The Good Herb

Yerba Buena

There are only two places on Earth with the right mix of ethnic and urban influences to spawn a band like Yerba Buena: Miami and New York. This Latin-leaning, multiculti seven-piece actually has roots in both cities, though Manhattan has served as its home and launching pad for world domination through infectious, rambunctious, globe-humping Spanglofunk. And it ain't nothing but a party for these guys: Their debut album, President Alien,got a Grammy nod in 2003, and its just-released follow-up, Island Life,brims with the same saucy, sexy energy and anthemic songwriting. Both discs dip deep into the bucket of Caribbean and African rhythms, but guitarist/bandleader/visionary Andres Levin -- who's worked with artists as diverse as Chaka Khan, Tina Turner, and David Byrne -- mixes in the right blend of rock, hip-hop, and reggaeton. Island Life indeed -- in Yerba Buena's world, Manhattan lies right next to Cuba, and its skyscrapers overlook tropical beaches.

Yerba Buena plays at 9 p.m. Friday, September 23, at the Polish American Club, 1250 NW 22nd Ave., Miami. Tickets cost $25. Call 305-635-2240.

 
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