My Top Five Love Songs

Happy Valentine's Day!

I am a HUGE romantic! In the past, I've proudly shown my love and appreciation to the woman I'd be involved with at that time. I'm currently single but I'm open to meeting someone and seeing what develops. But this is the season to love, to be in love and experience being loved by the most important people in your life. I strongly believe that Valentine's Day should be everyday, not one day. Now with that said here are my top five love songs. Each of these five songs have a very special meaning to me and have a personal connection.

1. Something - The Beatles

Many of you may know that I am a big fan of The Beatles. I've been in love with their music for the majority of my life. This particular song is my number one favorite love song because of not only the message of love but I sang this song at my best friends wedding in 2006.

2. My Love - Paul McCartney and Wings

Song numbers two and three are special to me because those are my two favorite songs by Sir Paul McCartney. I've designated these two songs to be played at my wedding, when I find a woman I want to marry,  on our first dance. It was very sweet how Sir Paul wrote this for his beloved Linda, and the message of love was very obvious. My favorite line of the song is, "When I go away, I know my heart will stay with my love."

3. Maybe I'm Amazed - Paul McCartney

I adore this song because it is amazing to be in love with someone and have it returned to you. It's about being with someone who makes YOU better personally and emotionally. Relationships take work, effort, laughter, communication and love. 

4. Just The Way You Are - Billy Joel

This classic is a beautiful expression of loving someone for who they are, good, bad and indifferent. Lady Gaga even mentioned it in her song "Bad Romance", "I want your ugly, I want your disease." But I digress. Loving someone for the individual they are is powerful as well as beautiful. Yes, you want your mate to be the best person they can be as long as they stay true to themselves.

"To thine own self be true" - Shakespeare  

5. If I Had A Gun - Noel Gallagher 

Don't be thrown off by the title but the song represents what we are willing to do for the person(s) we love. Gallagher's opening lyrics start, "If I had a gun, I'd shoot a hole into the sun, and love would burn this city down for you." The song is from his debut self-titled solo album. Gallagher has become a brilliant songwriter and he has the catalog to back it up since his days with Oasis (my favorite band second to The Beatles of course).

A Look Back on 2016: September

Featured Artists: 30Vice, Carly Jo Jackson, Ella Herrera, Raquel Sofia, Sight Set, Sunny South, Uma Galera, Ball and Chain Music Festival and Guitars Over Guns

Ok, now that the holidays are over, as well as end of year assignments of photographing bands have been completed, I can resume my 2016 Year in Review articles. This time around I'm featuring my favorite images from the month of September. I had the good fortune of photographing the Ball and Chain Music Festival for the second year in a row and I had such an incredible time.

I'm a big advocate of music education, especially in elementary, middle and high schools. Affiliations such as Guitars Over Guns is one of those organizations that I support because I strongly believe that Music and Art classes are important to child's cognitive development. There was a special performance in Miami which featured the Guitars Over Guns Alumni Band and Latin Grammy nominated artist Raquel Sofia.

During the month I had an opportunity to photograph some new artists in South Florida such as Ella Herrera, Sight Set and Sunny South. In addition to that, I also photographed recurring artists like Uma Galera, 30Vice, and Carly Jo Jackson. Enjoy the images!


Ball and Chain Music Festival

AARON LEBOS REALITY

BARRIO ACTIVO

CALLE SOL

CONJUNTO PROGRESO

ELECTRIC KIF

ELECTRIC PIQUETE

FABI

GENE PAUL

LEMON CITY TRIO

LUCY GRAU

OIGO

PEPE MONTES CONJUNTO

THE POLITIX

SONLOKOS

TONY SUCCAR


Living Room Series

with Raquel Sofia and Guitars Over Guns Alumni Band


30VICE

CARLY JO JACKSON

ELLA HERRERA

SIGHT SET

SUNNY SOUTH

At Kill Your Idol

At Cutler Bay Sports Bar

UMA GALERA

A Look Back on 2016: August

Featured Artists: Anna Palmerola, Aura The Band, Carly Jo Jackson, Chantil Dukart, Chase The Jaguar, El B, Jahzel, Liza Quin, OIGO and Raquel Sofia

So we're now in the dog days of summer in beautiful Miami, outside of the heat and humidity of course, and the Miami Music Scene keeps getting hotter and hotter. I had the very good fortune of photographing Liza Quin in this month. If memory serves me correct, it had been at least six months (or more) since I captured her on camera. She is very special to me professionally. I attended my first Miami Flea during the month and the event featured the music of OIGO, Kids, Raquel Sofia and Aura the Band. Another highlight came when I photographed Cuban-born rapper El B as he did a show in Little Havana to promote his new album called "Luz". Other than that, enjoy the photos from August of this year.

Miami Flea

OIGO

KIDS

RAQUEL SOFIA

AURA THE BAND

Anna Palmerola

At Bodega

At Nikki Beach Miami

At Bougies Bar

El B

Chantil Dukart

Carly Jo Jackson

Chase The Jaguar

At Bodega

At Nikki Beach Miami

Jahzel

Liza Quin

A Look Back on 2016: July

Featured Artists: Above The Skyline, Anna Palmerola, Bachaco, Carly Jo Jackson, Chantil Dukart, Chloe Dolandis, Feneiva, Jahfe, Juke, Ordinary Boys, Robbie Elias, Raquel Sofia, Sekond Nature, Suenalo, The Deltaz, and Uma Galera

The month of July was the busiest month for me in 2016 because of the number of artists I covered in Miami. There were three events where multiple artists performed respectively, and a tandem of brothers came back to Miami as part of their tour. There were new connections made with new artists and continued cultivating current ones. Enjoy the month of July!

It's Better Live

Robbie Elias

Raquel Sofia

Mau Y Ricky

CNCO

Dvicio

BBQ at the Yard

Robby Hunter

Zach Deputy

Indie Music Showcase


Above The Skyline

Anna Palmerola

Carly Jo Jackson

At Bodega

At Nikki Beach Miami

At Titanic Brewery

At World of Beer - Kendall

Chantil Dukart

Chloe Dolandis

Feneiva

At Bodega

At Nikki Beach Miami

Jahfe

Juke

Ordinary Boys

Sekond Nature

Suenalo

The Deltaz

Uma Galera

A Look Back on 2016: June

Featured Artists: Anna Palmerola, Artofficial, Chantil Dukart, Chase the Jaguar, JT4, Locos Por Juana, Suenalo, Indie Music Showcase

We enter the summertime season in Miami where it’s always hot and healthy dash of humidity. Musically, the music scene continued to shine through and heat up with some amazing talent. During the month, I had gotten to meet a few new performers and artists who were at the beginning of their respective musical journey. But in the same month, I had the opportunity to be at the debut performance of a brand new band on the scene. While continued cultivating relationships by photographing repeated artists.

New Artists I Photographed

INDIE MUSIC SHOWCASE

Right around the midpoint of June, I was invited to attend an event featuring independent artists who are looking to carve their mark in the music industry. The event was called the Indie Music Showcase hosted by World Standard Audio and the affair took place at Fusion Lounge in Hialeah, FL. Prior to the musical performances of the young upstarts, there was a Q&A session with three veteran panelists of the music industry. 

Each industry leader offered insight, sage advice and honesty about the how to succeed in the music industry. The quote of the night came from one of the judges who asked the question, paraphrasing, “Who do you want to speak to with your music? The people in your neighborhood or the world?” That question alone resonated with me even to this today, since I have taken that question and have applied to my photography. The simple question has become very motivating and inspiring to me.

CHANTIL DUKART

I was recommended to see, hear and photograph Chantil Dukart approximately two months ago from Suenalo vocalist Mish Elle. She advised me to see Dukart’s performance and raved over her talent. Her words were right on point because when I finally caught Dukart performing at the Lilt Lounge in Brickell (a section of Miami), I was completely blown away. I’ve admitted this to Dukart herself and others, just how in love I am with her voice.

Vocally, she is mesmerizing and commands attention in a very alluring way. She is more of a finesse singer as oppose to a powerful, right in your face vocalist. Using a baseball reference, her vocals is similar to a pitcher throwing off-speed pitches (curveball, slider, screwball, etc) to strike out a batter. In comparison to a power pitcher throwing nothing but fastballs down the middle of the plate like Nolan Ryan or Randy Johnson. The beautiful thing about Dukart’s singing is the soulfulness she exudes when she does sing a song. From now until my dying day, I would pay good money to watch Dukart ANYWHERE in the world.

CHASE THE JAGUAR

In late May I met for the first time the members of the band Chase the Jaguar. Approximately two weeks later, I was there in South Beach photographing the band’s first performance at the Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Company. I was happy to be there and photographically document a band’s first steps in a city’s music scene. I have stated previously just how much I enjoy their music and love the sound they produce. I would have the pleasure of covering them several more times throughout the year.

JT4

JT4 stands for the Juan Turros 4, a jazz combo group led by saxophonist extraordinaire, Juan Turros. He’s mainly known for playing saxophone for Suenalo. However, the JT4 is his side project playing jazz music around South Florida at such places like Sunset Tavern and Jada Coles. Even though he and his combo are playing jazz, they don’t just play traditional jazz standards like “Night and Day” or “When Sunny Gets Blue”, etc. No, they’ll take a popular song like Britney Spears’Toxic” and jazz it up. His group does such a fantastic job with the arrangements to those recognizable pop songs. In addition, the musicians that support Turros doing those shows are some of the best of the best.

Repeated Artists I Photographed

ANNA PALMEROLA

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed photographing Miss Palmerola in 2016 because I’ve seen her improve time and time again. This go around, I had photographed her at World of Beer in Dadeland (a suburb of Miami) for an acoustic set of cover songs with guitarist Jay Orriols. Palmerola is such a dynamic singer and extremely versatile because if you have the chance to hear her sing jazz, you won’t be disappointed.

ARTOFFICIAL

I first got the chance to cover Artofficial when they performed at the inaugural Ball and Chain Music Festival in 2015. What’s so impressive about the ensemble is the combined fusion of jazz, rap and hip-hop music. It had been close to a year since I last photographed the ensemble. This time around they were performing at Bougainvillea’s Old Florida Tavern, aka Bougies Bar for short, in South Miami just minutes from the University of Miami. The group’s sound is funky, eclectic and very groovy. The crowd’s that attend their shows will indeed dance and groove along with the songs. Currently, Artofficial has a residence every Thursday night at Bougies Bar as part of the “Living Room Sessions”.

LOCOS POR JUANA and SUENALO

Shortly after the beginning of June, a block party was held at an abandoned parking lot in a section of Miami called Bayside. The block party was held just steps in front of the American Airlines Arena where the Miami Heat play. The crowd that attended the affair saw both Suenalo and Locos Por Juana perform on stage. While at the party, there were food trucks, some vendors and air hockey tables for people to play. 

Right at the end of May, Suenalo had a farewell concert at Ball and Chain for its front man Amin De Jesus. But this was technically his last scheduled show with the group prior to moving to Los Angeles later in the month. Locos Por Juana took to the stage shortly thereafter Suenalo, they got the crowd dancing and were left begging for more

Suenalo

Locos Por Juana

A Look Back on 2016: May

Featured Artists: Alejandro Elizondo, Bachaco, Chase The Jaguar, Elastic Bond, Fantine, Feneiva, Juke, Locos Por Juana, Los Rabanes, Palo, School Of Rock West Broward, Suenalo, Uma Galera and Vlade Divak

Right around this time of the year, I had just celebrated a year of capturing, following and recording through my imagery some breathtaking musical talent up and down South Florida. Professionally, I could not be any happier with the progress I have made in covering the South Florida Music Scene. The best thing about having finished my year in my niche is the fact that I’m getting better with each time I’m photographing a musical act. Like I mentioned in a previous article, I’m getting one step closer to my eventual goal of being the best photographer in the world!

I openly admit this of course, but at the same time I’m pushing myself to be the best I can be. There are phenomenal photographers of all genres out in the world today and I draw inspiration from my photography heroes. But the only competition I have on a daily basis is the opponent I see when I look at myself in the mirror every day.

There were several musical events that happened in the month of May such as a Cinco de Mayo celebration at Cafeina Wynwood with Uma Galera and Elastic Bond. In the heart of Miami’s Wynwood Art District, there was Canvas Miami featuring Alejandro Elizondo and Fantine. The North Beach Bandshell had a Reggae Fest with Bachaco and Los Rabanes. Plus the Wynwood Yard was the epicenter for the second installment of La Fiesta Loca hosted by Locos Por Juana with special guests Elastic Bond.

Cinco de Mayo - Cafeina Wynwood

UMA GALERA