Celebrate Miami’s diverse cultures with the expert folk artists who keep their traditions alive in the 305.
HistoryMiami’s South Florida Folklife Center is proud to present the Heritage Spotlight Series, an annual artist-in-residence program that highlights Miami-area traditional artists and cultures. Learn more about these local artists by watching the videos below.
Bahamas Junkanoo Revue practices junkanoo, a Bahamian parade tradition. The group’s performances feature handmade costumes, music, and dancing.
Founded in Miami, Florida in 1994, the Flipside Kings are an acclaimed B-Boy dance crew. Over the past 20 years, the group has grown into a collective of artists that includes dancers, graffiti/visual artists, musicians, and educators.
Nancy Billings is an expert textile artist specializing in art quilting and Jewish textile traditions. She utilizes traditional and experimental techniques in order to add a contemporary style to her pieces.
Ranjana Warier is a performer and choreographer specializing in Indian Classical dance. She is the founder of the Rhythms School of Dance, a training center for this traditional art form from India.
Reza Filsoofi is an Iranian musician specializing in multiple instruments, including santoor and setar (stringed instruments) and daf and tonbak (percussion instruments).
Puerta de Oro de Colombia is a music and dance ensemble showcasing the diverse folkloric traditions from Colombia’s distinct regions.
Seminole artist Pedro Zepeda is an expert dugout canoe carver specializing in a variety of traditional arts, including leatherwork, beading, patchwork, and basket weaving.
Liliane Nérette Louis is a Haitian folk artist from Port-au-Prince specializing in storytelling, cooking, and traditional medicine.
The Lee Boys is an ensemble specializing in sacred steel, an African American gospel music tradition.The family group consists of two generations of musicians, all of whom learned the tradition growing up in the House of God Church.
Alfredo Martinez is a dancer and musician from Veracruz, Mexico and founder of Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization. Through inventive and immersive presentations, the organization cultivates an appreciation for Mexican traditional culture and brings their heritage to life.
Mannolie DiSantos is an expert beadwork artist who specializes in creating ritual items used in the Afro-Cuban religion known as Lukumi or Santeria. She creates jewelry, garments, and tools for practitioners across the country.
Clarita Filgueiras is an expert flamenco dancer and choreographer. She has spent a lifetime mastering this Spanish art form and performs across the United States, Latin America, and Europe.
Plena Es specializes in Puerto Rican plena and bomba, percussion-driven musical traditions that reflect the island’s African heritage.
The 21st Century Steel Band performs Trinidadian steel pan (steel drum) music and is led by pan maker and player Michael Kernahan. Founded in 1978, this band performs at festivals, cultural programs, and Carnivals worldwide.
Leandro Rojas is a master musician and instrument builder who specializes in the tres, a guitar-like instrument with three pairs of strings, and the primary instrument in the Cuban son genre.
Master ceramic artist Apolinario “Polo” Ramirez practices an ancient Peruvian art form. Polo uses these traditional techniques to make contemporary designs inspired by nature and elements of Peruvian folklore.