Miami Sound Machine

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Miami Sound Machine
Origin Miami, Florida, United States
Genres Latin
Years active 1975-1976 as Miami Latin Boys
1977-1989, 2002 as Miami Sound Machine
Labels Audiofon, RCA Victor label, MSM (Miami Sound Machine) Records, Discos CBS International
Past members Gloria Estefan,
Emilio Estefan Jr.
Enrique Garcia
Juan Avila
Wesley B. Wright
Roger Fisher
Gustavo Lezcano
Luis Perez
Victor Lopez
Leo Villar
Betty Cortes

Miami Sound Machine is an American band of Latin-influenced music featuring the vocals of Cuban-born artist Gloria Estefan. The band was established in 1975 as Miami Latin Boys by Emilio Estefan Jr. and became hugely successful after the joining of Gloria María Fajardo García later known as Gloria Estefan in 1977.

The band had a number of albums and a string of hit singles until 1989. The band's 1986 album Primitive Love credited the band whereas their follow-up album Let It Loose in 1987 adopted the name Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine. The latter was also repackaged as Anything For You with new cover art in the international release in Europe, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand, starting in October 1988 through early 1989.

In 1989, the group's name was dropped altogether, and Estefan was credited as a solo artist. None of the original members of Miami Sound Machine currently perform with Estefan.

Beginnings[edit]

In 1975, Emilio Estefan Jr. formed a group they named the Miami Latin Boys. In 1977, for a public performance at a Cuban wedding at Hotel Dupont, vocalists Gloria María Fajardo García and her cousin Merci Navarro joined in. The two singers impressed the band so much that they were invited to join the band permanently with the band's name changing to Miami Sound Machine.

History[edit]

The 1970s[edit]

Starting in 1977, Miami Sound Machine began recording and releasing various albums and 45s on the Audiofon Records label in Miami, Florida. The group's primary lineup now consisted six Cuban-born Americans: consisting of Emilio Estefan jr.(percussion and accordion); Gloria Estefan[formerly Fajardo-Garcia](Lead Vocals and hand percussion); Gloria's cousin, Merci Murciano[formerly Navarro](Lead Vocals), Merci's husband, Raul Murciano(keyboards); Enrique "Kiki" Garcia (drums); and Juan Marcos Avila (bass). The first album, released in 1977, was called Live Again/Renacer and was released with two different covers. The group had several more releases on the Audiofon label as well as the RCA Victor label and subsequently Miami Sound Machine's own label MSM Records. In 1979, They added American guitarist and native Miamian, Wesley B. Wright and Cuban-born Fernando Garcia on trumpet(no relationship to "Kiki" Garcia). At the end of 1979, the band was signed to Discos CBS International and released several albums, 45s, and 12"s beginning with the 1980 self-titled album Miami Sound Machine.The perfect chemistry was now set. The combination of traditional Latin rhythms and American R&B grooves (along with the songwriting talents of Gloria Estefan, "Kiki" Garcia, and Wesley B. Wright) would produce a ground-breaking, Latin crossover powerhouse that would set the musical standard for the next two decades to come, and open the door for future crossover artists in both America, and the rest of the world.

The 1980s[edit]

In 1980, MSM added a more complete horn section primarily consisting of trumpet players: Fernado Garcia, Victor "Papito" Lopez and trombonist Luis Perez. The permanent addition of a full horn section added a new dimension and would become a future MSM musical trademark. Early 1982, a second keyboardist, Roger Fisher was added, as well as the virtuoso harmonica player Gustavo Lezcano. But at the end of 1982, Gloria's cousin Merci and her husband Raul Murciano left the band, just prior to the recording of the third CBS International LP "Rio". Once painfully shy, Gloria was now the lone lead vocalist on stage and in the studio, and began to both systematically and stylistically evolve on all levels. Fisher stepped up to Murciano's piano duties. At the same time Betty Cortes was brought in as replacement for Fisher's second keyboardist role and to sing background vocals live and occasionally in the studio. during the same time period, Elena Stracuzzi was brought in to sing background vocals for live performances. In 1983 Leo Villar was added as second trumpet to replace Fernando Garcia who had left the previous year.

MSM was now quite a large ensemble. With both an expanding and sometimes changing lineup, MSM was now being focused around the primary core founding members: Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Enrique "Kiki" Garcia, Juan Marcos Avila, and frequently, founding guitarist Wesley B. Wright. By the early '80s, MSM had established themselves as major musical artists in Latin America with a strong presence in both the media and on the radio. The next major hurdle was conquered in early 1984 when a Dutch DJ began playing "Doctor Beat" in Amsterdam. Garcia's catchy lyrics, Gloria's sensual vocals, Wright's funky Guitar, and Emilio's infectious conga drums took Europe by storm with the tune eventually reaching #1 in the UK and most of Continental Europe, finally causing record labels in the US Market to take notice of the group's strong musical prowess. In late1984, the group released their first Epic/Columbia album, Eyes of Innocence, which contained the previously single and dance hit "Dr. Beat" as well as the ballad "I Need Your Love".

Their more successful follow-up album ''Primitive Love'' was released in 1985 launching three Top 10 hits on the Billboard Hot 100: "Conga" reaching number 10 on Billboard Hot 100, "Words Get in the Way" reaching number 5 and "Bad Boy" reaching number 8 became follow up hits in the U.S. and around the world. "Words Get in the Way" reached number 1 on the US Hot Adult Contemporary Tracks chart, establishing that the group could perform pop ballads as successfully as dance tunes.

The song "Hot Summer Nights" was also released that year and was part of the film Top Gun.

(Because of their popularity in both the United States and around the world, the group would continue recording and issuing various works for Discos CBS International through 1985.)

1987 and Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine[edit]

Following a massive world tour that lasted over a year (1985-1986), both guitarist Wesley B. Wright and bassist Juan Marcos Avila had left MSM. Emilio was now taking a behind the scenes producer role and no longer performing live. What was left of the current MSM, plus new members, finally returned to the studio in late 1986. By early 1987 with only one other core member "Kiki" Garcia remaining, Gloria Estefan was given top billing and the band's name was changed to Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine to jump on the sudden success of Gloria's unique vocal ability and bubbly personality on TV.

In late 1987 they released their next album, Let It Loose, and it went multi-platinum, with three million copies sold in the US alone. It featured the hits "Anything for You" reaching number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, "1-2-3" making to number 3, "Betcha Say That" to number 36, "Rhythm Is Gonna Get You" to number 5, and "Can't Stay Away from You" to number 6. "Can't Stay Away from You", "Anything for You" and "1-2-3" were all top charting singles on the Adult Contemporary hits as well.

Another world tour began and the group traveled for the first time to Europe, South America and an even more extensive tour in the United States, culminating in a finale with massive sold-out concert in their hometown of Miami, Florida, which was recorded and later sold on VHS. By 1988, founding member "Kiki" Garcia quit. With no other core members remaining other than Gloria herself, the Miami Sound Machine moniker would be eventually dropped altogether and Gloria was now officially considered a solo artist.

In 1988, after the worldwide chart success of single "Anything for You", her Let it Loose album was repackaged overseas as Anything for You. It became the band's first UK number 1 album, selling over a million copies. It was the biggest selling album of the year in The Netherlands, staying at number 1 for 22 weeks. The album also took top honors in Australia and Canada, launching Gloria Estefan to superstar status.

1989, Gloria Estefan, breakup of the original band and beyond[edit]

By 1989, the group's name was officially dropped completely, and Estefan has been credited as a solo artist ever since. None of the original members of the group that once was Miami Sound Machine currently perform with Estefan any longer.

The Miami Sound Machine moniker was resurrected briefly in 2002 with a new eponymous album and a completely different lineup consisting of Lorena Pinot, Sohanny Gross and Carla Ramirez, with Emilio Estefan producing the album. Without Gloria's signature vocals and any real connection to the original MSM lineage, the new project was only met with a moderate success in a few select European countries and failed to chart significantly in the States. [1]

In Memorium:

Merci (Navarro) Murciano: Born Dec 20, 1957 - Died February 8, 2007

Gustavo Lezcano: Born May 15, 1955 - Died May 27, 2014


Future

With 2015 being the 40th Anniversary of Emilio's original lineup (1975) and the 30th Anniversary of the MSM's USA Crossover(1985), Some fans are reportedly hoping for a long awaited Anniversary "MSM Reunion Tour", which remains to be seen.

Members[edit]

  • Gloria Estefan (1977-1988- vocals and songwriter
  • Emilio Estefan Jr.(1975-1986) - percussion
  • Enrique "Kiki" Garcia (1975-1988)- drums and songwriter
  • Juan Avila (1976-1986) bass
  • Wesley B. Wright (1979-1986)- guitar and songwriter
  • Merci (Navarro)Murciano (1977-1982)
  • Raul Murciano (1976-1982)Piano and keyboards
  • Fernando Garcia (1979-1981)
  • Luis Perez (1980-1985)- trombone
  • Victor Lopez (1980-1985)- trumpet
  • Roger Fisher (1982-1986)- Piano and keyboards
  • Gustavo Lezcano (1982-1984)- harmonica
  • Betty (Cortes)Wright (1982-1984)- synthesizer and background vocals
  • Elena Stracuzzi (1982-1983) Background vocals
  • Leo Villar (1983)- trumpet
  • Ed Calle (1985-1986)saxophone
  • Randy Barlow (1985-1988)trumpet
  • Teddy Mullet (1985-1988)trombone
  • Rafael Pedilla (1985-1988) Percussion

Discography[edit]

Albums[edit]

Singles[edit]

(Selective)

as Gloria Estefan and Miami Sound Machine

References[edit]

External links[edit]