A day-long celebration of art, culture and community in Miami-Dade County‘s beautiful Oak Grove Park.
Miami Light Project and Community Arts and Culture have partnered with the Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department to create and present the inaugural A Great Day at Oak Grove Park music festival on Saturday, February 18, 2023 at Oak Grove Park (690 NE 159th St, Miami, FL 33162), beginning at 1 p.m.
The free, all-ages show will feature international, regional, and local talent from Haiti, Cuba, and Miami, including Haitian songstress Emeline Michel, Haiti’s preeminent dance band Tabou Combo, Haitian-American multidisciplinary performing artist Inez Barlatier, award-winning Cuban folk group Cortadito, Latin Grammy-nominated Afro-Cuban jam / dance band the Spam Allstars, Haitian visionary artist Papaloko, plus special guests.
Haitian songstress and Red Cross Ambassador Emeline Michel is internationally acclaimed for fusing pop, jazz, blues, and traditional Haitian rhythms into deeply moving, joyful music delivered with a charismatic live show. Based in NYC, she runs her own production company and is a cherished voice for social issues surrounding women and children worldwide. Michel has appeared at Carnegie Hall, The United Nations, the Festival International de Jazz (Haiti), Ontario’s Luminato Festival, Montreal International Jazz Festival, and other high-profile events. emeline-michel.com
Born and raised in Miami, FL, Inez Barlatier joined her father’s band, Jan Sebon & Kazak International, at the age of 12. Inez led her own band, Kazoots, and was also a member of Venus Rising: Women’s Drum and Dance Ensemble performing as a drummer, dancer and singer. With her ancestral contralto voice, her music has toured internationally and is inspired by multi-cultural wisdom and rhythms. Barlatier’s children’s show Ayiti, Stories & Songs from Haiti is currently touring schools across the U.S., and has been showcased to 70,000 children here in Miami-Dade County public schools. InezInezInez.com
Since its origins ten years ago, the evolution of Cortadito has led them to become one of the torch bearers of a pop culture phenomenon that is two centuries strong. A traditional folk and acoustic band that focuses on performing one of the earliest styles of Cuban country music known as Son (pronounced sOwn), their sound can best be described as reminiscent of the famed Buena Vista Social Club. Winners of the Miami New Times’ “Best Latin Act” award in 2019, the band frequently plays regionally, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, as well as Florida Folk Festival, the Finger Lakes GrassRoots Festival of Music & Dance, and Afro Roots Fest. CortaditoSon.com
A Latin Grammy-nominated and nationally and internationally touring band, the Spam Allstars are one of Miami’s most popular, well-known, longest-running and accomplished bands. Part Afro-Cuban, part hip-hop, part funk, part electronica, they were founded by musician, producer and musicologist Andrew Yeomanson, AKA DJ Le Spam. The group’s sixth and most recent full-length album is called Trans-Oceanic. SpamAllstars.com
Born Jude Thegenus in Port Au Prince, Papaloko is also a visual artist, and a voice for social justice and Haitian activism. He allows himself to be possessed by a spirit whose purpose is to paint strokes of life onto canvas. Papaloko studied to become a Roman Catholic priest, but his artistic journey led him to music with at first the Rara band Koleksyon Kazak, and then with the vodou pop band Loray Mistik. In 1999, Papaloko founded the Jakmel Art Gallery, Cultural Center and Caribbean Backyard, a center for cultural diversity, awareness, positivity, and creation in Miami. judepapalokothegenus.com
Tabou Combo is a Haitian Compa band that was founded in 1968 in Pétion-Ville, a suburb of Port-au-Prince. The orchestra has performed throughout the world (North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and especially in the Caribbean). Tabou Combo was the first Haitian band to perform in Japan, Ivory Coast, Senegal among others, and were named the “Official Panamanian Band” in Panama due to their popularity, while also becoming the first Caribbean band to have a number one single in the French Hit Parade. They dynamically sung their songs in both English, French, Spanish and in Haitian Creole. Tabou Combo refer to themselves as the “ambassadors of Konpa.” http://www.taboucombo.com
Eventz Paul is currently the Technical Director and Productions Manager at Miami Light Project. He has been a part of this organization since 2011. He participated in Miami Light Project’s first class of the Technical Fellowship Program held at The Light Box. He joined this program hoping to improve his existing theater skills. He received training from experts in the industry that mentored and further his theater technical skills. Now, he has successfully used his professional knowledge and has had the opportunity to work with various arts organizations and venues throughout Miami including Miami Theater Center, National Young Arts Foundation, the Colony Theatre and many more. He has become an instructor and conducts audiovisual classes to incoming technical fellows.
Beth Boone has been the Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project since 1998, developing critically acclaimed artistic programs that have asserted the organization as one of the leading cultural institutions in South Florida. These programs include: the establishment of Here & Now, South Florida’s most respected commission and presenting program for community-based artists; premiere presentations of internationally acclaimed; pioneering historic international cultural exchange with Cuba; and the creation of The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse, a multi-use performance and visual art space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. She previously served as Associate Director of Development for Florida Grand Opera, Deputy Director for the Department of Cultural Affairs at Miami Dade Community College, Wolfson Campus, co-founded an Off Broadway theater company (New York Rep), and served for six years as a Program Associate in the Arts & Culture Program of the AT&T Foundation. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the College of Charleston in South Carolina, and a MFA in Theater Arts from Brandeis University in Boston, MA.