When Miami native Aaron Lebos was a kid, his parents told him to choose between violin and piano. "I chose piano," he says, "obviously." But his big brother played electric guitar, and he wanted to too. He thought it was "cooler." Eventually, he got his hands on a guitar of his own and made his way through jazz studies programs at Miami Dade College, University of Miami and FIU.
For the last 14 years, WXPN host and producer Robert Drake has programmed and hosted a 24-hour holiday-music marathon called The Night Before, aired from midnight to midnight on Dec. 24. We decided this year to put more jingle in the jangle and create Jingle Jams on XPN2, a 24/7 stream of holiday music.
The Cuban government officially doesn't like reggaeton. As some of you know, reggaeton is that mix of Jamaican dancehall music and Spanish hip hop that you hear blasted through car speakers all over Miami and in almost any club you go to in the city.
I would say reggaeton is an acquired taste, but the Cuban government was some pretty serious feelings about this.
Just two blocks west of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, progressive metal band Neolythyc is rehearsing in a cramped, dark, converted garage. The rehearsal space is just a stone's-throw from Holiday Park, the last known address of jazz legend Jaco Pastorius.
The four members of Neolythyc are all 17 years old, born nearly a decade after Pastorius's death in 1987. But bass player Jerry Caceres refers to Jaco as "one of the old homies from down the block."
Forty-five-year-old Tammy Goss is sitting on a park bench in a small patch of green wedged between Dixie Highway and the FEC railroad tracks. Staring down from the southeast wall of the corner community center is a huge blue-toned mural of a man's face, his fingers curled around an electric bass guitar. She knows his name.
“Jaco Pastorius, I think,” says Goss.
But that's all she really knows about John Francis Pastorius III.