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Van Dyke Cafe Closes: Ten Classic Moments from Miami's Favorite Jazz Club

The intoxicating blend of the percussion, the smooth brass sound of the trombone, the deep rhythm of the bass, and the bluesy, jazzy tunes of the harmonica resonated from the corner of 846 Lincoln Road.

It was the closing party for the Van Dyke Café and crowds of locals and tourists alike swarmed the street to watch Oriente pay homage to the place that became one of Miami's musical gems for 20 years.

"We've been playing here, upstairs, every second Sunday of every month for about five years," said the band's lead singer and guitarist Eddie Balzola. "It hasn't just been us; it's been every kind of good musician in South Florida."

The music has officially died for the Van Dyke. Soon, mannequins will stand in lieu of instruments. The ringing sound of cash registers and Top 40 hits on repeat will replace the jazz and blues that once filled the lounge. But as Balzola said right before he led Oriente to their last song, "Life without music, it can't go on."

Here are ten classic moments at the Van Dyke Café, according the club's booking manager Randy Singer and Balzola himself.

See also: With Van Dyke Cafe's Closing, Lincoln Road Is Becoming the Luxury Mall It Was Meant to Be

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Laurie Charles
Contact: Laurie Charles