With 52 years of experience, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival need hardly prove itself as a credible destination for artists, patrons, crafters, or appreciators. Tradition shows it's a great place for families and friends to congregate and glimpse the colorful works and offerings of Miami's many creatives.
But what about the music scene? Do the party people know they can hit up the CGAF to get their fix?
This year especially, the arts fair will show off its Miami pride by putting more than ten fantastic local bands onstage and under the spotlight in the New Times Music Showcase at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Here's a primer to get you better acquainted with the sounds in store.
Juke. 5 p.m. Saturday, February 14. A lot of South Florida bands are quick to incorporate Latin influences, but what about our more northern Southern roots? Juke is a four-piece band making real noise with its swamp-driven, harmonica-fronted "post-blues." With a folkish approach to storytelling and a bit of the old Delta vibe in its rock 'n' roll, Juke makes the kind of music you can dance to or enjoy while taking a stroll and seeing the sights.
My Deer. 3:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14. Less rootsy and more airy is the sound of My Deer. The pop-conscious yet progressive rock outfit is perfect for fans of Arcade Fire and Maroon 5 alike. They've got hooks, they've got talent, and they've got the guts to push themselves. Go ahead and let yourself get caught up in their harmonies. No one is watching.
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Robby Hunter. 2 p.m. Saturday, February 14. We have a special soft spot in our hearts for street musicians. We kind of always wanted to be one. Alas, we're just writers, but Robby Hunter knows what busking is all about. The mean Miami streets sharpened his drive and honed his talents, and now he's delivering the goods with his "Miami-based indie-funk band dusted with a taste of hip-hop and baked in an oven of soul."
Gold Dust Lounge. 12:30 p.m. Saturday, February 14. Strumming guitar with lots of reverb and a bit of '60s-era sass. Doesn't that sound delicious? Gold Dust Lounge likes to think there's a sci-fi edge to its music, and we tend to agree, as long as the little green men are ready to go surfin'. With a touch of psychedelia and no real vocals, Gold Dust Lounge will have you shimmyin' and shakin' as long as organizers will allow.
Locos por Juana. 3:30 p.m. Sunday, February 15. Your hips have been waiting their entire lives for this moment. Locos por Juana mixes a bit of reggaeton with a dash of dancehall and layers it with tons of up-strummed guitar and hip-hop percussion. One listen and you'll understand why this band has been nominated for a Grammy.
Ketchy Shuby. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 15. With soul and feel-good R&B as its calling card, Ketchy Shuby is like Miami's answer to Motown. There are only four guys, but with their powers combined, they're ready to whip out the organ, bass, guitar, saxophone, flute, and tambourine, plus a bunch of funky vocal harmonies.
Krisp. 1:30 p.m. Sunday, February 15. When Krisp hits the stage, a little dance rock will be just what the doctor ordered. It's the sexy sounds of guitars meeting synths and pounding drum machines. Imagine '80s-era New Wave and Miami Vice jackets. Well, maybe they're more likely to wear leather jackets, but their noise is definitely saying all-white-everything.
Carly Jo Jackson. 12:30 p.m. Sunday, February 15. All right, Carly Jo Jackson is actually from Orlando, but she landed a spot on America's Got Talent, so we're gonna claim her. Armed with a throaty voice and her acoustic guitar, she's sure to win you over. Jackson writes her songs with her heart on her sleeve. Expect an intimate performance, even if there's a crowd.
Suenalo. 3:30 p.m. Monday, February 16. This band is a Miami institution that hardly needs an introduction. It delivers the perfect mix of electro, rock, funk, Latin, soul, and hip-hop, and it all just makes you want to shake that ass. Plus, who doesn't love a live horn section?
Shotgun Betty. 2 p.m. Monday, February 16. This Florida folk band goes hard on the banjo and the upright bass. They've got tattoos, style, beautiful voices, and stories for days. Park your horse and grab your best girl for this one.
Chloe Dolandis. 12:30 p.m. Monday, February 16. Dolandis is a singer-songwriter with suave style. She sits demurely at the intersection of pop, jazz, and soul, merging a bit of the old with the best of the new. Hell, she sang for Joe Biden. She's practically an American treasure.
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New Times Music Showcase at Coconut Grove Arts Festival 2015. With Zach Deputy, Bright Light Social Hour, Beebs and Her Money Makers, and 11 others. Saturday to Monday, February 14 to 16, Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd., Coconut Grove. Gates open at 10 a.m. and close at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $15 for adults or $5 for Coconut Grove residents. Admission is free for ages 12 and under, as well as Metrorail Golden Passport and Patriot Passport holders. Visit CGAF.com.
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