AFRO ROOTS FESTIVAL RETURNS TO THE FLORIDA KEYS

​​Audiences can celebrate world music in the Florida Keys during the annual Afro Roots Fest with a 2022 season that includes multi-artist showcases in Key West and Islamorada.

The award-winning festival took center stage in Key West April 28-30. The music and fun heads to Islamorada on Memorial Day weekend, with shows scheduled Saturday and Sunday, May 28-29. 

Key West fans gathered April 28, at the Green Parrot Bar, 601 Whitehead St., for an evening of music by Cortadito, renowned for performing Cuban standards from the early 20th century. The band was joined onstage by Latin Grammy Award nominee Tomás Diaz, who has performed with musicians ranging from Celia Cruz to Bruce Springsteen. There is no cover charge.

The following two evenings showcased the Everglades Songbook Suite, starring Jose Elias playing selections from his compositions and soundscapes that commemorate the otherworldly beauty of South Florida’s Everglades National Park. The Everglades Songbook Suite blends acoustic stylings and natural sounds recorded in the park to create an immersive experience that celebrates its unique ecosystem, flora and fauna.

The Memorial Day weekend concerts in Islamorada will take place at the Florida Keys Brewing Co., 81611 Old Highway. Attendees can expect craft beer and melodic offerings from some of Florida’s top world-music talents.

Saturday evening’s show, beginning at 6 p.m. at the popular brewery, will spotlight the Caribbean-influenced world beat mastery of Johnny Dread, paired with the Latin-infused rhythms of Javier García.

Sunday’s musical schedule begins at 4 p.m. Audiences can sway to the sounds of the nine-piece Latin funk band Suenalo, a critically acclaimed South Florida favorite, and the funky New Orleans style of the Bad Apples Brass Band.

“As a resident of the Upper Keys, it’s gratifying to see how the festival has evolved over the course of the last four years and how festival patrons continue to embrace it.”

Both shows will be in the beer garden and admission is free. Afro Roots Fest is staged by Community Arts and Culture, a nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing understanding through the cultivation, preservation and presentation of cultural music and arts programs and experiences.

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