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

Mut Communications
Michael Mut

Ball & Chain Fest 2018 Coming Labor Day Weekend



Ball & Chain to Celebrate 83 Years with Three Day Music Festival Featuring Over 100 Musicians

WHO:              Ball & Chain, Calle Ocho’s most famous live music hotspot is thrilled to announce their fourth annual music festival in honor of the venue’s 83rd anniversary this Labor Day Weekend, August 31- September 2, 2018.  The historical Little Havana landmark originally opened its doors in September 1935 as a booming live jazz bar which lasted through the 1950s.  The throwback speakeasy reopened in September 2014 with an authentic but retro Cuban flare meticulously redecorated in iconic 1950s Miami style under new ownership by Ben Bush, Zack Bush and Bill Fuller.

WHAT:             This marks the fourth annual three-day music-driven event created to not only celebrate the venue’s birthday, but also to showcase their dedication to the live music scene in South Florida and support of local artists. Guests can expect to hear a variety of music genres from jazz to Latin pop to Afro-Cuban funk. The live shows will begin on Friday and continue through Saturday and Sunday, where from 12PM to 3AM over 100 critically-acclaimed musicians and DJs will be jamming out on the Pineapple Stage.

Featured bands will include:

  • PALO!
  • Zarabanda
  • Marlow Rosado
  • Elastic Bond
  • Lucy Grau
  • TimbaLive
  • Sonlokos
  • Pepe Montes Conjunto
  • Soulpax
  • Tiempo Libre
  • Lauren Henderson
  • Lemon City Trio
  • Suénalo
  • Conjunto Progreso
  • Leslie Cartaya
  • Art Official
  • Aaron Lebos Reality
  • Gene Paul Band
  • Jahzel

An exclusive music festival menu will be available featuring a festive mix of craft cocktails, drink specials and bar bites. All attending guests will be eligible for exclusive giveaways and raffles. Table reservations should be made in advance, please contact

For additional information about Ball & Chain, please visit

This is event is free and open to the public.

WHERE:           Ball & Chain 1513 SW 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135

WHEN:              Friday, August 31, 2018 through Sunday September 2, 2018


Cheryl Kate Hohweiler

Trinity Group PR


Michael Mut

Mut Communications



About Ball & Chain:

Ball & Chain is a historic and world famous live music venue located at 1513 Southwest 8th Street, Miami, FL 33135, in the center of Little Havana. The retro jazz bar on Calle Ocho was reborn in September 2014 as a live music venue with an authentic Cuban flare and meticulously redecorated in iconic 1950s Miami style by new ownership Ben Bush, Zack Bush and Bill Fuller.   Before the area became a harbor for Cuban refugees, the bar “On the Trail” (Tamiami Trail) from the mid-1930s to late 1950s was a popular late-night stomping ground for many of the world’s most famous jazz musicians including Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, and Chet Baker.  The revived entertainment venue has reclaimed its reputation as a power player in Miami’s nightlife scene with a 3,000 square-foot interior and a 3,500 square-foot patio both outfitted for live music. The music scene at Ball & Chain infuses contemporary sounds with old school jazz and salsa. The venue features live music daily. The iconic bar features a top shelf and premium liquor bar, signature and special craft cocktails, as well as a Cuban inspired tapas menu.  Ball & Chain is open from 12PM to 12AM from Monday through Wednesday, 12PM to 3AM Thursday, Friday, Saturday and 11AM to 12AM on Sundays.  Happy Hour is Monday through Sunday starting at 4PM to 7PM featuring two for one specialty cocktails.  For additional info please visit


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

Mut Communications
Michael Mut

Electric Piquete Debut at Orange Blossom Festival


Miami’s Electric Piquete Debut at the Orange Blossom Festival May 18

Miami, FL – May 8, 2018 – Two-time Miami New Times “Best Latin Band” Electric Piquete are set to make their Orange Blossom Jamboree  debut at the festival’s 9th iteration on Friday, May 18, 2018, at 7:10 p.m. on the Citrus Stage. Presented by the Dunedin Brewery, the festival features 60 bands and takes place May 16 – 20, 2018 at the Sertoma Ranch (85 Myers Rd., Brooksville, FL 36402). Tickets are available online by clicking 

The award-winning Miami band deftly fuse rock, jazz, funk, Afro-Caribbean, progressive and R&B influences with incendiary results. Their latest release is called the Singles Collection is available digitally and on CD. A video for their latest single “Cut Me Loose” is streaming on YouTube. The band has played the main stage at the Shakori Hills GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance in North Carolina, as well as several editions of the Virginia Key GrassRoots Fest. Regular performers in and around South Florida, the band are becoming more frequent performers on the West Coast of their home state.

Electric Piquete features co-founder Ed Rosado on drums / vocals, co-founder Michael Mut on bass / vocals, Chris Correoso (guitar), Rich Dixon (trumpet / flugelhorn), Raymond Ayala on congas / cajon / vocals, Charles “Chip” Gardner on keyboards and Robert Smiley (tenor sax). For more information, please visit

MEDIA CONTACT                                                              
Mut Communications
Michael Mut

7th Annual Virginia Key Grassroots Fest Feb. 21-25


7th Annual Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance Returns to Virginia Key Beach Park and the City of Miami February 21-25, 2018

Miami, FL — January 17, 2017 — The Virginia Key Grassroots Festival of Music & Dance is pleased to announce the lineup for their 7th annual event taking place February 21 – 25, 2018 at the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park and throughout the City of Miami.  With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the festival will host camping at the island starting Tuesday and nightly events at different venues around the city of Miami Wednesday through Friday before moving all programming to the island Saturday and Sunday.

Featuring a stellar and diverse array of talent this year’s lineup includes Grassroots favorites Big Mean Sound Machine, Locos Por Juana, Uma Galera and The Blind Spots alongside a large array of Miami-based talent including Elastic Bond, Fabi World Music Experience, Tamboka and Electric Piquete among many others.

“We feel very fortunate and grateful to once again share Grassroots Festival’s values of bringing world music and culture to new audiences while creating environments that inspire creativity and foster community building with the vibrant musical community of Miami,” says festival visionary and long time curator Jordan Puryear. “This year we are excited to partially return the focus to the Historic Virginia Key Beach Park with camping all week and by staging the legendary Grassroots Festival Dance Tent to host music all weekend Saturday to Sunday after immersing attendees in the colorful nightlife of Miami during the week.”

Along with music, the festival also showcases non-profit political, social and environmental activist organizations along with wellness workshops, yoga and beach activities on Saturday and Sunday.

For tickets and more information head to



Big Mean Sound Machine
Locos Por Juana
Uma Galera
Bella’s Bartok
Elastic Bond
Fabi World Music Experience
Electric Piquete
Lobo Marino
Nag Champayons
The Blind Spots
Medicine Hat Band
Tenzin Chopak
Jose Albizo & Soulroots Jazz
Pepe Montes Conjunto



Russ Friedell

Michael Mut