Los Wizzards want to make you dance. Their rhythms and infectious sound are designed to make you do just that. And if you don't, the local band's members, starting with founder Wizzmer, might just go get you out of your seat.
That’s the positive vibe and energy that the eight-member group gives off in its shows, YouTube videos, and even in publicity photos. Their jam sound is a party waiting to happen, and it's been getting them gigs all over town at places such as Miami Beach’s Faena and Bodega Taqueria y Tequila, where they play regularly.
Two and a half years ago, the band began to form when Wizzmer, an established producer and cuatro player in his native Venezuela, was jamming at open mikes around Doral.
“I started performing open mike in February 2016, playing every Thursday at Macondo, a coffee spot in Doral,” Wizzmer recalls. “I played on my own and would do an improv jam with the audience.”
Other musicians were in attendance at Macondo, including drummer Juseph Ballestero, a fellow Venezuelan who joined Wizzmer onstage.
Cuban-Jamaican trumpet player Alex Coombs followed and brought with him his friend, Cuban-American trombone player Anthony Armas.
The group grew to five when bassist Rafael Querales, another established Venezuelan musician who has played with the likes of singers Luis Enrique and Gilberto Santa Rosa, joined the crew. The sixth member to come onboard was saxophone player David Rodriguez, followed by Samy Hawk, a Venezuelan and pro rapper. After Hawk joined, they took the name Los Wizzards.
“This is the core group: a three-piece horn section, with bass, drums, cuatro, and beatboxer on vocals,” Wizzmer says. Singer Roy Robinson was the final member to join.
Los Wizzards earned fans through reimagined versions of well-known hits the band performed regularly at venues such as the now-defunct Stage in Wynwood. They also began testing their original songs on audiences.
Then they got their big break, when Mexican singer Luis Miguel joined them onstage at Casa Tua. That notoriety led to features in People en Español and appearances on el Gordo y la Flaca and Un Nuevo Día on Univision.
Their original tunes “Spanglish Love” and “Jodido Pero en Miami” have racked up listens on Spotify and YouTube. They're also working on an EP, Wizzmer says, with four singles already prepped for release.
The band's main goal, Wizzmer says, is “to represent Miami, particularly to Latin Americans who are our target audience.”
Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.