Peoplewatch Bring Funking Miami Rock and Soul to Hard Rock Rising Friday Night | New Times Broward-Palm Beach


Peoplewatch Bring Funking Miami Rock and Soul to Hard Rock Rising Friday Night

Peoplewatch is a Miami trio that has been vibing since 2012. Together, drummer Alan Ash, singer Cris Diaz, and bassist Branden De Caso create an ever-evolving sound that melds jazz, funk, and soul with rock music. Ash calls it "an eclectic mix of groovy and catchy lines that will have you humming on the way home from a show." And once you hear their songs after the jump, you'll be humming them at your computer.

The band has been playing around town at places like Tobacco Road and Churchill's Pub, but most recently, they gained praise and attention at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino's Hollywood Hard Rock Rising competition. The band was of the two wild card picks in the preliminary competition, won the second round, and this weekend, on April 11, will be playing for the chance to go global. The winner heads to Rome, and Ash explains their ultimate goal is to "represent Miami to the fullest." And certainly, Italy needs a little of that spicy Miami flavor every now and again.

"All three of us are well-rounded, knowledgable musicians coming from three different walks of life," Ash explains of the group. "Cris left the banking industry to go back to school to get a degree in jazz guitar. Branden just got accepted to Berklee, in Boston." And as for Ash, he works as a loan officer at a bank that's funded his return to college to snag a bachelor's degree in business management.

The origins of the band involve a relatively mundane encounter: a chance happy hour meeting between Ash and Diaz through friends at Cadillac Ranch in Kendall. "We were both bankers at the time so we immediately connected," Ash explains. Diaz had been playing with Lounge Act, a Nirvana tribute band, and Ash was collecting drums to complete a set and get back in the game after taking six years off from the instrument.