Afro Roots Fest Moves to Key Largo June 2


Afro Roots Fest’s 20th Anniversary Celebration Concludes in Key Largo on June 2nd

Concert at Murray Nelson Center near mile marker 102 to feature diverse array of four local and international world music acts

Key Largo, FL – May 16, 2018 – Following three days of events in Key West, the 20th Afro Roots World Music Festival travels back up U.S. 1 to the Murray Nelson Center (102050 Overseas Hwy, Key Largo, FL 33037) for it’s final concert Saturday, June 2, 2018. Live acts will include Sanba Zao(Haiti), Toto Omana (Congo), Los Herederos (Cuba) and the 305 Street Band (Miami). Tickets – available online at – are $20, children 12 and under are free, and seniors, students and military personnel with ID are $10. Please note that the full price will be charged without ID at the door. The event runs 3 to 11 p.m.

“It’s been an amazing six-month celebration and we are excited about our final event in Key Largo,” says Jose Elias, founder and executive director of Community Arts and Culture (CAC). “Sanba Zao is a dynamic performer and it’s only fitting that he closes our show in Key Largo, being that he headlined our first show back in January in Jupiter.” Elias is a guitarist with the Spam Allstars, and plays the tres in his group Cortadito. He is also a producer and Grammy nominated musician and recording artist.

Born Louis Lesly Marcelin, Sanba Zao is a master drummer and Haitian roots music legend. He is also a professor at L’Ecole National des Arts, Haiti’s national arts school, and has devoted his life to teaching and promoting the culture and music of Haiti. Marcelin runs an elementary school called the Bazilo Ecole Communautairei, which was one of the first to reopen after the 2010 earthquake that devastated his home country. Sanba Zao has also sings and tours with Lakou Mizik, and performed with other Haitian groups such as Group SaFoula Jazz, and Djakata.

Toto Omana is a singer / songwriter / guitarist from Kinshasa, Republic of Congo. Influenced by Franco and OK Jazz, his music combines African Soukous  with American R&B, funk, and soul. Toto speaks more than 12 languages, and sings in Swahili, Mandingo, English, Spanish, and French. Toto appeared as a guest on the Grammy-nominated group, Conjunto Progreso’s record Master Sessions Descarga & Son. He’ll release a full-length set on Afro Roots Recordings in 2019, which will be produced by Elias.

Los Herederos, winners of the 2016 Miami New Times award for “Best Latin Band”, are the brainchild of Cuban percussionist and vocalist Philbert Almenteros. They perform in a very stripped down drum and chant format comprised of percussion-heavy rumbaguaguanco, and yambu numbers, which are all deeply rooted Afro-Cuban stylings. Philbert’s great grandmother was one of the founding members of the world-renowned Afro-Cuban folklore group Clave y Guaguanco.

The 305 Street Band are a brass-heavy ensemble probably best known for their on-court performances with the NBA as the Miami HEAT Street Band. They perform pop, Latin, hip-hop, R&B, and everything in between, as well as dance to every song, performing intricate routines and even providing crowd interaction, from sing-a-longs, to limbos. The band is led by David Burgos, a trumpet player and member of another prominent Miami group, Elastic Bond.

In addition to the live music performances, there will also be dance and percussion workshops earlier in the day for all age, as well as arts and crafts vendors, as well as food and beverages available for purchase.

This 20th iteration of the festival, which is curated and by the non-profit organization CAC, features more than 50 international and local acts from all over the world, and is being held at venues from Jupiter to Key West.

Brought to you by the Monroe County Tourism Development Council, and with the support of the Friends of the Key Largo Cultural Center and The Tank Brewing Company. For more information, please visit or call 305.294.4641.


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.

CAC also produced the A Day at the Beach Concert Series, which enjoyed a five- year run, in addition to co-producing the Roots in the Schools program, which brings music to Miami-area schools.

For more information, please visit

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Michael Mut