Over the next 12 days I’ll be showcasing some of my favorite images of 2016. Each day, I’ll be featuring a specific month with a few of my personal favorite photographs. I’m excited about these next series of blogposts as my plan to execute more postings on my website for the coming year. I have a schedule in mind for the blog and what postings will be going on what day. So now, here are some of my personal favorite images from the month of January.
Featured Artists: The Baboons, Electric Kif and Suenalo
2016 began for me photographing The Baboons in Hollywood, FL at ArtsPark. The venue was spacious and the stage was equally as vast with top-notch lighting. The Baboons performed there shortly after the New Year and it was nice reuniting with the band since I last saw them in October 2015. I remember the group being excited about the show and even more ecstatic at the fact their third album, Spanglish, was set to be released in April. They had a special concert at the North Beach Bandshell to celebrate the release of the new album.
The Baboons have been around for 23 years and have been a mainstay in the Miami Music Scene for many years. The band nowadays do not perform quite as often but when they do, it is a special event I admit. I’m excited to see what 2017 has in store for The Baboons.
Later in the month I jumped at the opportunity of photographing Electric Kif at Jada Coles in Coral Gables, FL. The foursome of world class musicians had made a huge impression on me when I last photographed them during Labor Day Weekend in September 2015 as part of the inaugural Ball and Chain Music Festival. This specific performance was extra special because only three of the members did the gig. Jason Matthews, keyboardist, was not in attendance (I believe he was out of town doing another show) but Digo, bassist, Eric Escanes, guitarist, and Armando Lopez, drummer, carried on with the show.
The group got by with a little help from their friends as the show was transformed into a good ol’ jam session. Such notable musicians that jammed with Electric Kif were Alejandro Elizondo (guitars and keyboards), Brian Lange (drums and percussion), Marcel Salas (bassist and guitars), Sonny East (guitars) and Adrian Gonzalez (guitars). It was a great night of music held in a very intimate atmosphere. I have thoroughly enjoyed not only photographing the band but also listening to them. The Miami Music Circuit (and the South Florida Music scene for that matter) has an ungodly number of phenomenal, mind-blowing musicians and the men that comprise Electric Kif are at the top. A NEW album is due out soon and I can’t wait to photograph them again.
The day before I photographed The Baboons in Hollywood, I began 2016 photographing Suenalo, an ensemble I hold dear to my heart. The group played at the world-famous Ball and Chain on January 1st and the show was high energy all the way. Suenalo, in its illustrious career, has been named Miami’s Best Band three times by the Miami New Times and for good reason: It’s all about that “Afro-latin, hip-hop, R&B, baby-making funk” which personifies Miami.
I’m going off script for a moment, my favorite Suenalo song is “Keep It Groovin’”, the title track of their fourth album. It is such awesome composition and is a certified crowd favorite when they do perform it live. By the way, my second favorite song is “Kuchi”, the seventh song off their third album, “Live at Transit”. However, out of the four albums, Live at Transit, is my personal favorite.
I can proudly say that I’ve been photographing the ensemble for over a year (I’ve been living in Miami for two years btw) and ALL of them are quality people. I did photograph them five more times during 2016. Half way through the year a big change happened to the band when their front man Amin De Jesus moved out west to my home state of California. However, “The Prodigal Son” will be returning to Miami and join his bandmates on December 30th live at The Wynwood Yard. That’s going to be a very special concert and I can’t wait.
So January 2016 started off well thank God. But that would only be the beginning my friends. Tomorrow, I’ll be displaying my favorite images from the month of February. My year in review will culminate on January 1st just as the new year begins.