Soul of Key West, Volume III


The book is at the printer and should be ready for deliver this December (2023).

The original Soul of Key West was released November 22, 2013 at the Studios of Key West. Soul of Key West, Volume II was released December 19, 2015. The Soul of Havana was released in 2017. The long overdue Volume III will be released this December at the Studios of Key West, celebrating ten years of Key West music and musicians.

The Key West music scene is a wonderful extremely complex tapestry.   The 200+ gorgeous photos without the musicians stories would have presented only a narrow view. Their stories add interesting anecdotes and there is a lot to learn about these Key West treasures.

  • Michael McCloud refused to be interviewed for Volume I or II, he is featured in Volume III. His story is so interesting it will be told in two sections. After 31 fantastic years of entertaining at Schooner Wharf Bar he retired April 30. His interview was long and all encompassing (over 2.5 hours). There will be a separate section of Michael McCloud/ Shel Silverstein collaborations.
  • The Shel Silverstein Key West story will be told by the musicians that worked with this Hall of Fame Songwriter. We will find out what Silvia’s Mother really said, and explore the Ballad of Harry Powell.
  • Other Key West notables that were included are Ellen Welters Sanchez who was Fats Navarro, and Coffee Butler’s piano teacher and taught piano to almost everyone else in Key West for over 60 years. Robin Kaplan who saw a need for free children’s music instruction after “Miss Ellen” could no longer teach, started the Bahama Village Music Program in 1999 in her honor.
  • There is a very cool story of closing night (and part of the next day) at the legendary Full Moon Saloon.   
  • The last decade has seen a changing of the guard in the Key West music scene. Many of the older veterans are gone and a new generation is taking over. Many of the “young guns” will be featured in Volume III – Andy Wescott, Claire Finley, Jerrod Isaman, Turner Harrison, Gregory James, Alexander Michael to name a few.



“The Soul of Key West, Volume III” is a 120 page anthology of the Key West music scene, as told by the musicians. Their stories are the true description of the lives of professional musicians in Key West. The book includes 43 interviews, and over 200 hundred photographs.
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