Saturday, October 8, 2011

Miami Music

The Miami music scene is an extremely significant part of American culture. The southern states have always been at the heart of popular country and jazz music, but Miami in particular, has its own very unique sound. For music fans on a tour of the US southern states of Nashville and New Orleans, don’t forget to add Miami to your itinerary, and here’s why.

Miami is diverse. There are influences from its Caribbean neighbours, as well as the very popular disco beats originating from the ‘70’s, and there are a whole host of famous names who originated from the city.

Latin. The Cubans brought with them the Rumba and the Congo, the Dominicans brought the Bachata and the Meringue, the Caribbean residents brought Reggae, Calypso and the steel drums (love them or hate them), and the Brazilians brought the Samba. All these rhythms combine to make Miami a hip swinging place to dance, or, if you’ve got two left feet, to admire how these dances look so effortless! If you do suffer from lack of rhythm then perhaps stick to reggae, where you can sway without really having to move your feet too much. On the other hand, if you’re feeling pretty flexible consider the meringue or the samba, but be prepared to end up in a tangle.

Even the kids are doing it!

If Latin isn’t your thing, what about Disco? The 1970’s were huge in Miami with bands like KC and the Sunshine band and the Bee Gees, later came names such as Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound machine. This type of music was in its heyday until the 80’s, when tight trousers and big hair do’s were all part of the look. Then came the ‘80’s and 90’s when dance music was the style of the day. If you thought the meringue was difficult don’t even consider Freestyle and Hip-hop, where spinning around on your back is one of the moves you’ll need to master. Acts such as Debbie Deb, Expose, and Pretty Tony all originated from Miami, and in contrast so did Cat Power and Iron & Wine, two Indie acts.

Amazing Hip Hop in Miami

Rock. Perhaps the most famous rock star, from neighbouring Fort Lauderdale, is Marilyn Manson, a band who got their name from a combination of Marylyn Monroe and Charles Manson. Definitely no nifty footwork needed to appreciate their music.

Miami Bass. Now don’t try this in your motorhome rental or campervan hire vehicle, because if you blow up the speakers, you’ll have to pay for them. Miami Base is the kind of music you play in your vehicle at extremely high levels with all the windows open, and acts feature names such as 95 South, Quad City DJ’s, and Tag Team.

Finally, if you haven’t got a clue what any of this all means, and the names don’t ring any bells, why not take in one of the many music festivals that Miami hosts each year. There’s the Winter Music Conference, the largest dance festival in the world, and the Ultra Music Festival, or visit one of the clubs such as Space, which is the US equivalent of Ibiza.

Whatever your taste in music, if you’re travelling to Miami on a motorhome rental or campervan hire holiday, you’re bound to find something that you can tap your toes to.

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