The flood of well-wishers will roll in across the flatlands of Dade's colonias. Soon she'll be awash in cubanos, catrachos, boricuas, Haitians, Brazilians, and Jamaicans. Guajiras, rockeros, salseros will all converge for the biggest street party in the world. And to celebrate Florida's 500th year, 500 of gallons of sangria will flow freely at Calle Ocho 2013.
Miami's own Ed Calle, the King of Calle Ocho, says of his role: "I came to this city from Venezuela via Spain, but I'm a proud member of the community, a product of the public school system. Plus, I went to UM, and I teach at Miami Dade College. I'm flattered and humbled to be counted among the people who are the who's who of Hispanics and Latinos in music, and I'm really honored and very, very thankful for this recognition."
He's one of the country's premier sax men and has played and recorded with the likes of Frank Sinatra, Jon Secada, and Rihanna. We linked up with Calle to get his insight on each of this year's stages and the numerous memories they trigger from the Carnaval Miamis of his past.
Power 96 Stage, Eighth Avenue: "I've been attending and performing at Calle Ocho since I was a little kid, since the very beginning. Going back 35 years, I was about 16 or 17 playing with artists onstage at the festival, and I've continued to do so ever since. This stage features performances by B Smyth, Mr. Vegas, and John Heart, and it represents the energy of Calle Ocho."
Mr. 305 Presents United Nations at the Pitbull Stage, 12th Avenue North: "Cuban freedom flows this way. Our city is a very magical place with so many wonderful cultures that all learn from each other and live together. Pitbull is a worldwide ambassador for the city, but he stays grounded here too. This stage features performances by Pitbull's own recording artists. To me, it represents a world of music from right here in Miami."