Locos Por Juana Celebrates the Birth of Bob Marley at Wynwood Yard

Local heroes will celebrate the life of a legend this Friday. Together with Rock the Moon Productions, Miami fusion band Locos Por Juana is putting on its annual tribute to reggae icon Bob Marley. The tribute, called Locos Por Marley, is on its fourth year; however this is the first year the band has taken the production to a whole new level with musical guests and food trucks. Those musical guests include Tomas Diaz, El B, Mariana Vega, Elastic Bond, Tabaquero, Xaxo, Jean, and Viking Freedom Writers.

The tribute is especially important for the group as not only will Locos celebrate Marley’s life and birthday, which falls a day after the concert on Saturday, February 6, but also the birth of vocalist Itawe Correa, who shares his day of birth with the Jamaican musician.

Mark Kondrat, the group’s guitarist and music director, sat down with New Times to discuss the tribute’s origins, Marley as an influence, and what attendees can expect this Friday.

New Times: Talk about Marley’s influence on the band.
Mark Kondrat: [He has] inspired us musically and spiritually and philosophically. The whole idea of when the music hits you, you feel no pain. That’s kind of something we adopted in our own music. We always try to lighten the mood. While you’re at a Locos Por Juana show, you know for those two or three hours you’re gonna dance and you’re gonna feel good. Your troubles won’t disappear but the world will make sense at that moment. That’s what Bob has always done for us.
How did the tribute come about?
We started just playing Bob Marley songs sort of innocently here and there. It’s something that came out naturally. We didn’t necessarily sit down and think: Who are we going to give a tribute to? We never recorded a Bob Marley song. The first year we did it, it was just one set of our night. We had a Locos Por Juana show and we decided, oh, let’s open up the set with a Bob Marley song. And then it grew to, let's just play Bob Marley all night.

What are you hoping audiences take away from this festival?
I think that what we have envisioned was just having a great night, a positive energy type of night. Before we look at the big picture, it’s more like being in the moment of the night, having a great time with everyone who is there and just playing great music and sharing the love we have for that music with the audience that is there. Bob Marley preached one love. That’s definitely something that we want with the community. That’s one of the reasons why we decided to invite so many artists and friends. It’s because it’s such a visual representation of the oneness of everyone coming together.

Rock the Moon Productions presents Locos Por Marley with Locos Por Juana, Elastic Bond, Tomas Diaz, EL B, and more. 8 p.m. Friday, February 5, at The Wynwood Yard, 56 NW 29th St., Miami; Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $20 for VIP via
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Junette Reyes is a Miami native multimedia journalist with previous writing credits at FIU Student Media, South Florida Music Obsessed, and WLRN. She generally prefers chilling with cats over humans and avoids direct sunlight to maintain her ghastly appearance.