Who's going Grovin'?
Settled in 1825, the leafy, laidback enclave known as Coconut Grove, or simply the Grove to locals, is Miami's oldest continuously inhabited neighborhood.
It's also Dade County's original hipster hood, predating South Beach and Wynwood by decades.
As the staging ground for South Florida's 1960s counterculture scene, the Grove hosted hippie love-ins, antiwar protests, and infamous live-music fiascos like that Doors show at Dinner Key Auditorium during which a wasted Jim Morrison was arrested for allegedly flashing his flaccid penis.
Today, lifelong Grovers, college kids, and tourists wander the city's normally free-of-indecent-exposure streets, from Grand Avenue to McFarlane Road and along South Bayshore Drive as it winds along Biscayne Bay, while they drink frozen mojitos, chow down on Florida rock shrimp tacos, and take in outdoor singer-songwriter sessions in the shade of a banyan tree.
That's just, like, every day in the Grove. But once a year, the neighborhood's groovy, drink-eat-be-happy, and bring-the-whole-fam vibe becomes the life source for the Coconut Grove Arts Festival, an entire Presidents' Day weekend's worth of food, fun, and music.
For 2015, we at New Times have officially taken on musical party-planner duties for CGAF (that's the fest's catchy new acronym, pronounced see-gaf), and we've scheduled a three-day, main-stage lineup of more than a dozen national and local rock, ska, Latin, blues, funk, and soul bands set to perform February 14 to 16 at Peacock Park during this year's 52nd annual event.
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Among our headliners, we've got Savannah's Zach Deputy, Austin's Bright Light Social Hour, and Orlando's Beebs and Her Money Makers. On Saturday night, Deputy will hold down the Grove fest's main stage with his "island-infused drum 'n' bass gospel ninja soul." Bright Light Social Hour will bring the psychedelic Southern rock to Sunday, and Beebs will skank through a Monday sunset sesh of soulful ska to close out CGAF 2015.
Hailing from South Carolina, Zach Deputy has since taken his funk- and R&B-styled singer-songwriter stuff to Georgia, where he has pioneered a personal brand of one-man-band live performance. Usually, Deputy deploys a looping pedal to make folks scream, sing along, and "dance their asses off." At CGAF, though, he'll play with Miami's own dirty-blues crew, Juke, rather than rolling with his typical solo show.
On the fest's second evening, Bright Light Social Hour shall rock 'n' roll, foot-stomp, and soul-search till dusk falls on the Grove and its thousands of festivalgoers. With the CGAF gig, the Texas quartet will launch its 2015 tour, not to mention rip out a few new, still-unreleased, rarely heard numbers off the outfit's upcoming sophomore studio album, Space Is Still the Place.
Then, finally, Beebs and Her Money Makers will bust out the punk-rock guitars, skipping beats, frantic horns, and shout-along songs for the Grove fest's last night. With the raven-haired frontwoman and a backing crew of Lovelady wielding the axe, Levon White slapping the four-string, P. Brisske pounding the drums, E. Money handling sax, and Bunky blowing the trumpet, it's gonna be, as Beebs herself would scream, "Jumpin'!"
Of course, though, the New Times Music Showcase at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival would be nothing without the locals. And we've recruited a solid roster of 11 South Florida acts, from the aforementioned rock 'n' blues band Juke to Latin fusion stars Locos por Juana and Suénalo, and Miami soul big band Ketchy Shuby, alongside My Deer, Robby Hunter, Gold Dust Lounge, Krisp, Carly Jo Jackson, Shotgun Betty, and Chloe Dolandis.
So grab a frozen mojito. Nosh on a taco. And meet us in the Grove. See you at CGAF.
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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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