Interview: Karla Arguello of The Rhythm Foundation
March 23, 2015
No doubt you’ve noticed the city surging in arts and culture over the past few years. Exhibits A-Z might include Wynwood, Art Basel satellite events, The Arts + Entertainment District, and Citi Bike on that list. But silently fluttering above the city’s intellectual heartbeat has been the incredible team over at The Rhythm Foundation, responsible for merging new music with Miami’s unique cultural niche.
Like our very own fairy of creativity, The Rhythm Foundation has been the driving force behind some of South Florida’s most open-hearted musical events. Among them and perhaps it’s most international crowned jewel: The Heineken TransAtlantic Festival.
Coming upon its 13th year in Miami, from April 10th-11th, the festival will once again join some of the world’s most outspoken acts with a few local stars all on one stage. Last week we got to sit down with Karla Arguello, Communications Coordinator for The Rhythm Foundation to discuss upcoming community projects, current musical obsessions, and all things Heineken TransAtlantic…
How long have you been involved with The Rhythm Foundation and how did it come about?
I have been with The Rhythm Foundation for a year. I got involved with them when I was working with The Miami Nice Jazz Festival in the Fall of 2013. The Festival brought on The Rhythm Foundation to work on marketing and has done so for the past 3 years. We worked together again this year, though I was working directly with TRF instead of MNJF.
This year will mark the 13th (and luckiest) Heineken TransAtlantic Festival, what can festivalgoers expect?
We are trying to make this the most exciting Heineken TransAtlantic Festival yet. We are activating the park on the south side of the venue and have partnered up with The New Tropic who will be hosting the lounge. In this area we will have fun bungee chairs, a photo booth and other surprises in store. We will also have cool vendors and community partners in the venue, one of which is ALLove Tree, a non-profit focused on sustainability. They will bring their bicycle station which you can peddle on to charge your cellphone. We are also working on different “greening” initiatives like better recycling practices and free water at stations provided by our friends at Surfrider Foundation.
How do you guys go about discovering new music and other favorite acts?
We are always sharing new music with each other here at the office. We also find a lot online; I know we all keep ourselves up to date with what is on NPR and similar outlets and we sometimes get sent music from agents and bands. I also have a shared Spotify playlist with friends and we are all always adding new music to it. It’s a fun way to keep in touch with my college friends and what they are listening to since we all live in different cities.
Are there any artists that your ears are currently into?
At the office right now we are all very into Ibeyi, a French-Cuban sister duo who sing in English and Yoruba. So good! I’ve also been listening to a lot of Jungle, Hercules & Love Affair and Todd Terje lately.
How do you envision The Rhythm Foundation in 5 years?
We were just awarded a contract by the City of Miami Beach to manage the North Beach Bandshell on Collins and 73 so we have some special events in the works up there. We are also working more on producing series now as opposed to individual shows. We now produce Big Night in Little Haiti, Hollywood ArtsPark Experience, and will be announcing a new series at the Bandshell soon! I see us building up the Bandshell to be a more used space than it has been in the past and continuing to bring quality music to Miami.
What about the city inspires you the most?
Miami is such an international city that you find countries from all over the world represented here. The mix of cultures creates a market here for all different types of music. I think The Rhythm Foundation’s niche is bringing that international music here. Since I have been working here we have worked with artists of all different nationalities like Bombino from Niger, Astro from Chile, Caetano Veloso from Brazil, Diego el Cigala from Spain, Caparezza from Italy, Galactic from New Orleans. And of course we have our signature Big Night in Little Haiti every month. I have definitely learned a lot about music that I would have otherwise never heard of.
How can people get involved with The Rhythm Foundation and Heineken TransAtlantic?
Anyone can become a Rhythm Foundation Member. We have 3 different tiers of membership and members get benefits such as no ticket fees, priority on front row tickets, private parties throughout the year. People can get involved with TransAtlantic by coming and enjoying the music, The New Tropic lounge, and having a Heineken *wink*.
Do you have a favorite artist on the lineup this year or anyone you’re particularly excited about?
Catch the amazing local goodness on April 10th-11th at The North Beach Bandshell! Tickets are still on sale and you can snag them here. We’ll be on-site giving you the full play-by-play so make sure to tune in! (Massive pun intended.)