Music of the 60s, 70s, 80s and their 3rd generations!
REVOLT MUSIC CONFERENCE – MIAMI MUSIC & BRAND INDUSTRY MOGUL TAKEOVER

REVOLT MUSIC CONFERENCE - MIAMI MUSIC & BRAND INDUSTRY MOGUL TAKEOVER

Making strides to be the leading voice in music, arts, and culture, Sean “Diddy” Combs has announced that REVOLT TV will host its inaugural REVOLT Music Conference this October in Miami this October 16-19th. Miami is indeed very blessed to have this innovative and prestigious team of industry moguls and dream ...

Miami Music Legends Sasha & Trina Celebrate the Launch of Nokia Music

Miami Music Legends Sasha & Trina Celebrate the Launch of Nokia Music

  This past Friday, October 26, 2012, the launch of Nokia Music, the free mobile experience on Nokia Lumia Smartphones took place at the SLS Hotel, South Beach's international jettsetters' playground.  Amidst the the vibrant SoBe venue setting, the guests at the launch listened to the delightfully ear pleasing Nokia Music stream live for a ...

Daddy Yankee – The Father of Reggaeton Takes Miami by Storm

Daddy Yankee - The Father of Reggaeton Takes Miami by Storm

  Urban is a term used to identify a City's, or a culture's, uniqueness in musical style and sound. The Magic City's "urbanosity" consists of a blended recipe of many cultures, where a cupful of Latino, undeniably exists. The Daddy Yankee original sound takes the heart of the urban Latino world ...

DJ Ballistic Billy – Mix Master/Turntable Virtuoso – 20 Year Career Anniversary (Still Going Strong)

DJ Ballistic Billy - Mix Master/Turntable Virtuoso - 20 Year Career Anniversary (Still Going Strong)

  If you were on your way to a South Florida Club between 1992 and 2001 there is not a doubt that you were tuned in to one of Miami's best Dance & Hip-Hop Radio Stations, WPOW Power 96. Most likely, you were jamming & moving in your seat to the ...

“If You Were Disappointed Last Year When You Heard The Band COKE Would Not Play Again, I Have GREAT News For You Today!”

“If You Were Disappointed Last Year When You Heard The Band COKE Would Not Play Again, I Have GREAT News For You Today!”

The boys of COKE (Opus) are back for a mega Open House with Mantrap on April 28 at the Elk’s Club in Miami. I sat down with COKE lead singer Frankie B (Frank Batista) a few days ago to get the scoop, and the conversation turned into a nostalgic recollection of ...

A Tribute to Miami Music Legend Luis Serrano, Who Celebrates 40 Years in The Music Business… “Tres Artes en Una Voz.”

A Tribute to Miami Music Legend Luis Serrano, Who Celebrates 40 Years in The Music Business... Tres Artes en Una Voz.

Luis Serrano is a Miami artist who not only delights us with his music and powerful voice, but has also managed to contribute to the arts through his paintings and poetry. In the documentary below titled: "Tres artes en una voz" (Three talents in one voice), this Miami virtuoso takes us ...

Hansel & Raul Dedicated The Concert at Hialeah Race To The Memory of Rigo Herrera.

Hansel & Raul Dedicated The Concert at Hialeah Race To The Memory of Rigo Herrera.

The true measure of legendary artists is when their music stands the test of time. Hansel & Raul, named "The Greatest Dance Band in the World" by TIME Magazine, more than meet this measure as was evidenced by the masses who attended their concert at the Hialeah Race Track this ...

Erotic Exotic – The Kings of Freestyle Electronica

Erotic Exotic - The Kings of Freestyle Electronica

Once named the pioneers of the 80s freestyle movement in Miami, Erotic Exotic continues to be innovators of the synth-freestyle music sound of the 80s in the millennium. Erotic Exotic's musicians, most definite synth-masters, have successfully managed to revive the freestyle music sound in Miami today. Hands down, the boys ...
Miss Neutron Bomb… Not Just Another Bombshell.

Miss Neutron Bomb... Not Just Another Bombshell.

“I should have listened to my mom and not trust the guy who plays guitar” - Miss Neutron Bomb. I made a new friend on Twitter who turned me on to Miss Neutron Bomb. The band is a pop and rock duo born in London, but both it's members are from ...
Miami’s Best Kept Rock n’ Roll Secret – Barefoot Jax

Miami's Best Kept Rock n' Roll Secret - Barefoot Jax

Sometimes I'm embarrassed when I learn of a local band I should have known about earlier - especially when they've been recording for 10 years and have more than 90 original songs to their credit. Maybe I've been in the dark about this group for so long because they've been quietly ...

Madai’s “Mayday” Video Premier at Club Play in Miami

Madai's Mayday Video Premier at Club Play in Miami

Mayday! Mayday! Madai is on a rescue mission for your love. Mission accomplished Madai! The talented and lovely sweetheart of millennium freestyle has captured the hearts of her adoring fans as was clearly evident by the literally thousand plus in attendance at the release of her song & video "Mayday", ...

Spill the Wine Band at The Joint

Spill the Wine Band at The Joint

In that Tom Jones shake, rattle and roll fashion (fused with psychedelic soul funk swagger) the boys from Spill the Wine Band took The Joint by storm! The Joint was jammed packed from one end to the other. I felt an immediate mega-rush of energy from the moment I opened ...

Main Street Band at Vero’s – Rock On!

Main Street Band at Vero's - Rock On!

I'm still on a rock and roll high from Main Street Band's Beatles Tribute, that I can only equate to a Beatles "Remastered" performance, with a British Invasion twist. The band has been described as "The Best Classic Rock and Roll Band in Miami" and, hands down, they are! The ...

Chris Alvy Band’s “Art Noise” CD Release – Tribute to John Lennon

Chris Alvy Band's Art Noise CD Release - Tribute to John Lennon

Returning to Miami to perform following a tremendously successful tour of the State of California, basically pit stopping before commencing their New York City tour, to be followed by a tour of the Sunshine State of Florida, Chris Alvy Band featuring Chris Alvy & Fernando Perdomo, and the talented artists ...

Concert and New CD Release by The Livesays

Concert and New CD Release by The Livesays

As a music lover I enjoy all kinds of music. Classic Rock, Funk, Disco, Salsa, Son and even Hip-Hop and Reggaeton. I've had a great time this year attending the local music events and I'm looking forward to what's to come in 2012. But I get super excited when a ...

Jenny Love at Bongo’s Cafe at the Hardrock Hotel’s Biker’s Night

Jenny Love at Bongo's Cafe at the Hardrock Hotel's Biker's Night

One of the things that continues to amaze me about the virtuoso vocal quality of Jenny Love's voice is the versatile adaptation quality of her tones as she interprets songs from genre to genre. Her voice & tone switch from smooth & jazzy in her Afro-Cuban Jazz renditions to raunchy ...

Don’t Miss the Anticipated Open House/Dance with Peter Fernandez (former lead singer of COKE and The Antiques)

Don't Miss the Anticipated Open House/Dance with Peter Fernandez (former lead singer of COKE and The Antiques)

I met Peter Fernandez for the first time on March 28, 2009 at Alcazaba Night Club. I was introduced to Peter by none other than Frankie B (Frank Batista.) You see, Frank and Peter both sang lead with two of the most recognized local Miami bands of the 70's - ...

Conjunto Progreso – Miami’s Finest “Keepers of the Flame.”

Conjunto Progreso - Miami's Finest Keepers of the Flame.

Conjunto Progreso's jam session forms part of the top local entertainment, which is selected by PAX (Performing Arts Exchange) to delight the multitude in attendance. The band has become immensely popular as is evidenced by the large and ever increasing number of folks in attendance at ...

Jenny Love at The Betsy

Jenny Love at The Betsy

Jenny Love, a delightful, charming, 3rd Generation Cuban American vocalist and musician had the audience at the Lobby of the upscale and glamorous The Betsy Hotel on South Beach enchanted and mesmerized with her dynamic ballad, bi-lingual, jazz repertoire. A genius interpreter of songs of every musical genre imaginable! As a ...

REVOLT MUSIC CONFERENCE – MIAMI MUSIC & BRAND INDUSTRY MOGUL TAKEOVER

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez on September 26, 2014

Making strides to be the leading voice in music, arts, and culture, Sean “Diddy” Combs has announced that REVOLT TV will host its inaugural REVOLT Music Conference this October in Miami this October 16-19th.

Miami is indeed very blessed to have this innovative and prestigious team of industry moguls and dream makers select our Magic City as the start of the inauguration of this wonderful tool and platform, that will help to educate and shape the future of up and coming music & arts industry professionals.

“The REVOLT Music Conference presents an opportunity for industry professionals to have credible, informed conversations that can impact the future of the industry, including brands and technology leaders as catalysts,” says REVOLT CEO Keith Clinkscales.

With keynote speakers, nightlife events, diverse panels, and artists showcases, attendees will be able to network and mingle with leading individuals in the industry. Panelists scheduled to attend the conference include Russell Simmons, L.A. Reid, Dallas Austin, and Rodney Jerkins.

REVOLT’S Music Conference will help bridge the gap between today’s music moguls and the music leaders of tomorrow.

“We’re going to party, we’re going to network, we’re going to change the world,” Diddy says.

To learn more about REVOLT TV Music Conference held Oct. 16-19, head to www.revoltmusiconference.com now, or follow #RMC2014 on social media.

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G TheBoyKing – Million $ Baby

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez on July 11, 2014

Million $ Baby Artwork

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Miami Music Legends Sasha & Trina Celebrate the Launch of Nokia Music

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez on November 2, 2012

 

Nokia Music Lumia Smartphones

Great News for Microsoft Users – Nokia Lumia Smartphones Offer Windows 8 Technology and Nokia Music Live Stream Exclusively for Nokia Smartphone Users

This past Friday, October 26, 2012, the launch of Nokia Music, the free mobile experience on Nokia Lumia Smartphones took place at the SLS Hotel, South Beach’s international jettsetters’ playground.  Amidst the the vibrant SoBe venue setting, the guests at the launch listened to the delightfully ear pleasing Nokia Music stream live for a taste of the top of the line, high quality sound that Nokia Smartphone users will be enjoying exclusively, free, requiring no registration, and without advertisement interruptions.

Nokia Music users will have access to 100+ playlist channels streaming playlists that span a wide spectrum of musical genres.   For those of us who prefer Windows technology over Apple, well good news! The Nokia Lumia Smartphone is a Microsoft Windows 8 touch phone technology platform.   If you love music then you must run, not walk, to your nearest Nokia Smartphone dealer to purchase one of their new phones!

Dj Sasha

Dj Sasha, World Renowned House Dj & Producer

Miami’s Music Gliterrati and Media were out in full force to celebrate the launch of Nokia Music.  World renowned Dj Sasha, Welsh Dj and record producer, performed an exclusive set at the event for the Nokia Music fans in attendance.   Sasha is best known for his use of live audio engineering equipment that helped popularise technological innovations among Djs.  This master mixologist has performed worldwide in large dance venues.  His exclusive set for Nokia Music’s launch was magnificent, moving and seamless and a great exemplary of the quality of sound that Nokia Music’s house genre channels will be providing it’s listeners.

Trina, iconic American rapper, songwriter, model and host of the all new “Comedy After Dark”, was in attendance at the launch party.  The singer is a lovely personality, with a beautiful smile to match her warm and welcoming disposition.  Trina is a great Nokia Music/Lumia Smartphone representative and it was wonderful to greet & meet her at the launch event.

Trina, American Rapper, Songwriter & Model

Trina, American Rapper, Songwriter & Model

Music Miami also ran into Dj Ballistic Billy at the event, who we found chilling with Trina in the VIP area.  Dj Ballistic Billy, a former Miami radio station WPOW Power 96 on air personality and Power Mixer, has shared the same stage as Trina in the past and it was wonderful to mingle with these iconic personalities at the launch party.

Dj Ballistic Billy, former WPOW Power 96 Radio Personality & Trina

Dj Ballistic Billy, former WPOW Power 96 Radio Personality & Trina

MusicMiami.org’s Editor in Chief, Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez, was interviewed at the event as part of  Nokia Music’s Focus Group – “Music Gets You Talking”, where people across the US are asked what they are listening to.  We felt very honored to have been selected to participate in this interview.  It was a pleasure meeting the Nokia Music Crew, who is doing a beyond fantastic job in their efforts to introduce the company’s live stream service throughout the nation, including our Magic City.  We look forward to many amazing live stream projects from this wonderful team!  Que viva la musica!  Let the music play on!

Music Miami Editor in Chief, Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez Interview

Music Miami Editor in Chief, Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez Interview for Nokia Music’s “Music Gets You Talking”

 

Music Miami & Dj Sasha

Music Miami & Dj Sasha

 

 

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Daddy Yankee – The Father of Reggaeton Takes Miami by Storm

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez on November 1, 2012

 

Daddy Yankee - The Big Boss - The Father of Reggaeton

Daddy Yankee – The Big Boss – The Father of Reggaeton

Urban is a term used to identify a City’s, or a culture’s, uniqueness in musical style and sound. The Magic City’s “urbanosity” consists of a blended recipe of many cultures, where a cupful of Latino, undeniably exists. The Daddy Yankee original sound takes the heart of the urban Latino world culture and fuses it with Americana. It is a genre, a style of music called reggaeton.  Reggaeton is a power rhythmic explosion where rap, hip-hop, R & B, and electronica join to become one, with a latino twist.  Daddy Yankee is a Latin Grammy winning Puerto Rican Reggaeton recording artist who started out as a rap artist and became one of the first artists to perform reggaeton. It might be said that Daddy Yankee is the “Father of Reggaeton”.

A Golden Voice - A Golden Heart That You Feel in Daddy Yankee's Music

A Golden Voice – A Golden Heart That You Feel in Daddy Yankee’s Music

Daddy Yankee is a lyrical poet with a powerful vocal instrument. His voice is golden. The range in his voice is incredible, with spot on melodies and harmonies that convey a passionate rhythm. Daddy Yankee is one of yesterday, and of today’s, reggaeton genre’s most stellar vocal representative. This multi-plantinum superstar, without a doubt, has beyond earned his title of “The Big Boss”. He dominates the genre! At this Saturday’s concert he also dominated the stage with a high energy, excellence in vocals, dance music performance.

Daddy Yankee Dominated the Stage at This Performance

Daddy Yankee Dominated the Stage at This Performance

Daddy Yankee‘s songs are so popular internationally, that everyone was singing along to his mega-hits, which included this evening “Gasolina”“La Despedida” and “Lo Que Paso Paso”, just to name a few.  (Click on the Title of the Songs to Listen to and View the Music Videos on You Tube).  La Covacha was hot, yes on major Latino fire, the entire concert evening!

Daddy Yankee Swagger

Daddy Yankee Embraced His Audience With Every Interpretation

Daddy Yankee embraced his audience with every interpretation, but one of the most memorable moments of the performance was when it started to sprinkle and he freestyle rapped about the rain and the ladies in da’ house, without skipping a musical beat and in perfect poetic rhyme. Another unforgettable concert moment, was when the star arrived and greeted a disabled fan who had been waiting to meet him and listen to his music, a very endearing gesture of an artist with not only a golden voice, but also a golden heart, that you feel in all of his music.

There was an approximate 5,000 fans in attendance at this past Saturday’s, October 13, 2012 Daddy Yankee concert at La Covacha on 14th Street and S.W. 107th Avenue in Miami-Dade County’s suburb of Doral. La Covacha is a nightclub specifically catered for concert appearances and boy do they ever know how to throw a concert party, Latino style!

La Covacha Stage / Dj Podium

La Covacha Stage / Dj Podium

The venue is divided into an interior club area, with a well stocked, sizable cocktail bar and smooth to dance on floor.

The outdoor area where the Daddy Yankee concert took place is an outdoor concert arena setting providing five star quality, high density sound for what will always be an exquisite to the ear musical experience. The indoor club area possesses the same high density quality sound system with a make you lose control on the floor sound quality.

La Covacha is to be praised for not only providing a stellar concert production, but also for the outstanding organization of the event and the concern taken by the venue for the safety of everyone there, including the artist. Also, they had a fully staffed cocktail to table service, that was excellent!

Entertaining the massive crowd prior to Daddy Yankee’s arrival were the Masters of Ceremonies and Disc Jockeys of Radio Stations Mega 94.9, Mix 98.3, and West Palm Beach’s MIA 92.1

Entertaining the massive crowd prior to Daddy Yankee’s arrival were the Masters of Ceremonies and Disc Jockeys of Radio Stations Mega 94.9, Mix 98.3, and West Palm Beach’s MIA 92.1

Entertaining the massive crowd prior to Daddy Yankee’s arrival were the Masters of Ceremonies and Disc Jockeys of Radio Stations Mega 94.9, Mix 98.3, and West Palm Beach’s MIA 92.1. The MCs did a great job maintaining the party energy alive and flowing in the beyond thousands audience, who continued to bounce, sing along to the music, and wave their hands up in the air as they waited for Daddy Yankee to arrive.

Another crowd energy stimulating factor was the spectacular light show behind and at the Disc Jockey podium. AMAZING light show! Laser art at it’s finest!

Light Show

Amazing Light Show

By the time the superstar hit the stage, the crowd went into full energy “al garete” (wild pandemonium)!

Reggaeton

Al Garete Pandemonium!

An emotional burst of musicality, joy, sizzling “candela” (fire), and dance connecting with all of the beats and rhythms of the genres from which reggaeton originates. Americana met Latino at this Daddy Yankee concert!

Explosive Confetti Concert Ending

Explosive Confetti Concert Ending

Daddy Yankee also made a special announcement about his new Tequila Brand, El Cartel Tequila, that is redefining ultra premium tequila. Daddy Yankee‘s exciting, new tequila brand will quickly become the luxury spirit of choice for the true tequila enthusiast. El Cartel Tequila is available now at fine liquor stores, including Gulf Liquor Store on Miami Beach, that hosted a post concert Daddy Yankee bottle signing and meet and greet for the tequila brand. El Cartel Tequila is a must add to any exquisitely stocked cocktail bar!

El Cartel Tequila

Photo Credit: El Cartel Tequila/Facebook

This concert was just one of those concerts that you wish could have lasted for days and never ended! On behalf of Music Miami, our fans, and Miami, we hope that Daddy Yankee returns soon to our City to delight us with his music and talents!

To keep up to date on Daddy Yankee‘s concert tours, appearances and brand news click on these links to subscribe, like and follow:

DADDY YANKEE :

Official Daddy Yankee Fan Page: http://www.daddyyankee.com///
Follow Daddy Yankee on Twitter: @daddy_yankee
Like Daddy Yankee on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/daddyyankee

CARTEL TEQUILA :

Official El Cartel Tequila Fan Page: http://www.elcarteltequila.com/
Like El Cartel Tequila on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/CartelTequila

A very special thank you to Giovanni Arana and to La Covacha and their wonderful staff for the hospitalities extended to Music Miami during this concert performance. Great job! Look forward to many more dynamic events!

Reggaeton is alive in Miami! Latino Urbano for life! Prestige!

MISCELLANEOUS LINKS :

LA COVACHA:

Like La Covacha on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/pages/La-Covacha/136018796428047?fref=ts

GULF LIQUOR STORE:

Like Gulf Liquor Store on Facebook:http://www.facebook.com/gulfliquor?fref=ts

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DJ Ballistic Billy

DJ Ballistic Billy 20 years (still going strong.)

If you were on your way to a South Florida Club between 1992 and 2001 there is not a doubt that you were tuned in to one of Miami’s best Dance & Hip-Hop Radio Stations, WPOW Power 96. Most likely, you were jamming & moving in your seat to the beat of Mix Master Dj Ballistic Billy.

Dj Ballistic Billy began mixing at age twelve. At the age of fifteen, he became an on air mixer at Power 96, becoming the youngest mixer on air during that time in the South Florida area. Through the years, he gained popularity and soon became one of the most identifiable nighttime mixers in South Florida with a listening audience through primetime mix shows of 600,000 plus listeners. Today Ballistic Billy is 35, pumped up and still going strong!

Dj Ballistic Billy, hands down, is one of South Florida’s and the Nation’s finest Djs! He is a virtuoso of the turntables.

Dj Ballistic Billy has mastered the art of beat mixing. He is currently one of the most sought after Djs in the industry, having played & continuing to play in the hottest night clubs in South Florida and across the Nation.

Dj Ballistic Billy

Dj Ballistic Billy, hands down, is one of South Florida’s and the Nation’s finest Djs!

When Billy spins, he keeps the audience up on their feet and on the dance floor for the ultimate beat banging club experience. Billy has a keen ear that identifies the most exciting and most climatic part of a song. The percussion’s heavy nature of rhythm pumps up the energy of the crowd in the club.

Ballistic Billy’s diversity extends not only to radio and club venues, but also to larger arena concerts. He has performed with multi-platinum artists such as P Diddy, Mannie Fresh, David Banner, N.E.R.D., Dj Z-Trip, the late Dj AM, Wyclef Jean, the late Big Pun, MTV’s Dj Scribble, Beanie Man, Shaggy, Coolio, 2 Live Crew, and Run DMC, just to name a few. Billy has also Dj’ed for special night club events alongside such hosts as Ron Jeremy and reality T.V. star Syrus from MTV’s “The Real World”.

Dj Ballistic Billy

Billy has a fantastic sense of humor and a contagious smile that brings you right into the party

Ballistic Billy is not just a Dj, he is an entertainer behind the turntables as well. Billy has a fantastic sense of humor and a contagious smile that brings you right into the party. He does go ballistic behind the tables, hence his name Ballistic Billy!

Having overcome incredible odds, Billy is the recipient of a kidney transplant and a major supporter of organ donation. In part this explains his drive, constant passion, and enthusiasm for his music & art. Without a doubt, Ballistic Billy is a survivor.

In addition to individual club appearances, he is also in the process of working with www.Macdecals.com to develop an exclusive line of Skins for Djs and their gear.

Dj Ballistic Billy, a hard working, successful artist who is still going strong. We are sure that Billy will remain an integral part of the South Florida music industry for many more years to come.

Follow Ballistic Billy on Soundcloud to listen to his many out of this world house, bass & freestyle mixes.  Click on this link to follow him on Soundcloud:

www.soundcloud.com/djballisticbilly

You can also check out Billy online:

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/djballisticbilly

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DaRealBB

For Bookings contact Kelly Voice Artist Management at www.kellyvoice.com

For all other inquiries please send an email to info@DjBallisticBilly.com

A very special thanks to J. Bishop (“The Roof” TV Show) and Omar DjExes Marrero hosts of Realdjradio.com’s Thursday Night, Focus Group 730 Show in Miami for their hospitality during our interview of Dj Ballistic Billy. It is wonderful radio and TV personalities like these folks that continue to keep the music playing in the Magic City.

 

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The boys of COKE (Opus) are back for a mega Open House with Mantrap on April 28 at the Elk’s Club in Miami.

Frankie B (Opus lead singer Frank Batista)

Frank Batista

I sat down with COKE lead singer Frankie B (Frank Batista) a few days ago to get the scoop, and the conversation turned into a nostalgic recollection of anecdotes going back to 1972-73.

At it’s inception, the bands’ name was not COKE. The original name of the group was “Instant Garage Band.” The name COKE emerged later during a rehearsal session when the original members decided they needed a catchier name. Those founding members were Ariel Hernandez (bass), Paul “Polito” Garcia (guitar), Ruben Perez (drums), Gary (lead vocal), and an Italian fellow by the name of Tony (keyboard) who was sipping a Coca-Cola during rehearsal and said “why don’t we call it COKE.” As they say, the rest is history. From that day on “Instant Garage Band” was COKE – short and sweet.

Miami 70's BandSo sweet that the Coca-Cola Bottling Co., got a whiff of it when the band started getting noticed outside of Miami and didn’t like the idea. I’ll tell you more about that in a minute, but first I want to share with you how the group morphed into the COKE we remember as fans. By the way, I apologize for excluding the last names of some of the original members (Instant Garage Band,) but it’s been so long since the remaining members lost touch with them that memory escapes them. If you happen to know or have kept in contact with them, please feel free to leave your comments in the comment section below. (Please read comment policy first.)

When Gary (lead vocal) left the group to join a recognized band that was touring on the national scene, they brought in a Puerto Rican fellow by the name of Will to replace Gary as lead vocalist. The  members that followed next – to either add instruments to the band or replace other members – were in this order; Joe “Tito” Rubio (keyboard), Victor Rodriguez (alias “Pink Panther” on trumpet), Cesar Godinez (trumpet) and Peter Fernandez as lead singer. These four members along with original members Ariel Hernandez (bass), Paul “Polito” Garcia (guitar), Ruben Perez (drums) became COKE as we knew them.

COKE Takes Miami By Storm

Miami 70's Band - AntiquesOne of the most recognized local bands in Miami at the time were the Antiques. The Antiques were in high demand for Quinces, Open Houses and private events, but that was about to change. You see, in 1971 a “Battle of the Bands” event took place at Dinner Key Auditorium. Much to everyone’s surprise, including the Antiques, little known COKE played so well that day the crowning Antiques had their work cutout for them. Lead singer Frank Batista of the Antiques – who later went on to sing for COKE remembers this…

“It was surreal. These guys (COKE) came out of nowhere and where now challenging us for first place. At that moment I realized the big prize was up for grabs because these guys were playing like pros.”

The Battle of the Bands first prize winner (or winners I should say) turned out to be both COKE and The Antiques. It became a three way tie between COKE, The Antiques and 2 Plus 1 (if I’m not mistaken.) The award ceremony took place at Salon Sophia, and the trophies were presented to the bands by “La Gorda de Oro.” Do you remember “La Gorda de Oro?” She was Mirta Silva, the Puerto Rican singer, composer and television producer who was affectionately known as “La Gorda De Oro”.

Los CokeThat event put COKE on the local map and it set the stage for a recording opportunity that allowed the band to get recognized in other markets like New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico. That’s when the Coca-Cola Bottling Company steps in and stops the boys dead on their tracks. In order to protect its brand, the company served them with a legal letter to cease and desist from using the Coke brand as their name. Ouch! This put a dampener on things for sure. By now the band had already established an identity and had carved a niche for itself with its fusion of Latin rock, psychedelia, and funk that was part of the Miami Sound.

Figure 1 - Click to Enlarge

In March of 1973, COKE was #14 in Chicago in the Latin Billboards and #12 in Los Angeles (see figure 1 on the right.) They were still climbing the charts and the record promoters had a lot of money at stake, so they replaced the K with Q (COKE to COQE) to stay under the radar of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company. Two months later in May of ’73, COKE had climbed to #2 in Miami with the Antiques trailing close behind at #4 (see figure 2.) The following month COKE had dropped to # 6 in Miami while the Antiques hit #1 with “Dias Como Hoy” sung by Eddy Diaz.

Figure 2 - Click to EnlargeThe demand from the Coca-Cola Bottling Company to cease and desist came the following year in ’74. That very same year, the band officially changed their name to “Opus” upon the release of their second album entitled ‘Opus’ featuring Frankie B (Frank Batista) as lead singer.  The album included popular hits such as “Beware”, “Marta” and “Get Yourself Up”. Shortly after, the band recruited saxophonist, Chester Rosas-Guyon. Months later Peter Fernandez joined the Antiques as lead singer and Joe “Tito” Rubio on keyboard and were part of the “Antiques Experience” – the album with the hit song “Cuando Vuelva a tu Lado.

The Comeback of the Miami Open Houses.

In March of 2009 there was an event put together by Maria Martinez from Execumar at Alcazaba in Coral Gables called “Old School”. Performing that night were Carlos Oliva, Frankie Marcos, Peter Fernandez and Frank Batista with Luis Serrano. It was a great evening of Miami old school music. Then a month later Cindy Cutler organized a High School Alumni Dance at Immaculata-La Salle High School which set the stage for what was to come by the end of the year.

On December 11, 2009 the band Mantrap reunited to officially mark the comeback of the Open Houses in Miami. It was a memorable evening with a packed house at The Club at Renaissance. From that day on a number of band members have made an effort to reunite and take us back once again to that youthful era in Miami we loved so much.

There was a reunion concert in February of 2011 with World of Matter, Hemlock and The Warlocks. El Conjunto Universal reunited to perform with Mantrap at a huge Baile Cubano/Open House that was out of this world. Another great event was the August 14, 2010 Open House with COKE and Mantrap. Then the following year, COKE teams up with The Warlocks to what became known as the mother of Open Houses.

Manny Salas from the Antiques organized a concert event at Belen Roca Theater that ended with a grand finale of fellow musician coming on stage and jamming with the band like there was no tomorrow. Then COKE teamed up with Queen’s Kids for another great Open House benefiting Toys for Tots. And last but not least, the still popular Peter Fernandez organized and promoted his Open House event at Magic City Casino that left the crowd yearning for more.

Opus - Tu Amor No Esta, Martha, Man of Many Words, Won't Cry, Sin Ti, Beware, Get Yourself Up, Go Away, Tu Retrato.Opus LP Back Cover

It’s happening again on April 28, 2012 and this time it is Mantrap and Opus (COKE) at the Elk’s Club in Miami. Opus will feature four of it’s original members; Frank Batista (lead vocal, percussion) Ruben Perez (drums,) Ariel Hernandez is flying in from Houston (bass,) and renowned UM Jazz Band member Chester Rosas-Guyon (on saxophone.)

Joining the boys will be Chuchi Jorge (the talented trumpet player who’s played with Arturo Sandoval and Carlos Santana,) Luis Perez (formerly Miami Sound Machine on trombone,) Danny Peña (who’s played with Tito Puente Jr., on Congas,) Manny Miranda (who joined Tito Puente, Jr., in Puerto Rico for a USO tour on bass,) Carlos Valdes (who recorded with Jose Jose and toured with Roberto Jordan in Mexico on guitar,) and lastly Israel Diaz (founding member of MainStreet band and graduate of Amadeo Roldan music conservatory in Havana on keyboard.) Wow, that’s a mouthful!

Save The Date!

If you want to enjoy an evening of nostalgic Miami sounds of the 70’s with the Opus songs you remember like, “Beware”, “Get Yourself Up”, “Marta”, “Bang Bang” and the all popular rendition of “Sabor A Mi” with Chuchi Jorge on trumpet, make it a point to join your contemporary party animals for a night you won’t forget. You’ll hate yourself if you miss this Open House.

So join your host Mike InTheNight and DJ Alex Gutierrez for an unforgettable evening of music and dancing. Mantrap’s Miguelito Martin and the charming Jackie Molinares will thrill you with romantic melodies of the 70’s. Your spouse or significant other will think you’ve fallen in love with them all over again when you hold them tight to the songs of Mantrap. These two bands play music for everybody – whether it’s a romantic tune or a funky beat, you’ll love an evening with Opus and Mantrap.

Opus and Mantrap - Together on Saturday, April 28, 2012.

DJ Alex GutierrezSave the date because on Saturday, April 28 there’s an Open House dance that just won’t be the same without YOU!

For more information on COKE/Opus and many other Miami Bands of the 70′s, please visit DJ Alex Gutierrez’s website.

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Opus/Mantrap Open House

[UPDATE]

Here’s the review of the April 28th Open House in video form. It was a funky night full of energy and FUN, and the icing on the cake was meeting Facebook friends in real life who I only knew on Facebook. Enjoy!

Copyright © 2011-2012 All Rights Reserved. MusicMiami.org, Music Miami and Frank Prieto

 

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Luis Serrano is a Miami artist who not only delights us with his music and powerful voice, but has also managed to contribute to the arts through his paintings and poetry.

In the documentary below titled: “Tres artes en una voz” (Three talents in one voice), this Miami virtuoso takes us on a journey inside his world – a world of a gifted human being who shares his love, passion and inborn talent for the arts in an unpretentious way.

Luis Serrano DVD - “Tres Artes en Una Voz.”He is an incredible story teller – and the only performer I know, who can tell you the same story numerous times and you enjoy it as if it was the first. Every line is delivered in preparation for the next one. He connects with his audience and keeps them engaged because there is never a wasted word. His talent as a poet makes him a natural song writer who wrote the ultra popular song “Renacer” back in the early days as a member of The Miami Sound Machine. It is not unusual for his performances to end in standing ovations, especially when the audience sees him for the first time and can’t believe what they’ve just witnessed.

Mr. Serrano is also a musical historian in his own right. He retains historical information about music dating back to the 30′s and 40′s.  He can mesmerize you narrating historical data combined with music theory. That’s when you realize this multi-talented genius is also a walking encyclopedia.

This incredible talent combined with his unselfish love for the arts, has earned him the respect and love of his friends and peers. Luis Serrano is a talent powerhouse that Miami is very lucky to call his own. A genuine individual who has given to the world more than he has taken. This in my book is admirable. If you’ve seen Luis Serrano perform you know what I mean. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for? You’ll be in for a real treat because he doesn’t know how to disappoint an audience.

Copyright © 2011-2012 All Rights Reserved. MusicMiami.org, Music Miami and Frank Prieto

 

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Hansel & Raul Dedicated The Concert at Hialeah Race To The Memory of Rigo Herrera.

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez February 21, 2012

The true measure of legendary artists is when their music stands the test of time. Hansel & Raul, named “The Greatest Dance Band in the World” by TIME Magazine, more than meet this measure as was evidenced by the masses who attended their concert at the Hialeah Race Track this past week. This Dynamic Salsa [...]

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Erotic Exotic – The Kings of Freestyle Electronica

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez February 18, 2012

Once named the pioneers of the 80s freestyle movement in Miami, Erotic Exotic continues to be innovators of the synth-freestyle music sound of the 80s in the millennium. Erotic Exotic’s musicians, most definite synth-masters, have successfully managed to revive the freestyle music sound in Miami today. Hands down, the boys of Erotic Exotic are the [...]

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Miss Neutron Bomb… Not Just Another Bombshell.

by Frank Prieto February 18, 2012

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by Frank Prieto February 4, 2012

Sometimes I’m embarrassed when I learn of a local band I should have known about earlier – especially when they’ve been recording for 10 years and have more than 90 original songs to their credit.
Maybe I’ve been in the dark about this group for so long because they’ve been quietly writing and recording, but haven’t [...]

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Madai’s “Mayday” Video Premier at Club Play in Miami

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez January 8, 2012

Mayday! Mayday! Madai is on a rescue mission for your love. Mission accomplished Madai! The talented and lovely sweetheart of millennium freestyle has captured the hearts of her adoring fans as was clearly evident by the literally thousand plus in attendance at the release of her song & video “Mayday”, that took place at the [...]

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In that Tom Jones shake, rattle and roll fashion (fused with psychedelic soul funk swagger) the boys from Spill the Wine Band took The Joint by storm! The Joint was jammed packed from one end to the other. I felt an immediate mega-rush of energy from the moment I opened the doors and walked into [...]

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Main Street Band at Vero’s – Rock On!

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I’m still on a rock and roll high from Main Street Band’s Beatles Tribute, that I can only equate to a Beatles “Remastered” performance, with a British Invasion twist. The band has been described as “The Best Classic Rock and Roll Band in Miami” and, hands down, they are! The best by far, Main Street’s [...]

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Chris Alvy Band’s “Art Noise” CD Release – Tribute to John Lennon

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Returning to Miami to perform following a tremendously successful tour of the State of California, basically pit stopping before commencing their New York City tour, to be followed by a tour of the Sunshine State of Florida, Chris Alvy Band featuring Chris Alvy & Fernando Perdomo, and the talented artists of Fernando Perdomo’s Forward Motion [...]

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Jenny Love at Bongo’s Cafe at the Hardrock Hotel’s Biker’s Night

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez December 16, 2011

One of the things that continues to amaze me about the virtuoso vocal quality of Jenny Love’s voice is the versatile adaptation quality of her tones as she interprets songs from genre to genre. Her voice & tone switch from smooth & jazzy in her Afro-Cuban Jazz renditions to raunchy & sizzling in her Rhythm [...]

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Concert and New CD Release by The Livesays

by Frank Prieto December 4, 2011

As a music lover I enjoy all kinds of music. Classic Rock, Funk, Disco, Salsa, Son and even Hip-Hop and Reggaeton. I’ve had a great time this year attending the local music events and I’m looking forward to what’s to come in 2012. But I get super excited when a band releases a new CD [...]

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Jenny Love at The Betsy

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez November 11, 2011
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Jenny Love, a delightful, charming, 3rd Generation Cuban American vocalist and musician had the audience at the Lobby of the upscale and glamorous The Betsy Hotel on South Beach enchanted and mesmerized with her dynamic ballad, bi-lingual, jazz repertoire. A genius interpreter of songs of every musical genre imaginable!
As a Hispanic, Cuban American one usually [...]

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Mantrap at Club Renaissance on Nov. 25th

by Frank Prieto November 4, 2011
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Conjunto Progreso – Miami’s Finest “Keepers of the Flame.”

by Maria Tojeiro Gonzalez October 29, 2011
Thumbnail image for Conjunto Progreso – Miami’s Finest “Keepers of the Flame.”

Conjunto Progreso’s jam session forms part of the top local entertainment, which is selected by PAX (Performing Arts Exchange) to delight the multitude in attendance. The band has become immensely popular as is evidenced by the large and ever increasing number of folks in attendance at their performances.
There are many [...]

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