Excursions In Tropicalia with Rum & Coke: Vol. 3

A written companion to Radio Karibe Episode 23 by Jesús Rodríguez
Words by Jesús Rodríguez

Welcome to the third volume of this thing we call Excursions in Tropicalia. We hope you’ve been enjoying the series so far, and if you have yet to check them out, explore our previous entries here.

Yours truly is in the mix for Episode 23.

For me, Radio Karibe has always held a special opportunity for me to share music that I can’t really get away with playing in a party atmosphere. 

As always, here’s a little context:

At the latter end of 2018 we were approached by the talented gentleman and all around Miami doer Patrick Walsh (aka Mutant Pete) about the possibility of starting a radio show for a live streaming station that went by the name of Klangbox FM. The prospect of this project immediately opened up a plethora of musical possibilities and it became pretty clear the approach I wanted to have on the show. This was my chance to showcase the deeper and more expansive side of all of the amazing music I was encountering that I couldn’t really play at the Rum & Coke party. 

Having now the privileged position of having our monthly party at Dante’s HiFi, where we play the entire night, we can now offer our community a taste of the Radio Karibe universe during the opening hours of each party. However, there’s something about doing some deep intentional listening in a private space that allows you to connect with music in a much more intimate manner.

For this episode, I wanted to create something along the lines of what my musical approach has been with Radio Karibe. Something for the quiet hours. 

The idea is simple: intimacy. Intimacy with yourself, intimacy with a loved one (or ones),  intimacy with your environment, with the sky, with the trees, with a plant, etc. 

I have no intent to sound preachy, we know the world has always found a way to tax our energy, whether it be our mental energy, spiritual energy or physical energy. It is very difficult for many of us to look at what’s going on around us and not feel some type of hopelessness. 

I think it would do us good to, just for a moment, give ourselves a moment to just be. So hang your cape, put yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes and let these frequencies do their work. Breathe.

Jesús’ Breakdown

Fabiano Do Nascimento is an artist I’ve been championing since his days with triorganico. A virtuoso on the guitar, Fabiano is a direct musical descendent of the legendary Baden Powell, a master of his instrument who has the unique ability of using his comprehensive musical language to actually channel emotion instead of pointless noodling. He’s been on quite a run recently (four released albums in the last year alone!), and for this episode I decided to showcase a few selections from his 2023 release, Lendas. Accompanied by a full orchestra conducted and arranged by Brazilian composer Vittor Santos, the added element of strings provides a perfect canvas for the sentimental virtuosity of Fabiano’s guitar playing. This first selection however, features the talents of Brazilian musical giant, Arthur Verocai, who provided the string arrangements and also conducted his string quartet for a composition entitled “Solo As Onze (Noite Suite).” This is lift-off.

We are then treated to the magical sounds of the Bembeya Jazz National from Guinea. The first selection is entitled “Alalakè.” A translation from the liner notes reads as follows:“It’s God who wants it… trust, goodness, friendship, if they lead you to die for others, you did not die in vain!” that’s what this Maninka song says. Beautiful Hawaiian guitar solo from Sékou-Bembéya.”

The music of Mali has always held a special place for me. There’s something very hypnotic and regal about the music here. An ancestral elegance so to speak. Nâhawa Doumbia has been one of its most important vocalists for over four decades. “Tjéfouroulé” is a beautiful song from her beautiful debut album entitled La Grande Cantatrice Malienne Vol. 1. The song features none other than her husband N’gou Bagayoko on guitar.

Carlos Hart is one of these artists that I would always imagine myself seeing on a random night in a random bar in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. One of those nights where you just spend the night in the company of good people, whether known or unknown, and drunkenly sing the night away. This selection is off his album Guitarra Suena Mas Bajo and the name of the song is “Abuelita.” I miss them both dearly. 

At the latter end of the show, we head to Cuba with late night crooning of Miriam Ramos. I was unaware of her, and in one of my record digs, I found this record and as I start looking at the liner notes, my curiosity starts peaking. “Acompañado for el grupo Algo Nuevo”… Ok damn. “Instrumentation: Juan Pablo Torres / Frank Fernandez / Grupo Moncada”…. OK damn. Then I see Jorge Soler playing synths and bass, the same Jorge Soler of Grupo Los Yoyi… OK damn! This album is going to be full of crazy latin funk…. Not quite. However, the music here was more interesting and more profound than what I had initially imagined. Like many of the albums that I played on this episode, it was hard to choose just one song, but in this context, “Oh! Vida” seemed to be the one that hit just right.

Boca Livre is one of these groups that every time I listen to them, it’s goosebumps every single time. Get a taste of those vocal harmonies and you’ll see what I mean. 

“Arado” is the name of the song before it’s time to come back home with the final selection of the program entitled “Sonho” by Fabiano Do Nascimento. 


  1. Pablo Neruda – Alturas De Macchu-Picchu (Primera Parte) [Chile]
  2. Fabiano Do Nascimento – Solo As Onze (Noite Suite) [Brazil]
  3. Bembeya Jazz National – Alalakè [Guinea]
  4. Nâhawa Doumbia – Tjéfouroulé [Mali]
  5. Bembeya Jazz National – Woulokoro [Guinea]
  6. Mann Et Marco – Dialogue [Haiti]
  7. Carlos Hart – Abuelita [Dominican Republic]
  8. Nelson Angelo E Joyce – Comunhão [Brazil]
  9. Jose Mauro – Rua Dois [Brazil]
  10. Werther – Catavento [Brazil]
  11. Gaoulé 75 – Vie Co A [Martinique]
  12. Miriam Ramos – Oh! Vida [Cuba]
  13. Boca Livre – Arado [Brazil]
  14. Fabiano Do Nascimento – Sonho [Brazil]

About Jesús Rodríguez

Jesús is an all-around Musicologist based in Miami. Born and raised in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, music has been a very present part of his life for as long as he can remember. Whether it’s playing with Rum & Coke or in his very eclectic solo sets, he oozes a passion for music that is very palpable.

Photo credit: Brooke D’Avanzo of Contigo Productions

About Rum & Coke

To learn more about Rum & Coke, you can check out the interview we did for Tigre Sounds here.

Every fourth Sunday, Rum & Coke currently host their monthly residency at Dante’s HiFi, the world renowned listening bar in Wynwood, Miami. 

Catch the Rum & Coke crew during Miami Music Week! They will be rockin’ the courtyard outside of Dante’s HiFi on Wednesday, March 20th. If you know anything of what happened the last time the crew was on the courtyard, this is not something you’ll want to miss!