What started as "Back Yard BBQ Jam Sessions" grew into a real live band, with a fourteen year track record of making music in South Florida and making friends. What a ride!
I was privileged to be there and participate from beginning to end. First I was invited to hang out with a group of guys who were rehearsing for a church function/fundraiser and then....."Hey can you follow this beat". The rest is history and a great friendship was born with a group of guys that are unparalleled in their dedication to music.
Over the years I collected a series of items that are mementos of the events and functions we performed at, so when we decided to stop playing, I thought I would turn our WEB domain into a Virtual Scrapbook of the band.
Latin Groove was officially born in September of 1997 as a precursor to a small church event at St Timothy Catholic Church in Miami. Of the original six members of the band, five were parishioners and had been asked to put together some music for a party. In the interest of sounding as good as possible they rehearsed a few times and in the process realized that they had to organize themselves as a band to be able to pull it off. Some of the guys had some music education, one was a music teacher, a couple of others could feel the music, but couldn’t read a note. It was this ragtime team of would-be musicians that would start a band, which would eventually play functions and venues that not even the best among them could have imagined.
At first Latin Groove was a six man combo dedicated mostly to Latin Jazz. Over time the guys expanded the repertoire to include various genres of cuban music and other caribbean rthyms; good old fashioned rock & roll also made into the mix, as did some disco and funk. They had grown up with a variety of sounds and it showed in the repertoire.
The band eventually grew to ten members and a variety of instruments that gave the band a real depth in its sound. Over the years the core group would remain the same and a list of go-to musicians was developed for each instrument. We were privileged to be joined on many occasions by musicians that had played with the best Latin Professional Musicians of our time and also became part of our extended brotherhood.
Our band was the most unique balance of hobby and professionalism. No one ever quit their day job, but when it came to the music we took it as seriously as if we had. This kept us sharp and eventually earned us the respect of people in South Florida's Musician’s Community. It is a great honor that many of them played with us and encouraged us to keep on with our hobby.
Here is to Latin Groove and to my friends. Thanks for letting me be part of it.