Music & Nightlife

Miami Arts + Entertainment District to present ‘Sounds of Colombia’

Bogotan musicians Juan Pablo Vega (’Nada Personal’).
Bogotan musicians Juan Pablo Vega (’Nada Personal’). Photo provided to the Miami Herald

The Arts + Entertainment District is bringing the “Sounds of Colombia” to Miami.

From 7 to 10 p.m. June 30, Bogotan musicians Juan Pablo Vega (Nada Personal) and Paula (Nada) will serenade attendees of a free concert at Canvas Miami, 90 NE 17th St.

“Sounds of Colombia” is the first installment of a “world sound series” from the Arts + Entertainment District, though future concerts are still in the planning stages.

Isabella Acker, “curator of culture” of Prism Music Group and Arts + Entertainment District, said the event was created to highlight some of the best parts of Colombian culture.

“We really like the idea of creating a bridge between Miami and Colombia and letting people know there’s a vibrant arts and culture scene here,” Acker said.

Also to be featured at the concert are local Colombian food trucks Perros Express and Urban Desserts. Both will provide food for purchase.

Perros Express specializes in burgers, hot dogs and arepas, while Urban Desserts is known for its obleas — thin, crispy waffle sandwiches with fillings like fruit and condensed milk.

Opening the concert is Paula Arenas — known more commonly by her first name. Her single “Nada” was released in April and recently reached one million plays on Spotify.

Though she has released albums before, Arenas said the one she will release with Art House Records is the first project she can truly call her own.

“In my songs I talk about my personal experiences,” said Arenas, 28. “This last year was a whole experience for me, because it was like a personal finding, you know, finding myself.”

Though she has lived in Miami for a year and a half, “Sounds of Colombia” will be Paula’s first performance here.

“Everything I’m going to be playing at this concert is going to be new for everyone. So it’s pretty cool to see the reaction of the people.”

For the headliner, Latin Grammy nominee Juan Pablo Vega, this concert is also his first in Miami.

“My excitement is overwhelming,” Vega said. “I’ve gotten a lot of social support from fans who want me to come here.”

Vega said that because his father often listened to rock and roll, he has always been inspired by American artists.

“I feel that America has given so much to me in the way of music — it’s like I’m giving back to everything American music has given to me by playing here,” said Vega, 31.

A&E connected with the artists through Art House Records, the Miami-based label of Julio Reyes Copello. A Colombian producer, composer and songwriter, Copello produced Latin music giants including Ricky Martin and Jennifer Lopez.

Vega produced some of Paula’s songs at the beginning of her career. She said they have been friends ever since and that he introduced her to Art House.

“When Julio Reyes Copello decided to bet on me, it was because Juan Pablo introduced me to him, basically,” said Paula.

Vega likewise calls Arenas his friend, and a great talent.

“I’ve seen her grow and seen how she’s become a new artist,” he said. “I’m immensely proud to be able to play next to her.”

Attendees of the concert will hear samplings from Arenas’ upcoming album, and she will perform her own accompaniment on piano.

Afterward, Vega will likely play songs from his first album, Nada Personal, though he is currently working on his second release.

For both the food and the music, Arenas is optimistic.

“It’s going to be a real Colombian experience which makes it so good,” Arenas said.

If you go

▪ What: Free Sounds of Colombia concert, feat. Juan Pablo Vega and Paula

▪ When: Thursday, June 30, 7-10 p.m.

▪ Where: Canvas Miami, 90 NE 17th Street, Miami, Florida 33132

▪ Tickets: The event is free, but tickets are required: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sounds-of-colombia-ft-juan-pablo-vega-tickets-25650611670

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