Nothing captures Miami’s urban tropical playground energy like made-in-Miami music. Which brings us to Suénalo, whose funky, Afro-Caribbean fusionista sound is as varied and alive and body-moving as its place of origin.
It’s an amalgam of the tastes and talents of the band’s many members, and Suénalo have developed and refined it for going on 21 years. A milestone that few bands reach, 21, will be celebrated in December with a birthday bash at the Miami Beach Bandshell, and with Suénalo delivering the mix of block party jam and high-life patio soiree that is their live-show signature.
Birthed out of Miami’s DIY music scene in the early 2000s, the band formed under the vision and direction of founder Phil Maranges, whose recent passing his band mates announced in September on Instagram.
“Phil’s jam band, reggae, and Afrobeat influences along with his unmistakable wah-wah guitar playing are foundational components of the band’s early identity,” the post reads, “but it was his ability to bring musicians and elements of Miami into the sound of the band that allowed so much of Miami to feel represented by the music.”
In an interview, original band member Tony “Smurphio” Laurencio tells PureHoney that he and Maranges were living in Monkey Village, an artist commune in Little Havana, when Maranges corralled them and other housemates into a multi-piece jam band that began performing nearly overnight without any practice or rehearsal.
Members have come, gone, and returned over the two decades since. Though a more refined version of itself today versus its DIY beginnings, Suénalo’s core, as current member Adrian Gonzalez says, still proudly resides in the tagline the band coined for itself: “Afro-Latin baby-makin’ descarga funk.”
A tribute to Maranges and to Miami’s melting pot culture, the Bandshell gig will feature cameos from past members and roll out a new single, “It Takes Two,” ahead of a new album, “Dive Bar All Stars,” due in 2024. If it weren’t clear already, band member Amin De Jesus confirms to PureHoney that “90% of the set is dance music.” So get ready.
Suénalo perform 7pm Thursday, December 21 at Miami Beach Bandshell.
This article originally appeared in PureHoney Magazine. Check them out here.