Afro Roots Fest Shifts to Key West, Celebrates Cuba April 18 – 20


Community Arts and Culture presents a series of events designed to highlight Cuba’s contribution to world music at The Green Parrot and The Studios of Key West, featuring The Spam Allstars, Cortadito, and Electric Piquete 

Key West, FL – March 20, 2019 – As it did for the first time last year, the Afro Roots Fest concert series will head down U.S. 1 for a stop at Mile Marker 0 April 18 through 20, 2019. Afro Roots Key West will serve as a celebration of Cuba’s importance not only to the world of music, but to the Conch Key’s prominent role in the history of Cuba, featuring a music documentary, live music, even cigar-rolling.

The festivities will open Thursday the 18th with Miami Latin-funk band Electric Piquete’s debut at The Green Parrot (601 Whitehead Street, Key West, FL 33040) at 9 p.m. On Friday, April 19, a screening of the documentary Eliades Ochoa: from Cuba to the World at The Studios of Key West (533 Eaton Street, Key West, FL 33040) will take place beginning at 6 p.m. Finally, Cuban folk act Cortadito celebrates Cuba with a performance also at TSKW on Saturday, 8 p.m., and then the Spam Allstars perform at the official closing party at the Green Parrot beginning at 10 p.m.      

“Key West is inextricably woven into the fabric of Cuban colonial history, similar to how African influences are embedded in Cuban music,” says Jose Elias, festival founder and executive director of Community Arts and Culture (CAC). “We look forward to celebrating these historical and musical parallels at some of the island’s premiere spots in The Studios of Key West and the Green Parrot.” Elias is Cortadito’s co-founder and tres player, and also performs with the Spam Allstars.

Electric Piquete is best known for its fiery originals and inventive interpretations of Latin and jazz standards. A powerfully-tight drums / bass / guitar / keys / congas rhythm section sets the groove for a fiery horn section, taking listeners on an Afro-Caribbean journey of sound. Named “Best Latin Band” by the Miami New Times in 2009 and 2015, the band is a veritable melting pot of influences that range from rock to jazz and spiced with everything in between: funk, fusion, old-school salsa, progressive and R&B. They will be joined by special guest Tomas Diaz on vocals and percussion. Show is free and open to 21 and over. Learn more at  

Directed by CynthiaBiestek and RubenGomez, the 2018 musical documentary Eliades Ochoa: from Cuba to the World follows the path of a poor country musician from Eastern Cuba who rises to the challenge of spreading his beloved traditional music to the whole world, along the way finding success as a member of the legendary Cuban group the Buena Vista Social Club. $10 tickets to the screening at The Studios of Key West are available online here, followed by a Q&A with Biestek and a reception.

Cortadito specializes in performing Cuban music from the early 20th century, transporting listeners to a time when Trio Matamoros and Ignacio Piniero ruled the Cuban music world.  The band, who recently released a new EP of music called Canciones de Julio, faithfully performs standards in the traditional stylings called Son MontunoGuarachaBoleroNengon, and Bolero Son. In 2018, Cortadito served as the backing band for the Buena Vista Social Club legend Ochoa himself. Learn more at Get tickets to their event, which also includes a complimentary traditional Cuban rum drink called a mojito, plus cigar-rollers here:  

The Spam Allstars are not only one of Miami’s most popular, well-known, and longest-running and accomplished bands, but they have been nominated for a Latin Grammy and toured nationally. Part Afro-Cuban, part hip-hop, part funk, part electronica, they were founded by musician, producer, and musicologist Andrew Yeomanson, AKA DJ Le Spam. The group’s latest release is their sixth full-length called Trans-Oceanic (2016). Learn more at; 21 and over welcome to their show at Green Parrot.

The events are being made possible with the support of the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, the Community Foundation of the Florida Keys, the Ambrosia Key West, The Studios of Key West, and The Green Parrot.

High resolution images and videos are available. For more information, please visit or call 305.296.0458.



Incorporated in September 2002, Community Arts and Culture, Inc. (CAC) is a Miami-based non-profit organization that fosters an appreciation and understanding of a vast assortment of arts and cultures through workshops, lectures and artistic performances in local communities for individuals of all ages and social backgrounds.

In addition to the joint venture with the Little Haiti Community Center called Let the Children Have Music, and the ongoing World Music Tuesdays series at the Wynwood Yard, CAC co-produces the Roots in the Schools program, which brings music to Miami-area schools.
For more information, please visit

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Michael Mut