The Baboons

A Look Back on 2016: April

Featured Artists: The Baboons, Cleaveland Jones, Polaroid, Third World, La Fiesta Loca and Wynwood Life Street Festival

It’s springtime in South Florida during the month of April and this article will feature the highlights of two different musical events, a Reggae legend, a Rock n’ Roll school as well as other talented bands. Right about this time, musical artists are starting to recognize me when I appear at their respective shows, which makes me happy. It clearly tells me that I’m doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. But more importantly, it’s getting me that much closer to my eventual goal: being the best photographer in the world. Even now as I’m writing this article, I couldn’t be happier doing what I love and cultivating my passion to being an important presence in the world and being there for people.

So let’s get to it and give it a go!

Wynwood Life Street Festival

One of the highlights of the month for me was attending the Wynwood Life Street Festival in the Wynwood Art District section of Miami. The festival was a three-day event but due to prior commitments I was only able to attend the final day. Either way, I was happy to be there. There were various art exhibits around the campus with a few focusing on street art. Also in attendance were a platoon of food trucks of different culinary cuisines and of course vendors galore. Outside from that, there were six musical acts on schedule for the final day.

The acts that performed on the last day were the Douglas Hirsch Group, Cleaveland Jones, Jahfe, Dangerflow, Bachaco and the headliner, Suenalo. What I loved most about this specific festival was the amount of access I had in photographing the musicians. Plus, not to mention, the lighting setup was top notch because all six acts were properly lit and the visual effects provided some cool scenes.

DOUGLAS HIRSCH GROUP

CLEAVELAND JONES

JAHFE

DANGERFLOW

BACHACO

SUENALO

La Fiesta Loca

Throughout the year, there were two venues I frequently visited to photograph bands and they were Bodega Tequila y Taqueria (located in South Beach) and The Wynwood Yard (located in the heart of the Wynwood Art District). I rang in 2016 with Elastic Bond and I’ll be ending the year with Suenalo (I can’t wait for that show by the way) at The Yard. In April, Locos Por Juana hosted an event called La Fiesta Loca. The affair was a celebration of music and musicians coming together to play music. Locos Por Juana headlined the concert and opening up for them was Uma Galera, a Miami-based reggae band. What I loved most about this show was how the crowd in attendance were grooving to the music, especially the women. There’s a reason, in my opinion, that Reggae, Caribbean and Latin Music is often referred to as “baby-makin’ music”. It definitely puts you into a mood.

UMA GALERA

LOCOS POR JUANA

SCHOOL OF ROCK - WEST BROWARD

When I’m not photographing bands, I photograph families, senior portraits as well as personal/professional headshots for those who need them. A dear client of mine had hired me to photograph her business which is attending parties dressed as different Disney Princesses. This particular day I was in the city of Weston, approximately 35 – 40 minutes northwest of Miami, at a local park. While I was photographing kids next to Princess Aurora (Sleeping Beauty) and Belle (Beauty and the Beast), there were a group of kids from the West Broward chapter of the School of Rock. Let me just say I was totally blown away at the musicianship these kids have. The musicians would rotate between instruments and you would hear a loud pop of appreciation from their respective families and bystanders.

The Baboons and Third World


I returned once again to the North Beach Bandshell to photograph The Baboons and Reggae legend Third World. The Baboons were celebrating the release of their third album called “Spanglish”. If I may be honest for a moment, it’s their best album to date. The band had a concert to commemorate the release and a great deal of fans arrived to celebrate the occasion. Following the show, their fans got together with the group to pose for pictures. 

The affair at the Bandshell was part of the “A Day at the Beach” concert series and that evening’s main headlining band was Third World. The legendary Reggae band rocked the venue for well over an hour playing a variety of classic songs like “Now That We Found Love” and “1865 (96 Degrees In The Shade)” just to name a few. I found it interesting just how much Third World had positively affected their fanbase. Manuel Pila (drummer for The Baboons) had told me before Third World took the stage that early on in his relationship with Majica (his current wife and The Baboons lead vocalist), the two of them saw Third World in concert. Also in attendance was percussionist Milton Ponce from Uma Galera. He told me that Third World was one of his musical influences and being there to see his idols perform was inspiring.

THE BABOONS

THIRD WORLD

Cleaveland Jones

I had the pleasure of photographing Jones again at The Wynwood Yard. Earlier in the month, I had taken images of him on the final day of the Wynwood Life Street Festival. This time around, the show was all about him and he didn’t disappoint. 

Polaroid

The band Polaroid is a top 40 cover band performing at various locations throughout South Florida. The times I’ve photographed them, it has been at World of Beer, a franchise located along the southeastern portion of the United States. At that time, they were playing in the Miami suburb of Kendall. The four-man group has a nice sound to them and the crowd sings along with the music whether it’s “Living On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi or other Classic Rock tunes.

As you can see the month of April was another busy month for me. The month of May continues along with more of my favorite images.

A Look Back on 2016: January

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

The Baboons

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.

Electric Kif

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.

Suenalo

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.