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.
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.
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 childlike exuberance and unbridled enthusiasm, with positive lyrics full of social awareness, humor, irony and love.
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.
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?!”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
They call him “alt.country,” “Americana,” and even “Y’all-ternative.” We don’t know exactly what any of that stuff means, so we mostly just call him “Jim.” (It’s shorter, and he said we could.) In a world where modern country music is about as exciting as a warm, flat can of Bud Light, our buddy Jim stands out like a shot of White Lightning.
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.
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.
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!
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 avant-dance duo, brims with vibrant electronic dance-a-licious beats, fun pop song structure and retro nostalgia. They’ve been described as “Miami Sound Machine, but indie and better…Cuban-American electro-ghettofunk disco-alt-reggaeton neo-freestyle” and have performed across the globe from Glastonbury to clubs in Ibiza. It seems AfroBeta and the heart of Miami are symbiotic, sharing a pulse fueled by artistic freedom and cross-cultural possibilities, with a little hint of cheeky mischief.
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.
Mr. Pauer (Toto González) is globetrotting Latin Grammy nominated producer and pioneer of the new sounds of Latin electronica. Bursting forth with dynamic Caribbean remixes and innovative mash-ups that brim with afro-beats, cumbia rhythms, tropical sounds, electro and new wave influences, and a nod to rock n’ roll, it is no wonder he continues to garner huge support at home in Miami and across the Americas. And on top of it all, he has played a leading role in the development of Miami’s burgeoning international music scene, cheers Mr. Pauer!
The music of LANZALLAMAS is pure fire! Playing high-energy dance music charged with Afro-Latino rhythms like salsa and cumbia, this self-proclaimed band of healers brings together the powerful forces of world music to elevate the spirit. With members originally from New Zealand, Malaysia, Puerto Rico and Mexico, they’re the quintessential Miami band, bursting out a fun and interactive repertoire of hypnotically danceable music.
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.
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.
Driven by an intense passion for music and a pioneering spirit that has kept pace with the cutting-edge for nearly 4 decades, few individuals have had as meaningful and lasting an 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.
Pianist Sanna Vaarna was born & raised in Finland under the ‘midnight sun’ and Aurora Borealis. She began studying classical music aged 6, then expanded her musical horizons as an exchange student to the US, eventually moving to Miami in 2001. Sanna quickly began performing around the city at prestigious music venues and on the radio, venturing into the DJ world and falling in love with house music. She is now collaborating on piano with legendary club & founder of the Winter Music Conference DJ Bill Kelly.
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!
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.
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.
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.
The Scratch DJ Academy’s mission is to provide education & access to the dynamic art from of the DJ & producer, lowering the barrier of entry by providing access to state-of-the-art equipment, world-class instructors, & a wide curriculum of courses, private lessons, workshops, & instruction for all levels. Scratch offers an inspirational & informed environment that promotes individual growth & collaboration. They’re curating a showcase Thursday night – featuring their director: the legendary DJ Immortal, head instructor: DJ Bounce, and rising star student: DJ Markus Reuben!
DJ Immortal, founder of the reputable Fader Ballisix Crew & legendary battle champion, has produced & collaborated with countless HipHop greats, toured the world, and established himself as one of the most innovative and versatile DJs in the game. He is currently the director of Miami’s Scratch DJ Academy, educating up & coming DJs while furthering the craft.
DJ Bounce has held residencies at the most prominent nightclubs in Miami, performed during the NBA Playoffs at Heat games, toured Europe, and is currently a head instructor at Miami’s Scratch DJ Academy. He is known for his distinct style of scratching, live remixing, & blending classic party anthem highlights across genres.
DJ Markus Reuben is a Scratch Academy rising star & is already making a name for himself in the Miami club scene, serving up his unique take on Deep House / NU Disco, deliciously fusing elements of lounge jazz, funk, & soul.
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.
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. Music lovers rejoice and dance!
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.
Antilles Music Ensemble recalls the early days of Caribbean dance music with a focus on the rich variety of musical styles from tropical paradises like Martinique, Jamaica, Cuba, Haiti, and Trinidad. With traditional instruments including congas, Cuban tres guitars and steel drums, they bring to sparkling life everything from a Son Montuno to a Sucu Sucu, from Compa to Mento, from a Beguine to a Calypso. Their uplifting performance is a co-presentation of the Grassroots Festival and Community Arts and Culture.
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.
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.
This Miami-based hip-hop fusion quartet 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.
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.
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.
Honey Spine is a progressive folk duo from western New York consisting of Brian Chieco on banjo and ukulele and Tim Martin on guitar. Their rowdy passion roars through their openhearted songs which burst with technical prowess and tight melodic vocal harmonies. Their music mirrors man’s dualistic nature, balancing their raucous upbeat energy with a dark and heavy lyricism.
Adrienne Mack Davis’ luscious voice soars. Her songs are undeniably soulful & profoundly poetic, refreshingly modern with the familiar warmth of the classics; soul, jazz, R&B. It’s said that her voice might be the clarion call to wake up a generation, serving as a gift of healing, echoing triumphs & survival, while unapologetically telling us where we should be headed.
Roots reggae ensemble Mixed Culture is best known for their sweat-fueled rhythms and bilingual streams of powerful and politically conscious lyrics. Based in Hollywood, FL, the raw power of their musicianship and the radical edge to their style adds up to a hypnotic sound with a deep sense of spirituality.
Few can match the energy, talent and spirit of Florida’s own Habanero Honeys. These four unique women (Annie Wenz, Marie Nofsinger, Cathy Lee and Beth Judy) present a most pleasing blend of original folk, blues and Americana with a singular flavor that’s at once poetic, soulful, sweet and plenty spicy.
The Kuyayky Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to the promotion and development of Andean music, traditions and culture. To this end they create internationally collaborative performing arts projects, concerts, documentaries, audio and video recordings, film festivals, lectures, workshops, and visual artworks that practice and disseminate Andean creativity.
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.
Multi-instrumentalist Annie Wenz blends American and world roots music with folk, Latin and African traditions to recreate the global village in her own passionate and unique musical netherworld. She’s a spiritual biker, a hard blues singer who plays Native American flutes, a rough-hewn troubadour ecstatic at the drum circle. Her potent musical brew explores life’s triumphs, tragedies, musings and mysteries as seen by an optimistic storyteller with a powerfully crystalline voice.
The French Horn is a Miami-based collective mixing old school jazz standards, gypsy classics and a thriving world beat that accentuates their varied global roots. Their dynamic musical palette blends French vocals and stunning clarinet and trumpet work with progressive swing, ska, polka and circus music, all illuminated by a high-energy, old-fashioned New Orleans vibe. Truly an uninhibited blend of international styles and creative ambition.
Saranpreet (ft. Ruffin McCoy) is from central North Carolina. Infusing folk music with a spirit of uplift and inspiration, the unique and enchanting vocal stylings of this acoustic duo will leave you feeling elevated and blissful. The sheer exuberance in this amazing live performance is an absolute joy to behold.
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.
And Many More…..