Until Northerners rode the railroads into South Florida in the 1920s and 1930s, and Hispanics followed them to the area in the 1950s, Miami was a small fishing town with a distinctly Southern sound. Since 1992, amid the salsa, soca, and swing of urban Miami, Michael Roy of Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Pinecrest has coordinated an annual Country/Bluegrass Concert to keep the twang alive.
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This year Roy is mixing it up a bit by throwing some American folk and classic rock music into the schedule, making the showcase what he calls "a bit unusual." Featuring traditional country, bluegrass, and mountain music, a 24-voice chorus and a string band are going to toe-tap out a traditional American folk and classic rock medley. Showcased will be a variety of rock bands from the 1970s, such as the Mamas and the Papas, the Beach Boys, America, the Eagles, the Beatles, the Fifth Dimension, and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
But don't fret if you're more of a country-bluegrass traditionalist: Roy is bringing in Mark and Karen Richardson of the Southern Shores Bluegrass Band to play string bass and five-string banjo. Joining them will be University of Miami professor Dean Vellenga on percussion, as well as Diane Maltby, who has played all fourteen previous festivals, on keyboards.
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
This will be a roots-rockin' treat for those more attuned to the international flavors of Miami's music scene.
The Country/Bluegrass Concert begins at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, November 13, at Immanuel Presbyterian Church, 6605 N. Kendall Dr., Pinecrest. Admission is free. Call 305-274-3390 or 305-661-9900 for more information. Paul Catala