Blog

KOUBEK CENTER’S LITTLE HAVANA SOCIAL CLUB RETURNS WITH TAMBORES

Written By Artburst Editor
February 21, 2024 at 9:53 AM

The Puerto Rican sextet Mofongo de Plena, founded by Edwin Gonzalez in Miami in 2019, will perform along with four other groups in the Koubek Center’s Little Havana Social Club, Tambores III, at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24, in the center’s gardens. (Photo courtesy of Carol Ivete)

Koubek Center’s Little Havana Social Club returns with a new installment in its signature program that channels the spirit of a fiesta de barrio outdoors in the center’s gardens. Tambores III celebrates the percussive traditions of the Caribbean, Latin America and Africa.

“The Little Havana Social Club series is one of the pillar programs of our programming. It is a series that inspires, represents and entertains our diverse community,” says Melissa Messulam, the director of the Koubek Center.

Roots reggae band Jah Steve and the Counteract Crew is part of Tambores III at the Koubek Center on Saturday, Feb. 24. (Photo courtesy of Susie Fineberg)

The program, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24 at Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center Garden in Little Havana, features musical artists Mofongo de Plena, Jah Steve and the Counteract Band, the Delou African Dance Ensemble, Jacob Henriquez and La Herencia Tipica, with Latin Grammy-nominated musician, producer and deejay, Mr. Pauer, as emcee.

Messulam talks about the groups performing in Tambores III.

“We are very excited to count with such a diverse program that is truly representative of our varied Miami community, from Delou Africa which has been working in our community for over 30 years to Puerto Rico’s Mofongo de Plena who formed recently in 2019 and, of course, the iconic Mr Pauer who has been the pioneer of the electrópico sound,” she says.

The groups are carefully selected for their strong percussive tradition but also keeping in mind the communities they represent, says the director, adding that there is mindful attention to the programming “to have a night at the Koubek Center where both the Spanish and English-speaking members of our Caribbean communities can share their cultures with one another.”

With this new installment of Little Havana Social Club, its percussion that’s in the spotlight.

“The drum is such a powerful instrument that moves and connects people, even to the point where in many cultures it is actually used to communicate with one another. We wanted to honor this iconic instrument by connecting our diverse Caribbean communities and hopefully expose audiences to new sounds and rhythms that very much represent our Magic City,” says Messulam.

Miami-based organization Delou Africa has been the ambassador of African dance and drumming in South Florida for almost four decades. (Photo courtesy of Innovative Arts Photography)

Delou Africa Dance Ensemble (D.A.D.E.), founded by Trinidadian dancer and educator Njeri Plato in 1987, is a traditional West African dance, drum, and music performing arts company whose mission is to showcase and preserve African heritage in South Florida.

At Tambores III, they will perform a showcase of traditional music featuring acoustic instruments like the Balafon, Bote, Krin, Djembe, Dun Duns along with dance and songs from a variety of countries in the region of West Africa.

The Delou Africa collective is made up of drummers, musicians, dancers and oral historians and storytellers keeping in accordance with its platform to educate.

“Preserving African heritage is the lifeline of our timeless traditions that is passed down from generation to generation. We foster awareness and teach history that is vital to one’s identity, lineage, and self-worth,” explains Plato.  “The language of music is universal which connects people from all walks of life through cultural artistic expression.”

In addition to Delou, Tambores III features:

Mofongo de Plena focuses on plena, a traditional musical style that originated in Ponce, a major city on the Southern coast of Puerto Rico. (Photo courtesy of Carol Ivete)

Miami-born accordionist Jacob Henriquez, 18, will represent the Dominican Republic in Tambores III. He is the youngest member of a merengue dynasty, including his father and guiro player Julio Henriquez, and his uncle, the late master accordionist and composer Domingo “Tatico” Henriquez. He will perform with La Herencia Tipica, a classic group featuring tambora, guiro, bass, accordion and vocals.

Jah Steve and the Counteract Crew is a roots reggae band featuring a combination of old-school reggae sound and socially aware lyrics. Counteract Crew is led by bassist Jah Steve (aka Steve McGowan), who for 15 years was the band leader and bassist for South Florida Reggae show band 4th Dimension.

As emcee for Tambores III, Venezuelan Latin Grammy-nominated artist, producer and DJ Mr. Pauer has developed a personal sound blending rhythms connected to his Latin roots with electronic global beats, which he calls “electropical.”

“Creating and sharing art connects us to our city and to each other,” says Messulam.

The Delou Africa collective comprises drummers, musicians, dancers and storytellers (Innovative Arts Photography)

The director adds that through programs such as Little Havana Social Club, the Koubek should be a place for artists and local arts organizations to explore and experiment, engage in collaborations, and share their work with the community.

” ‘Little Havana Social Club’ is informed by a spirit of inclusion and cooperation, with a focus on highlighting emerging and established local artists and providing opportunities for exceptionally talented individuals and underrepresented voices.”

WHAT:  Little Havana Social Club Tambores III

WHEN:  8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24

WHERE: Koubek Center Garden, 2705 SW 3rd St., Miami

COST: $15 online in advance, $20 at the door. Tickets at www.squadup.com. Parking is free.

INFORMATION: koubekcenter.org

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com

latest posts

“Miami Women” exhibition celebrates resilience and woma...

Written By Isabel Rivera,

What began as a project to document the stories of remarkable Miami women through photos and writings grew to include a network of women from 17 countries sharing their narratives, all connected by their hometown.

O Cinema Film Series Highlights Social Justice Issues, ...

Written By Gina Margillo,

O Cinema has partnered with The Southern Circuit Tour of Independent Filmmakers to present a series of socially relevant, timely documentaries that prioritize Southern artists and the issues of our time.

Arts for Learning/Miami ArtWorks Paid Summer Internship...

Written By Josie Gulliksen,

Film interns of A4L Miami’s ArtWorks program produced a short film based on Shakespeare’s Macbeth, writing, directing and producing the film with guidance from an A4L Teaching Artist. Photo courtesy A4L Miami. A paid summer arts internship program is invaluable for students to gain experience prior to entering college and for 12 years Arts for Learning/Miami has been providing just