Local Music

The Porch at Miami Book Fair Offers a Week of Live Music

Inez Barlatier at the 2017 Miami Book Fair.
Inez Barlatier at the 2017 Miami Book Fair. Courtesy of Miami Book Fair
click to enlarge Inez Barlatier at the 2017 Miami Book Fair. - COURTESY OF MIAMI BOOK FAIR
Inez Barlatier at the 2017 Miami Book Fair.
Courtesy of Miami Book Fair
Many of us like to read while listening to music. The organizers of the Miami Book Fair have run with that concept via the Porch, a stage presenting live music throughout fair week, November 11 through 18. "It's an outdoor pop-up venue, a community gathering space, and a town center smack-dab right in the middle of the book fair," the Porch programmer Melissa Messulam explains.

For eight days, the Porch will be outfitted with lounge furniture where guests can relax and play games such as Jenga and dominoes, imbibe craft beer, and enjoy fare from one of the rotating food trucks parked onsite. At times, the stage will offer poetry, spoken word, or comedy, but much of the sound will be music. "Ninety-eight percent of the music is local Miami acts. We want it to be a platform of dialogue between artists. We have young and emerging talent playing side-by-side with established musicians. It's an unconventional space for them to jam together."

Messulam recommends the following highlights for those with eager ears:

Sunday, November 11: "Mr. Pauer will be playing," she says of the 6 p.m. show. "He's a Latin Grammy-nominated artist." Mr. Pauer dubs his music "electrópico," a fusion of electronica and music born between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn that includes salsa, zouk, reggae, cumbia, dancehall, merengue, and kuduro.

Monday, November 12: Hear DJ Le Spam and DJ Kumi at 7:30 p.m. "It's our Rum & Coke dance party," Messulam says. "They spin vinyl and only vinyl, and it will be a lot of fun."

Tuesday, November 13: Shenzi, a Miami-based multigenre quintet performing at 7 p.m., combines jazz roots, hip-hop grooves, and soul with a Latin flair.

Wednesday, November 14: At 8:30 p.m., check out Dog Heat, featuring Eddy and Gregorio Alvarez, which plays "primal beats, droning bass lines, cathartic vocals, and visceral antics."

Thursday, November 15: Crime writers will take the stage at 7 p.m. to read their fiction. Between readings, the Gold Dust Lounge Band will play a blend of surf noir and shoegaze Americana.

Friday, November 16: The 11 a.m. showcase will present Unistiq, comprising alumni of Miami’s high-impact arts-based mentoring program Guitars Over Guns. And beginning at 6 p.m., hear performances by Miami singer-songwriters Alejandro Elizondo, Raffa Jo Harris, and Adrian Gonzalez.

Saturday, November 17: The weekend particularly excites Messulam. Saturday will feature the Remyz, which she describes as a mix of funk and blues, at 1 p.m. Expect reggae by Jahfe at 3 p.m. Closing out the day at 5 p.m. will be Patrick & the Swayzees, a Key West band that always puts on a raucous, high-energy show.

Sunday, November 18: The final day might be the most eclectic. The sounds begin at 1 p.m. with Ample Samples, a new Miami supergroup made up of members of Suenalo, Afrobeta, Shenzi, Aaron Lebos Reality, PRD Mais, and the Goodnites, led by Oigo's Adrian Gonzalez. At 2 p.m., Sekajipo for the People will serve acoustic hip-hop that melds poetry, storytelling, and live music. At 3 p.m., Aroze Twobadou will take the stage to perform Haitian folk music. Finally, at 5 p.m., Young Musicians Unite and FIU’s Phi Mu Alpha will march from different corners of the book fair and meet at the Porch for a brass-band battle that will close out the event.

Miami Book Fair 2018. November 11 through 18 at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus, 600 Biscayne Blvd., Miami; miamibookfair.com.
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David Rolland is a freelance music writer for Miami New Times. His novel, The End of the Century, published by Jitney Books, is available at many fine booksellers.
Contact: David Rolland