My roots go back to North Africa and the Middle East, but growing up as a first-generation Miamian I mostly assimilated to the Gringo ways of life. I was still introduced to a variety of cultures, including many Latin American ones; but I never had much contact with Brazilians until relatively recently. Really not until a few years ago, when I started dating one. That connection allowed me to dive headfirst into the culture, making up for lost time and then some.
I already had an introduction to Brazilian music, particularly Samba and Bossa Nova, but I would come to realize I had only scratched the surface. Earlier in the year I spent two weeks in my girlfriend’s hometown, Salvador de Bahia, and experiencing it firsthand gave me a newfound perspective and fondness for the people and culture there. I’d heard all about the magical energy and vibe that had enamored so many foreigners with Brazil, but you can’t really appreciate it until you experience it firsthand. When I got back home, I couldn’t help but seek out more events that would offer a taste of the energy I experienced overseas, and I discovered Samba Sundays at The Moxy Hotel.
Marco Zug hails from the small city of Sorocaba, about 100 km away from São Paulo, but has lived in Miami for over 15 years. He’s been promoting events since he was a teenager in that small town, and continued in that industry once he moved here. Initially focusing on VIP services for Brazilians vacationing in Miami, working with some of the biggest nightclubs in South Beach, eventually he began producing his own events. “My focus has always been on nightlife and my Brazilian heritage makes it easy to connect to other Brazilians here in Miami,” Zug shares.
He started Samba Sundays in 2017
at Bar da Vila in Downtown, a venue he owned at the time. The event was inspired by the tradition in Brazil of enjoying live Samba music on a Sunday, drinking beer or caipirinhas with your friends and family. The recurring party quickly gained a large following, attracting people of all backgrounds, with some Brazilians coming down from as far as Orlando.
Eventually, outgrowing the initial venue, Marco found a new home at the Moxy Hotel in South Beach. Boasting a rooftop area overlooking both the beach and the city, plus an indoor space for rainy nights and more intimate shows, it seems to be a match made in heaven. Zug shares, “The feedback has been nothing but positive so we plan to continue this event and expand it to other cities as well.”
Learn more about Samba Sundays and the other events Marco produces HERE