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Last week I spoke to Carlos Garcia, owner of The Stage, the state-of-the-art live music venue that will host The 1st Annual Soul Fest Weekend from July 29 through 31, 2011. Soul Fest will feature top-notch live musical performances from groups such as Albert Castiglia, Electric Piquete, Stokeswood and Joel DaSilva & the Midnight Howl. In addition, Soul Fest will feature a live, month-long art exhibition and yummy culinary delights — think southern fried chicken — in collaboration with Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink.

The Stage.

 

Neil de la Flor: What are your long- and short-term goals for The 1st Annual Soul Fest Weekend?

Carlos Garcia: This weekend festival focuses on the era when soul music prevailed. In honor of the 1950s through 1960s, The Stage will transform its multifaceted space into the “Soul of Miami Music” from July 29 through 31, 2011. The festival includes live musical performances, live art, classic cocktails and exclusive culinary components, all with a modern soulful twist and in collaboration with Design District neighbors Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and LEBO Studios. The primary element of this weekend is a series of sensational live musical performances by a medley of The Stage’s most celebrated acts (traveling and local). The line-up represents the evolution of soul music with a broad range of styles, sounds and influences. We want to create a cultural experience for our guests that mirrors what they would find in the hippest sections of cities like New Orleans. People shouldn’t have to leave Miami to find genuine events. The goal is to establish a following and recreate Soul Fest Weekend each year.

ND: The event promises to showcase live art, music, mixology and delicious gourmet food. Why is this fusion of elements so important to the success of the event?

CG: There’s always more than just music at The Stage, and we want to make sure everyone knows that. This particular weekend encompasses incredible elements that will certainly draw a diverse crowd. We wanted to create something special for music lovers, foodies and art aficionados … to bring everyone together for three culture-filled nights. We’re also very proud to include neighbors — Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Lebo Studios — which are both based in the Design District. Michael Schwartz and LEBO, respectively, are internationally acclaimed and will take the stage during Soul Fest Weekend.

ND: What are some of the big highlights Knight Arts readers may be interested in?

CG: The primary element of this weekend is a series of sensational live musical performances by a medley of The Stage’s most celebrated acts (traveling and local). The line-up represents the evolution of soul music with a broad range of styles, sounds and influences. At LEBO Live, LEBO will reveal a special month-long exhibit with a focus on the soul during Soul Fest Weekend at The Stage. Guests will have a rare opportunity to experience a live performance by the wildly popular artist and his VJ on Saturday night.

And there’s Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink food cart, an exclusive modern soul food menu. Highlights include southern fried chicken, chef de cuisine Bradley Herron’s now coveted Georgia Peach & Local Radish Salad and Junk-in-the-Trunk Brownies from acclaimed pastry chef Hedy Goldsmith. The restaurant’s bar manager and resident mixologist, Ryan Goodspeed, will guest bartend with Cricket Nelson, The Stage’s in-house cocktail guru, to share contemporary interpretations of classic cocktails from the mid-20th century.

ND: On a broader note, how do you envision or see The Stage’s role in cultivating and growing Miami’s art scene? ‘

CG: Years before we opened the venue, we envisioned The Stage as a cultural center that would showcase art in a variety of ways, including different genres of music, theater, comedy, art exhibits and showcases, etc. We now are able to open our doors to people of all ages for everything from jazz nights to family days. As a destination in the epicenter of Miami’s arts and music community, we believe we’re leading by example and welcome more to follow in this movement.

SOUL FEST WEEKEND ITINERARY:

Friday, July 29 – The Soul of Miami Music, 21+
9 p.m. till – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink on location with food cart
11 p.m. – Live performance by Electric Piquete
1 a.m. – Live Performance by the Legendary JC’s
Price: $5 admission

Saturday, July 30 – The Soul of Miami Music, 21+ after 9 p.m.
5 to 9 p.m. – “Day Vent” — free daytime backyard BBQ with modern soul music, 18+
9 p.m. till – Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink on location with food cart
11 p.m. – LEBO Live
12:15 a.m. till – Live performance by Stokeswood
Price: $5 admission
Food: See Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink food cart menu below

Sunday, July 31 – Blues & Soul Sunday, 21+
4 p.m. till – Ms. Cheezious on location with food truck – modern soul food menu
Live Performances by:
4 p.m. – Big Poppa E
6 p.m. – The Gladezmen
8 p.m. – Joel DaSilva & the Midnight Howl
10 p.m. – Albert Castiglia
Price: $5 admission
Food: Ms. Cheezious food truck

For more information about tickets and a full listing of scheduled performances, please visit http://thestagemiami.com/2011/05/13/the-show-2/.

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