Best Acoustic Performer (2011)


Have you ever hung out in a cemetery at noon, sipped some Merlot, and sung along while Dracula played a short set of acoustic tunes on guitar and saw? Obviously we're not talking about the Transylvanian bloodsucker. For one thing, if he were exposed to full daylight, he'd burn up like a mosquito in an oven. For another, vampires can't sing. Instead, this particular Dracula is a local musical quartet — featuring vocalist Dorys Bello, guitarist Eli Oviedo, sawist Kian Seara, and percussionist Gyr Ofjudah — that specializes in quiet and haunting interpretations of folkloric music. "Some of our songs are American traditionals, others are taken from films, while others are Spanish pop singles from the '70s, redone in a cumbia manner," Bello says. "It's really just us performing our favorite songs from anywhere." And yes, Dorys, Eli, and Kian have actually strummed and sawed in a sleeping place for the dead, performing at the City of Miami Cemetery this past May 1 as part of a project with local nomadic art venue the End. But usually, Dracula simply sings by candlelight at places like Sweat Records. "The light of candles," Bello explains, "is simultaneously gentle and ominous."


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