By, Daisy Cabrera
Ahh, glorious South Beach. Tourists flock here to bronze under the blazing sun, break waves on rented jet-skis, throw back some fruity cocktails, “watch me naenae” in mega clubs and relish under tall palm trees swaying to the ocean breeze. It’s a year-round chancleta paradise!
Miami is also an explosion of Latino culture, and the 305’s live music scene is no joke. But, here’s the thing mi gente – you’ll have to get off the Beach (yep, you read that right) and do it up local style. Dust off those dancing shoes, and get ready for some sabrosura.
In the heart of Little Havana lies an iconic, bohemian little gem called Hoy Como Ayer where you can groove to everything from salsa and Latin pop, to rock en español and flamenco. Named after Benny Moré’s hit song, Hoy Como Ayer has been entertaining folks with live music for the last 15 years. You’ll be bumping hips up in here ‘cause it’s a standing room only affair. Don’t miss the happening Thursday night ¡Fuacata! party, a Latin funk percussive soirée courtesy of Spam AllStars’ weekly residency. ¡Tremenda descarga! Famous talent who’ve graced their stage include Willy Chirino, Diego el Cigala, Albita, Pavel Nuñez, Los 3 de La Habana, Isabel Iñigo, Ana Maria Perera, Aymeé Nuviola and many more. Hoy Como Ayer is located at 2212 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135. http://www.hoycomoayer.us
Don’t put away the guayabera just yet! A favorite haunt for many is the historic Ball & Chain (circa 1935), a gorgeous venue also located on Calle Ocho. The Friday festivities begin early with a live salsa music/lunch hour set at noon, followed by the quite popular happy hour at 4pm. At 6pm, behold the tunes of live jazz and stay for the icing on the tres leches cake – the “Miami Boheme” party – when a full band hits the outdoor Pineapple Stage at 10pm for a serious Latin music jam session. Tito Puente Jr., Nil Lara, Conjunto Progreso, Calle Sol, Tony Succar, Edwin Bonilla, Locos Por Juana, BARRIOACTIVO and countless others have performed here. Ball & Chain’s address is 1513 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33135. http://www.ballandchainmiami.com
On to Saturday night, where the place to be is La Covacha. Head over to Doral for this major nightclub that is all about dancing. Think big. Think jam-packed. Think major sound system. Think crazy fun! Since 1988, this has been the go-to joint to hear an array of music: rumba, merengue, cubatón, samba, vallenato – de todo, un poco. Party hard inside, or take it on back to the patio area where national musical bands move the masses ‘til the wee hours. Prominent musicians from across the globe who’ve rocked this house include Calle 13, Frankie Negron, Los Amigos Invisibles, Diva Gash, La Oreja de Van Gogh, Kinky, Hombres G, and Osmani Garcia. Visit La Covacha at 10730 NW 25th St, Doral, FL 33172. http://www.lacovacha.com
Next time you’re in the MIA, you know what spots to hit up! El que sabe, sabe.