By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
By Karli Evans
By Jose D. Duran
By Pablo Chacon Alvarez
Beyond the crush of Winter Music Conference, the folks behind Soul Simple Entertainment have been keeping it real for lovers of house music on that, well, soulful tip. They've been sort of quietly running a weekly Friday jam in the bar attached to the restaurant Ouzo's, with the soundtrack supplied by resident DJs Andre Soul and Marco Castro.
Now, beginning this weekend, they're rolling out a monthly Saturday party, Soul Simple Presents: Intimate Sessions, focusing on bringing to town quality acts from the national scene. The inaugural edition features the deck talents of New Yorker Ian Friday. First gaining a rep as a poet, he started a nonprofit in 1994 called Tea Party, which, among other things, put on some of the city's most innovative open-mike nights. A more music-oriented party of the same name followed, and in 2006, so did Friday's own record label, Tea Party Music.
As a remixer and producer of original tracks, Friday has a sound that's global and funky, beginning with the pulse of New York and Chicago, traveling through the Caribbean, and scooping up a little of West Africa. As a result, scorchers such as "Carib's Leap" have landed favored spots in the DJ bags of superstars including Louie Vega, Kevin Hedge, Danny Krivit, and Osunlade. As a DJ himself, he has graced the ones and twos at legendary parties such as Vega and Hedge's Roots, as well as Timmy Regisford's Shelter nights.
Last month's packed gig by Vega at The Vagabond proved there is a definite base of house heads in Miami, obviously thirsty for more quality underground sounds. (How often do you get to see serious house music dancing in this town? Or rather, how often is there even the right music for it?) Now they know to bust out the talcum powder and represent this Saturday.