“Man, you’ve got to check out [insert city name here]. They’ve got a great music scene.”
How many times have you heard that from someone coming back from a road-trip or a summer stint cross country? In reality, it’s tough to understand what “music” means to people from different markets. Here’s your chance to get a glimpse into what artists and fans across the country have come to call their musical “home,” as we visit a new major music market every week. This week’s chapter: Miami, FL.
Miami is a city that conjures up a lot of images: Beachside apartment buildings, sweetest rides, and bumpin’ parties in one of the city’s many extensive night clubs. In fact, that’s exactly what the music scene is: A vibe that thrives on dance music, active crowds and easy-going club-goers.
Miami is home to the Frost School of Music (one of the nation’s most prestigious music schools with a strong focus in producing high-quality jazz musicians). With clubs like The Van Dyke Cafe and reggae venues like Jazid, the latin and jazz music scene in the clubs and venues on Miami Beach is extremely vibrant. If you’re interested in checking out some rock music, it’s a bit tougher to find a solid place to grab a drink and hear a great new band but, if you dig deeper you will find some gems. Recognized by the Miami New Times as Miami’s best rock venue is Tobacco Road. Although not limited to rock, The Transit Lounge hosts great indie shows as well as DJ and hip hop performances.
The latter is, in fact, where most of the Miami music scene lies. The opportunities to check out some club/dance music or a live DJ at one of Miami Beach’s many establishments are endless (Club Space and Mansion Nightclub to name a couple). In fact, the Winter Music Conference, held on Miami Beach, is home to the International Dance Music Awards as well as other dance/DJ focused competitions. In addition to checking out panels of industry professionals and attending workshops, guests come to the WMC to see hip hop, DJ and Latin acts from all over the world who have come to the dance culture center that is Miami.
As an indie artist in the Miami scene, OurStager Rachel Goodrich says it’s “definitely challenging” to establish yourself as a local act. “Considering [people in Miami] fiend for an electronic pulse…” she continues, “I knew I had to create an upbeat environment.” Her upbeat, Latin-influenced indie songs always attract attention, whether on a street corner in Miami beach or on your iPod. She refers to her style as “shake-a-billy,” which she explains is a mixture of “you, me and a tub of tambourines,” along with Dr. Seuss and a hint of Miami’s vibrant culture. Upon asking Goodrich what her favorite local venue is, she said without hesitation that Churchill’s Pub is a sure place to find great local acts of a wide variety of genres. She also gave her insight on other up-and-coming Miami acts that she admires. They include Raffa Jo Harris and Jesse Jackson; both are passionate singer/songwriters who are trying to help put Miami’s indie/folk scene on the map.
Whether you’re looking to chill, rock out, or dance until you can’t stand anymore, Miami is THE place. With countless cultures, great venues and famous clubs, your time in Miami (whether you’re a local or a visitor) is sure to be a party.