In celebration of the band’s 10th anniversary, here’s a two-part post about the history of the band, from the first notes to current day. This is part one of two. Celebrate with the band at Ball & Chain on Friday, August 11, 2017, beginning at 10: 30 p.m. 

 

It seemingly all began during the summer of 2007. Ed Rosado and Michael Mut had just collaborated on a studio recording at The Shack North in Hialeah, FL. Rosado had spent the better part of a decade in musical semi-retirement. Although he played sporadically at his home studio, he was nowhere near as active as he had been, leading a Latin jazz quintet, founding and drumming for two area fusion groups, and more. Mut had invited the former to be a part of an EP by his Latin rock band, which had released a full-length on Sony Discos, toured as far north as Boston, and had a couple of videos placed on regular rotation on MTV Latino. Unfortunately, although all the instrumental tracks were completed, the project went nowhere, and the Latin rock group disbanded shortly thereafter. However, the duo continued to work together, putting together the bassist’s riffs and outtakes, forming the basis of what would become Electric Piquete.

 

Naturally, there is history between the two principals. They met in February of 1993 at the North Miami Beach warehouse of the company that was then called Bassin Distributors (today operating as Alliance Entertainment Corporation). They shared a twisted sense of humor and a preference for a certain herbal remedy. Ed and Michael bonded over lunch, a supervisor / employee relationship and a love of heavy music. Rosado quickly discerned a lack of fusion and Latin jazz in Mut’s musical palate, so he began making mix tapes that featured Return to Forever, Larry Coryell, the Fania Allstars, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Cal Tjader / Eddie Palmieri, King Crimson, and others. Ed also invited Michael to sit in with his avant-garde fusion band Rezidue on alto saxophone, giving him his first taste of a professional performance setting at the Stephen Talkhouse.

 

Back to the future: as summer of ‘07 turned to fall, there was talk of a Rezidue reunion at the yearly Hialeahfest, a multi-band fundraiser held at Churchill’s Pub. Although it didn’t materialize, the two seized on the outdoor patio timeslot afforded them and took the opportunity to debut a few new songs, a cover and a jam. By this time they had been working with guitarist Miguel Suarez for a couple of months, and invited three friends / percussionists to join the fray: Izo Besares on bongos, Rey Diaz and Tony Suarez on congas. The band’s set was shot on a handheld camera by Ruben de la Rosa and photographed by Teajay Smith. Although there was a torrential downpour mid-set, the performance was generally well-received and inspired the core to push on.

 

If 2007 birthed the band, 2008 served as the incubating period. Current members Chris Correoso and Rich Dixon joined the band on guitar and trumpet / flugelhorn, respectively. During this period, the group was also helped along by contributions from Jorge de la Paz on guitar, Ozzy Reyes on tenor sax, and John Normandin on trombone. They continued to write original material and expand their repertoire of covers and standards. Soon they settled on the band name, which was a nod to Jimi Hendrix and John McLaughlin, as well as their bi-lingual English / Spanish and bi-cultural American / Caribbean roots. By the fall of that year, there was enough material for two sets of music, and the band began promoting themselves on social media and actively seeking gigs. The band returned to the ’08 edition of Hialeahfest and also played a private party at the Shack North Annex to celebrate Ed’s birthday in October.

 

2009 is the year that the band not only began playing out regularly, but established themselves as a one of Miami’s premiere Latin funk acts. The Red Bar Gallery in Brickell is the site of their first official bar / lounge gig on January 7 of that year, but during the first quarter of that year alone, they also performed at Tobacco Road January 23 and 31, and February 7, Red Bar February 18, Lakes Café February 26, at the Carnaval on the Mile March 7, and once again at Lakes Café for Michael’s birthday on March 13. They returned for a third engagement at the Miami Lakes sports bar and grill on the 19th of the month, marking the end of their first official residency. The band notably got one of their first press mentions in the Miami Herald’s Weekend Ticket column on March 6. That year, they also played Jazid, Dolphin Mall, Bougainvilleas, and Cuba Nostalgia for the first time, and appeared on the WDNA 88.9 FM program Sound Theory Live for the first of several times.

 

The band achieved two other very important milestones in 2009. In June, Electric Piquete was named “Best Latin Band” by the Miami New Times, a surprise considering the amount of talent that was making the rounds at the time. In the fall, the band also entered the studio for the first time to cut tracks for what would eventually become their debut self-titled EP. Sessions were held at the Shack North Studio with long-time friend and musician Ferny Coipel (I Don’t Know, Humbert) at the helm. They continued to return to many of the same venues, to ever-widening audiences, and closed that eventful year by playing the Great Gatsby-themed gala for Educate Tomorrow at the Deering Estate, and a Phish-inspired Landarado Festival at Churchill’s Pub, both in December.

 

2010 proved to be a year where the band continued to broaden its audience and continued to work on new material, both live and in the studio. In March, they played blistering sets at Carnaval on the Mile, and the 8th Street Jam on Calle Ocho. That summer, they made their Broward County debut at the Hollywood Beach Theater, and their Monroe County debut at Pontunes in Key Largo. Electric Piquete returned to the live FM airwaves in September, appearing once again on the Sound Theory Live show on WDNA, and once again in November as a rebroadcast.

 

The band found new hotspots to play around town, including Moonchine in the MiMo district, Jada Coles east of Coral Gables, and their namesake Wynwood club the Electric Pickle. By fall of that year, Rosado, the group’s co-founder, drummer, vocalist and arranger, had become well-established as the band’s graphic artist. He debuted a piece called “Funktraption”, which eventually became the cover of the band’s EP. They closed the year out at Tobacco Road with a toy drive for the Gildiana Soza Foundation.

 

2011 was another seminal year in the history of “Miami’s Latin funk fusionistas”, one full of firsts. They had their first official photo shoot in January, lensed by Karen Keesler. They collaborated with musician / DJ / producer Andrew Yeomanson AKA DJ Le Spam for the first time on a remix of the band’s original song “Mother Smother”, featuring vocals by Spam Allstars Mercedes Abal and Jose Tomas Diaz on vocals (the first EP song to feature vocals). In March they played the Midtown music hotspot The Stage Miami for the first time during their CD release party, celebrating the group’s first physical and digital music release. The band were featured in the Miami Herald for the first time in the newspaper’s special 50th anniversary report about the Bay of Pigs invasion that April, playing live on the Herald’s bayfront terrace. Also that month, the band played Hoy Como Ayer in Little Havana for a special lanzamiento party.

 

Electric Piquete also played Fort Lauderdale for the first time at The Poorhouse in June. The art / music house PAX hosted the band for the first time in August, and the band also played one of their first private parties that same month. September saw EP debut at Marlins Park.  In addition, they played the South Florida International Auto Show for the first time in October, leading to their first-ever music placement deal through Lexus. Also, they celebrated The Stage’s 1st anniversary in November. EP closed out this most eventful year by debuting at The Falls Mall December 16 and playing the Hollywood Beach Theater on December 30.

 

Click here to view a gallery of photos to accompany the post. Coming soon: 10 Years of EP, Part 2! 

 

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