Jose Elias has been a heavy hitter in the Miami music scene for decades, playing with some of the best Miami bands. Through the years I’ve witnessed him perform with the Spam Allstars, Nag Champayons, Elastic Bond, and Cortadito. Only recently did I learn that Elias is the man who began the Afro Roots Festival 20 years ago; Elias and some friends formed the musical collective the Afro-Polyphonic Space Orchestra and performed at Tobacco Road as a tribute to the music of Sun Ra. All these years later both national and international acts have been participating in the event, and this year includes a performance by none other than the Sun Ra Arkestra.
I met with Jose at his office and studio at the Center for Social Change to talk about the various musical projects he is involved in including the Afro Roots Festival. This being the largest to date with performances scheduled all the way from Jupiter to Key West. We discussed his mission with his non-profit organization, Community Arts and Culture, which aims to foster and share artistic and cultural diversity through community events. As an accomplished and Grammy Nominated producer Elias has worked with Conjunto Progresso, Locos Por Juana and is currently working with Sanba Zao as well as an Afro Roots Festival compilation. Take a look at the schedule for the festival and get out for the great programing.
Schedule of Events for the 2018 Afro Roots Festival