offers an excellent blend of melody and harmony, aggressive runs on guitar, powerhouse drumming, and scintillating horn and keys. Unlike other bands in the genre, who linger in incessant, loping jams, COPE originals are tightly-arranged, well-composed numbers that show an appreciation for song craft, both from a lyrical and musical perspective. Listening to COPE you will hear an audial smorgasbord of influences and styles. Rock passages blend seamlessly with reggae, roots rock, and soaring vocal harmonies to provide a smooth swagger that makes the ladies dance, and the lads bob their heads.
The Cornerstoners are a Miami-based hip-hop fusion quartet that blends heavy rock with a funky jazz undercurrent to offer up a danceable, high energy sound. The Cornerstone was Miami’s most unique experimental art venue until 2007. Since then its spirit has stayed alive through the band that grew out of the hotspot’s relentless creativity. They spread their message of change, awareness and responsibility over sick guitar riffs, deep bass grooves and one bad-ass female drummer. Love and let love.
Crazy Fingers has been Florida’s premiere Grateful Dead tribute band since 1990. Hailing from Palm Beach County, they’ve played more than 2500 shows celebrating the unique musical vision of the Dead, including many rare songs that other tribute bands barely touch. They’ve also recorded two albums of original material, blending blues, folk, country and of course good old rock and roll.
DJ Bill Kelly, Driven by an intense passion for music and a pioneering spirit that has kept pace with the cutting-edge for nearly 4 decades, fe individuals have had as meaningful and lasting impact upon the dance music industry as DJ Bill Kelly, Co-founder and Director of the largest dance music convention in the world. The Winter Music Conference brings over 1.2 million people to Miami, gathering dance and electronic music performers and industry pros. Bill even earned the Key to the City of Miami Beach and was inducted into the dance Music Authority Magazine’s Hall of Fame.
Donna the Buffalo 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 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.
Driftwood 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.
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 a horn section and percussion with electronica, tasty melodies and positive vibes, their funky groove kisses musical boundaries goodbye.
Equanimous Minds are a next level, integrative dance party collective. Founded by percussionist/producer Bopa King Carré and DJ/producer Adam Sikora, they bring together the best of today’s electronica and the universal sounds of percussion. Sikora’s stylistic blend of modern dance and house music is simple yet incendiary: classy rhythms and vocals backed by bone-shaking bass lines. Bopa King Carré is an extremely versatile and eclectic percussionist whose explorations of music and rhythms bridge the gap between the DJ and live music performance.
Gold Dust Lounge, born from the streets of Miami’s uber-hip Wynwood Arts District, the Gold Dust Lounge sound embodies the neighborhood’s electric and eclectic atmosphere. But their roots reach far beyond to the varied textures of acid surf, jazz, punk rock, spy-fi and spaghetti western. A compelling fusion of sounds that weave in and out around a deep groove, they’re masters at creating new rhythms, unexpected melodies and downtempo moods to kick back to.
Greg Humphreys, singer/songwriter’s mad mix of stylistically diverse songs move from roots-pop and straight-up blues to country and bluegrass, using pop hooks and his soulful voice to showcase his spirit and sound. The Hobex and Dillon Fence frontman takes you on a musical journey that is disarming, personal and intimately engaging.
Grupo Barrio Abajo, which aims to raise awareness internationally of the musical heritage of Carnival and all the Colombian Caribbean such as cumbia, bullerengue, porro, the chandé and over thirty other unparalleled musical rhythms. Globally, their country is known for cumbia and vallenato, but these are just part of a immense musical heritage the Barrio Abajo Group intends to publicize and popularize. The Group Barrio Abajo is one of the best bands of the Colombian Caribbean and Carnival of Barranquilla and is internationally recognized for their particular style, for their achievements and their acting, making music and playing our typical, coating it with new clothes tuxedos or instrumental by the exigencies of contemporary music.
Grammy Award nominees Ike and Val play a unique style of blues with an electrifying, high energy live show. Ike’s face-melting guitar style is a mixture of B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix and George Benson, while Val’s singing embodies the essence of Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Aretha Franklin. This dynamic duo consistently delivers soul satisfying blues with dashes of jazz, funk, soul and gospel added for flavor.
Inner Circle, is a danceable yet rootsy Jamaican reggae group with pop and rock influences who achieved major success in the 1970s with lead singer Jacob Miller. At their peak, only Bob Marley was more popular in Jamaica. The band re-formed in the ’80s and had a major hit with “Bad Boys” which became the theme song to the TV show COPS. The ’90s saw platinum albums, #1 international hits and Grammy Awards as they continue to tour the world sharing the music and message of their homeland.
Jah High Towa, aka Da Real Poor Man, is a young Jamaican-born DJ schooled in the tradition of Bobo Ashanti/Rastafarian DJs such as Sizzla Kalonji, Capleton, and Anthony B. His growing success performing throughout Miami is doubtless due to his spirited efforts and ability to make his lyrics and songs shine. His hospitality during our first visit to Miami made a lasting impression, we thank him for showing us the beauty of this city and its people, One Love.
Johnny Dread, (a.k.a. “The Dread”) transcends reggae music to reach a unique and visionary blend of worldbeat rhythms. His musical influences are as diverse as his Rasta / Cuban-American background. With an undeniable rebel soul, he infuses Caribbean-influenced beats into Afro-Cuban and rock paradigms, creating contagious rhythms and powerful, soul-wrenching melodies.
Jose Conde, breaking far away from Latin music stereotypes, Jose Conde’s music is globally eclectic, lyrically eccentric, unpredictable and funky! With diverse influences and colors from South Africa to Brazil to Peru, his rootsy rhythms and humor are undeniably and soulfully Cuban, yet uniquely Conde.
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 push the possibilities of indy-blues straight into the future.
Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band 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.
Hailing from Tempe, AZ, Keith Secola combines rock and roll with Native American sensibilities, adding flutes, indigenous drums, and native chants to his musical vision. His sound is a unique blend of folk, rock, reggae and world beat – what he calls “Native Americana” – with an ample dose of humor and style. He has a special way of getting the audience involved in the music and the stories. An inspirational eclectic soundscape is the goal, with hopeful lyrics aiming for a unified world.
Laney Jones is a singer-songwriter with an enchanting voice and vivacious spunk, masterfully crafting songs with musical roots in classic blues and bluegrass. Laney and her band have been picking their way through many of Florida’s folk and Americana festivals, and are excited to be making their first stomp at Virgina Key. She was the winner of the first ever solo-duo competition at Riverhawk Music Festival and was recently accepted on scholarship to Berklee College of Music.
Locos por Juana is a Miami-based Latin urban orchestra whose wide-ranging musical approach draws from tropical styles such as reggae, cumbia, and salsa as well as urban styles such as 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.”
With vocals, guitar, banjo, fiddle, mandolin, bass fiddle, and a wealth of traditional folk songs, Matthew Sabatella and the Rambling String Band bring the spirit of America’s past into the present. Featuring folk songs, fiddle tunes, Old World ballads, work songs, spirituals, love songs, sea shanties, reels, play parties, breakdowns, blues, and more.
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 hilariously fun shows offer 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?”
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 lawless neighborhood.
The Osceola Bros. Band was formed by 15 year old Cameron Osceola. They 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 has been laying down his blazing bayou boogie and unabashed, 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.
The Resolvers are a ten-piece powerhouse from Deerfield Beach, FL with a unique “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.
Revelation Mizik is a Miami-based band whose sweet, catchy Haitian harmonies blend perfectly into their sunny day sound. Don’t miss this chance to dance and smile beneath their Caribbean breeze.
Rusted Root integrates jam-heavy groove rock with psychedelic pop. The Pittsburgh natives’ upbeat style of worldbeat features percussion influences based on the music of Africa, the Middle East, and Latin America. First rising to stardom in 1995 with the hit “Send Me On My Way,” they’re back in the limelight with their recently released 7th studio album.
Sosos plays acoustic roots rock soul with a twist of acid jazz. Based in Ft. Lauderdale, their jam-heavy music features lush vocal harmonies layered over rootsy instruments including banjo, mandolin, guitars and a 1920′s church pump organ.
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 blend 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!
Stokeswood is an Atlanta-based rock band with infectious energy, unpredictable live performances and a fierce electronic edge. They coined the phrase “Low-Endie rock” to describe their layered mixture of pumping synths, powerful vocals, and irresistible dance vibes.
Sue Cunningham is a three-time Florida Bluegrass Fiddle Champion. As a co-founder of the band Hickory Project, she performed many shows with the legendary Vassar Clements as their twin fiddles delighted audiences at festivals, concerts and workshops around the country.
Suenalo is Miami’s premier 8-piece Latin jam band, with a signature sound embracing funk, hip-hop, jazz, Afro-Caribbean rhythms and more – the quintessential embodiment of Miami as melting pot. Their irresistibly infectious music provides the perfect soundtrack to celebrate the harmonious melding of differences. Put on your dancing shoes for this one!
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.
Wholetones play a unique mix of bluegrass, folk, jazz, and metal, all translated through acoustic instruments. Combining virtuoso technical skills with the spontaneity of jazz and the drive of bluegrass, their captivating live shows see them jumping genres as adeptly as switching instruments.