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Deep City: The Birth of the Miami Sound

Directed by: Marlon Johnson, Dennis Scholl & Chad Tingle | 2014 | 57m | Unrated

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HistoryMiami Museum’s CultureFest 305 is going virtual on November 14th and 15th, 2020! We invite you to celebrate life in the Magic City and the unique cultural practices that make Miami, Miami. Over two days, enjoy online performances, workshops, and demonstrations with some of the city’s finest traditional artists, dancers, and musicians. Visit the festival’s webpage for craft activities, videos, and more to keep exploring all that makes Miami the diverse, vibrant, and extraordinary city we love.

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O Cinema is proud to partner with HistoryMiami Museum’s CultureFest 305 – celebrating what makes Miami, Miami! As part of the festival, we’re thrilled to offer a FREE virtual screening of DEEP CITY: THE BIRTH OF THE MIAMI SOUND!

Before K.C and the Sunshine Band made audiences “Shake, Shake, Shake” before Gloria Estefan’s rhythmic Miami Sound Machine scorched the airways, before Luther Campbell’s raunchy 2 Live Crew made America cringe, South Florida had Deep City Records.

In the mid-60s, Miami had a burgeoning soul scene to rival Motown in Detroit or Stax in Memphis. Started by producers Johnny Pearsall and Willie Clarke, Deep City Records was Florida’s first black-owned record label. With its unique blend of Caribbean rhythm and marching-band cadences, Deep City was churning out the best soul music south of the Mason Dixon, creating what would later be termed, the “Miami Sound”. In their prime, Deep City produced exquisite artists with top-notch sounds including Clarence ‘Blowfly’ Reid, Betty Wright, Paul Kelly, and Helene Smith. While they may not be household names, all had hit songs and their influence spread further than their own fame.

An official selection of SXSW and Miami Film Festival, DEEP CITY: THE BIRTH OF THE MIAMI SOUND is a fascinating look at a forgotten portion of Miami’s and American music history.