The OG Miami Bands Still Killing it Today
July 25, 2017
Miami’s music scene is something of an anomaly. Through the consistent cycles of closed venues and emigrating talent, passion and hope for our city’s musical future has still pushed through enough for us to all be proud of the talents that have chosen to stay despite a feeling of lack of support. As new generations of Miamians become exposed to these truly local acts, the tradition of connecting a personal identity to our surrounding music continues strong. With a collection of GRAMMY and Latin GRAMMY nominations, sold out music festival tours, and international performances under their belts, check out some of our favorite acts that have stayed together, seasoned like a fine wine:
Gotta start the list with a name that is practically synonymous with Miami: Spam Allstars. They’re Latin, they’re funky, and they aren’t afraid to accept an electronic foundation created by the ringleader, DJ Le Spam. Throw in live instrumentations, bouncy beats, and catchy choruses, and you’ve got yourself a local legend we can all stand behind.
Usual spot: Ball & Chain.
You can’t talk about the eclectic electronic duo of Afrobeta and not immediately smile. Partly because Tony and Cuci are two of the warmest people in town, and partly because they’re performances are always an all-out party. If Bjork went to Ultra, she’d probably sound something like it. When they do play a set, the crowd always comes through to support.
Where to find them: Currently on tour.
It’s funny how we always mention Latin and electronic when speaking of Miami-identifiable genres, but hip hop is easily just as prominent and encapsulating. This is where ArtOfficial comes in, all truth and groove–sprinkled with a whole lot of Miami pride. These guys are silent ninjas, still jamming after a decade together, with a core of loyal fans in tow at every show.
Usual spot: Thursday Living Room Sessions at Bougie’s in South Miami.
There are few sounds as representative as a specific era in Miami’s history as Cuban music. We could talk about soul or hip hop, even jazz, but Cuban music is still at the forefront of identifiable culture in the city. Leading that back, as classic as it comes, is Conjunto Progreso, revolving around the city’s history with their traditional Cuban standards and show-stopping performances.
Why they’re here: 11-piece bands this good are hard to come by.
Sticking to a consistent sound is one thing, keeping in line with a clear message is another and Elastic Bond has mastered both. They kind-hearted and welcoming music has lasted through time with a deep following and a creative community of supporters around the city. They’re the kind of Latin-fusion act that stands the test of time just by being themselves and it’s pretty perfect.
Recent news: They’re latest album, Honey Bun, is a must-listen.
This one’s a crowd-sourced favorite in Miami, so we had to add them to the list. Even after their frontman moved to the west coast, Suenalo is still selling out the few shows they do play in the city. We’re hoping for some brand new music from these guys, regardless of their long distance relationship because our ears need more of that funky Afro hip hop sound we all know and love.
Why they’re here: Reader’s choice.
“Melting Pot” is a phrase often thrown around to describe Miami’s vibrant and brimming culture. But you can use that interchangeably when talking about Electric Piquete‘s sound too. They take jazz standards and turn them on their heads by fusing them with rock influences all in an effort to enlighten ears with a new Afro-Caribbean musical experience. Their experience is their sharpest tool, digging into the hearts (and the hips) of those who catch them.
Good news: Celebrating 10 years this August.
Cheeky names aside, PALO! doesn’t beat around the bush when it comes to classic-sounding Afro-Cuban funk tunes from the Pearl of the Antilles. Seeing them perform is like witnessing a master ventriloquist only your hips are the puppet and their tunes are the master. It’s all happy music, geared towards making sure everyone in attendance has a downright good time.
Usual spot: Ball & Chain.
Locos Por Juana
It’s hard to find a Miami genre Locos Por Juana doesn’t incorporate in their music. Weaving in and out of reggae, hip hop, latin funk, and even jams of electronic proportions, they truly have something in it for everyone. Their recorded tunes are great, but catching them live is an absolute treat, with the ultra talented frontman, Itawe Correa leading the pack with ease.
Most recent, notable collaborations: Talib Kweli.
Got a favorite local act you don’t see on the list? Let us know and we’ll be sure to throw them some love!