If you throw a rock in Key West you’ll probably hit a guitar player

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Mike Emerson –  if you throw a rock in Key West you’ll probably hit a guitar player Mike Emerson was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. He began playing guitar, which his brother Glenn bought him, at age 12. He attended high school in Northern Kentucky and would perform with bands in local country bars […]

Alex Okinczyc “Island Alex”

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Alex Okinczyc “Island Alex” Alex Okinczyc grew up in Detroit, MI and, of course, was influenced by the Motown sound but at a young age, a friend turned him onto jazz … and he was hooked. In particular, he loved jazz horns like Lee Morgan and Freddie Hubbard. Oddly enough, while growing up near the […]

Michael McCloud – Leaving Key West after 40 years.

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Michael McCloud – a plethora of useless information Michael McCloud grew up in Beckley West Virginia and decided he wanted to play music very early in childhood. His father was a man of music, but he was not a musician. His Grandmother was a piano player from Wales, she sang in Welsh. Early on his […]

Kim Gordon – angelic gently

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Kim Gordon  – angelic gently Kim Gordon was born and raised in Miami, Florida.  She was a precocious little curly red haired child who started singing in musical theater at four years old, continuing as a young singer and dancer in many of the local children’s productions. Her mother, Bernyce Gordon, taught several generations of […]

Gregory James an untold Key West music legacy

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I love Key West history, especially the music history. There aren’t many Key West historical music figures larger than Fats Navarro. Navarro learned piano at age six and picked up his first trumpet at age thirteen. He graduated from Fredrick Douglas High School and soon left for Orlando, Cincinnati, Kansas City, and on to ‘big […]

Seth Kessel – enjoying Key West when the world shutdown

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Seth Kessel Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, Seth Kessel wasn’t interested in music or a musical career until age 16, when he was invited to a private drum lesson by Steven Wolf who was touring with Annie Lennox. It was a surprising life changing experience that started an obsession with drums and music. […]

What If

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What If …. By Ralph De Palma A while back, former Key West pianist Dave Burns and I were discussing Key West legendary performer Coffee Butler. Both Dave and I lived in Miami during the 60s and 70s when Miami Beach would see major artists, like Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Tony Bennett, Guy Lombardo, and […]

You have to just believe

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Claire Caplan – You have to believe. Claire, an only child, was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Her mother, Leslie Caplan, a professional singer and classically trained, performs with the St. Louis Symphony Chorus and has performed at Carnegie Hall several times. She always encouraged Claire to sing. She sang in a local […]

Loves His Gypsy Jazz

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Alexander Michael – and his gypsy jazz Alexander Michael hails from North Minneapolis. His father, Greg, played guitar and started   teaching Alexander music at eight years old, around camp fires and in the kitchen. When Alexander was 20, he took a month long, 200 miles, confidence building sojourn along the Lake Superior Trail alone. He […]

A Music Masterpiece family

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A Music Masterpiece family   The Key West Lopez family have musical roots that trace back four generations and even further to their Bahamian music roots. Clayton Lopez is older brother to Calvin, and sister Wilhelmina (“Mina”), all gifted vocalists. Another brother Carlton is deceased. Clayton seemed to always have some kind of stringed instrument […]

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