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

ELASTIC BOND

Canvas Miami

ALEJANDRO ELIZONDO

FANTINE

Reggae Fest

BACHACO

LOS RABANES

La Fiesta Loca 2

ELASTIC BOND

LOCOS POR JUANA

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Vlade Divak

The one thing I found out while covering the South Florida Music Circuit is that one single musician will play for numerous bands practically at the same time. Such was the case when I covered the band Vlade Divak at Ball and Chain. The musicians that make up Vlade Divak (former NBA center) are members of the groups Electric Kif, Suenalo and The Politix (just to name a few). So it goes without question that the music would no doubt be of high quality.

Juke

Juke is a post-Blues band led by front man Eric Garcia on harmonica. The band has played at music festivals across the state and around the South Florida region. This particular time I had photographed the band in Midtown section of Miami at a local favorite spot called Lagniappe House. The location is both a wine bar and restaurant and various musical acts play inside the lounge. It can be cramped and seating is limited but you do get exposed to some fantastic music played by equally phenomenal musicians.

Palo

Palo, the Latin funk jazz super group, played at the Wynwood Yard for the first time. The cool thing about “The Yard” is the open space it provides to have live entertainment, food trucks and a bar (should you decide to consume an adult beverage or two). It was a very big deal to have Palo perform at The Yard because the location was in the midst of its first year of existence. Palo had performed at the Wynwood Yard just weeks before they embarked on a European tour. Now that The Yard has already celebrated its first birthday, the Wynwood Yard has grown to be one of the top musical venues in South Florida (in my opinion). Prior to Palo taking the stage, Elastic Bond performed an unplugged (acoustic) set for the audience. It was a pleasure being there to see and photograph two amazing musical powerhouses.

Elastic Bond

Feneiva

In an earlier article, I wrote about how Bodega Tequila y Taqueria and The Wynwood Yard have been the two most frequently photographed locations for me this year. Every Wednesday night at Bodega’s there is live entertainment by South Florida’s top bands and solo artists. A crowd favorite, especially with the ladies, is Feneiva, a Latin funk fusion band. The lead singer of
the five-member group is Fabian Hernandez. 

When performing, he is incredibly charismatic, charming, extremely flirtatious and will confidently sing directly to ANY woman who’s in an arm’s length. I recall the first time I photographed the band at Bodega (in 2015), Hernandez started singing and dancing with one of the ladies and she melted before my eyes. He has a vibe about him that the ladies love and are attracted to. Overall, the band is immensely talented and can be found playing around the greater Miami area.

Chase the Jaguar

The band had gotten in contact with me through my Instagram page (@RonNavarretePhoto) and quickly setup a meeting to get to know the band. We hit it off instantly and have grown to be one of my personal favorite bands. Chase the Jaguar consists of the Fox Brothers, David (lead singer and guitar) and Sebastian (backing vocals and guitar), Kevin Krag (backing vocals and guitar) and drummer Michael Cohen. Their musical sound is very clean with an infectious groove to them and their influences extend from Muse, Pink Floyd and Radiohead. Within a couple of weeks after our initial meeting, they had their debut performance at Sweet Liberty Drinks and Supply Company in Miami Beach. Since that first show in Miami Beach, the band has been very active around South Florida, across both coasts and did a mini tour through Argentina. It was such an honor seeing one of my images used in an article written by the Miami New Times in June of this year (Click Link).

School of Rock West Broward

The previous month I had photographed the kids from the School of Rock in Coral Springs at a park in neighboring city of Weston. One of the parents whose teenage son performs for the organization, contacted me to photograph the School of Rock kids in Hollywood, FL at the Hollywood Beach Theatre. There were two shows that afternoon, the first group played music from Steely Dan and the second ensemble played Classic Rock cover songs. I was blown away by the level of musicianship these kids have and am happy to see the kids having an outlet to express themselves via music. Personally, I’m a HUGE advocate of music programs for kids as a means of their own personal evolution.

Suenalo

May 29th was a bittersweet day for the group Suenalo because its front man and Master of Ceremonies, Amin De Jesus, was leaving the band and moving to Los Angeles, CA. His final show took place at Ball and Chain in Little Havana and there were plenty of special guests in attendance. One of many highlights from the show was the Ball and Chain management staff presenting De Jesus with a cake as a gesture of Bon Voyage. My favorite moment came at the very end of the show when ALL the musicians and special guests huddled together for one group photo.

Right around this time as May ends and June starts was witnessing my evolution as a photographer. I was seeing the impact of OutsideThePhotoPit.com was having to the musicians and people I’ve been working with up to that point. I have a bigger vision in mind when it comes to my website and through patience, the visions are slowly becoming a reality. I’m very excited!