Break out your #TWERKEA t-shirt and Puerto Rican do-rag. Stuff your face with mariquitas y chicharrón and $5 homemade party punch. Join the impromptu conga line and impress the mami or papi of your dreams with those tremendo reggaeton moves.
That's right, Calle Ocho 2015 is here. For 38 consecutive years, the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana has attracted millions of callejeros to SW Eighth Street for America's largest block party.
On Sunday, March 15, el club will again be bringing some of the biggest names in Latin music to the heart of la Pequeña Habana for a full-day of baile y chusmeria.
See also: 50 Things You See at Calle Ocho
Though the cultural and political landscape of the city has definitely changed over the years (including the United States' recent normalization of relations with Cuba, which ranks among the most significant and controversial moves in Cuban-American history), there is one thing that's remained unchanged: la pación de la música.
Since the inaugural 1977 fest, todo los músicos talentosos have reigned over Eighth Street as King (or Queen) of Calle Ocho.
Everyone from international superestrellas Oscar D'León, Jose Luis "El Puma" Rodriguez, and 2014's big jefe, Daddy Yankee, to local heroes Gloria Estefan, Willy Chirino, and Mr. 305 himself, Pitbull, have claimed the throne. For this year, Venezuelan Latin Grammy award-winning duo Chino y Nacho will be wearing the crown as los reyes de la calle.
So chug that cafecito, hit Eighth Street, and check out New Times' Calle Ocho 2015 music and entertainment guide.
Univision 23, Mix 98.3, and Amor 107.5 Stage. At SW 27th Avenue. What's that rumble? It's El Viejo Ta' en la Calle, amigos! We're talkin' merengue revolutionary Johnny Ventura. That's the name of his 2013 album, and now almost 75 years old, the Latin Recording Academy Lifetime Achievement Award recipient and former Santo Domingo mayor (Ventura served his native city from 1998 to 2002) is definitely en la Calle again. Set for some "El Chaka, Chaka" with Colombian pop star Luisa Nicholls, Ventura will also be sharing the SW 27th Avenue anchor stage with three-time Latin Grammy-winning artist José Luis Morín, salsero Lefty Perez, y un montón de cantantes.
Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald Stage. . At SW 24th Avenue North. Chino y Nacho may be the Kings of Calle Ocho this year, but there is and will always be only one Excelencia Latina de Miami, and her name is Madai. Once signed to Pitbull's Mr. 305 Inc. record label, la cantante recently went indie. Now the salsera tropical is working with Chi-Town DJ-producers Jump Smokers on her debut album. But Madai isn't the only leading lady taking Calle Ocho by storm: Latin Grammy-nominated artist Paula Zuleta will be bringing her Mezcla Sol to the Herald stage too.
Telemundo 51 and Pep Boys Stage. With Papayo, Timbalive, Oro Solido, and others. At SW 23rd Avenue North. Papayo's got it going on, bro! Originally from Venezuela, Manuel Corao (AKA Papayo) kicked off his career in Miami when he was 14. Claiming to be 17 at the time, he joined Latin reggae crew Don Pepe and he jammed with the outfit for five years. The drummer boy went on to play percussion for the 305's Suénalo, record with Elastic Bond, tour with Pitbull, create his own label, Concrete Rebels, and even score a 2013 Latin Grammy for Best Urban Performance with yo' chico Pit. For Calle Ocho 2015, Papayo will be performing alongside intense ritmo y son big band Timbalive. And with all that rumba, the Telemundo 51 and Pep Boys Stage just might collapse.
Coca-Cola Stage. With Sensato, Maffio, and others. At SW 22nd Avenue North. Sensato may be signed to Mr. 305 Inc., but the Dominican-born Bronx rapero, known for his work on Pitbull's "Watagatapitusberry," will be getting fresh with "la pila de modelos" on the Coca-Cola Stage. And later, Maffio's gonna look for "Amor en la Discoteca" as he brings his "Latin/pop/hip-hop/rap/house/dance" beats to la avenida 22. But big-name estrellas aside, la cola más refrescante will also give three local, up-and-coming artists a shot at performing live during Calle Ocho.
Wepa.Fm Radio Stage. At SW Tenth Street Road. Since 2008, Wepa.fm has been delivering the rawest "disco, salsa, freestyle, merengue, Italo, bachata, house, reggaeton, classics, and pop of the '70s, '80s, '90s, and today" to its internet listeners. But for Miami's largest street fest, "Your Official Bilingual Internet Radio Station" will flood SW 10th Street Road with tons of bass and freestyle acts for eight straight hours. ¡Wepa!
The Louder Side Stage. With Sunghosts, Raggy Monster, Cannibal Kids, Sarah Packium, and others. At SW 19th Avenue North. There is something that's even noisier than all of Calle Ocho's gritería combined: The Louder Side Stage. For the second year in a row, this showcase will bring local rock and EDM acts to Little Havana's 19-block pachanga. The streets will be filled with tremenda bulla by Sunghosts' self-described "sun-drenched garage rock," Quantum Wave's "electronic and orchestral" prog rock, and Sarah Packiam's "pop/alternative" tunes. But nothing will drown out Louder Side's ultimate goal: to "enforce and continue promoting anti-bullying through music and good times!"
Alas USA Smile Studio Folkloric Stage. At SW 13th Court South. "¡Muévete y pégate!" Hit this stage for street parades and performances. Rep your country and join the gran parada folklórico as la gente de Mexico, Columbia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, and Peru dance around in bright pink feathers, do the Punto Guanacasteco, and celebrate their cultural roots.
Kiwanis Club of Little Havana Stage. At SW 17th Avenue North. Not much has been revealed about the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana Stage. But as the founders of the nation's biggest street fest, we're pretty sure these creative masterminds behind Calle Ocho are planning something espectacular for their loyal callejeros.
Mr. 305 Inc. United Nations Megastage. With DJ Chino, Young Breed, Jason Cerda, and others. At SW 12th Avenue (north). Sure, he may go by the name Mr. Worldwide nowadays, but no one reps Miami more than Pitbull and his label, Mr. 305 Inc. Show off that ride-or-die Magic City pride with DJ Chino, Young Breed, Jason Cerda, and some of our city's most talented artists at the Mr. 305 Inc. and United Nations Megastage. Maybe Dat Lil' Chico will even make a cameo.
Mega 94.9 Stage. With Chino y Nacho, Tito el Bambino, J. Alvarez, Ivy Queen, Tony Dize, Alexis y Fido, and others. At SW Eighth Avenue. As the radio station "Número Uno Con Hits en Miami," it's only fitting for Mega 94.9 to host the main stage at Calle Ocho. With performances from boricua boss Tito el Bambino, Latin Grammy-winning reggaetonero J. Alvarez, and the Queen of Reggaeton herself, Ivy Queen, la gente will rush to the intersection of Eighth Street and Eight Avenue pa' rumbiar. But nothing will top la loquera when Chino y Nacho storm the stage as Kings of Calle Ocho.
¡Que no pare la fiesta!
Calle Ocho 2015. Sunday, March 15, at the corner of SW Eighth Street and 10th Avenue, Miami. The festival begins at 11 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Visit carnavalmiami.com.
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