Meet Miamibloco’s Brian Potts & suOm Francis

📸 Photo by George Peralta

Hello, hello, Brian and suOm! Tell me a little about your work around town.

We are Miamibloco, an impact-driven community organization that honors the power of Brazilian percussion and the rhythms and cultures of the African diaspora found in Miami with respect and sabor like only the 305 can.

Miamibloco started in 2017 and today has a bateria of 43 drummers (and growing) that includes professional high-caliber musicians and people from all walks of life who have committed to learn and play at a high level. In Miamibloco, we are all the same and we give people the tools to succeed and enjoy themselves.

We turn Afro Brazilian music and rhythms into the cultural glue that binds Miami’s unique diverse communities together and helps people connect through community percussion and dance workshops during our seasonal residencies and pop ups around town.

Our motto is “Somos Miami, Bro!” because we are proud to be #305tillIdie and through our work, we can give Miamians another great community to rep proudly AND be a part of. Check out our percussion workshops and classes throughout the season and learn to play with us so you can perform in our end-of-season Brazilian Social!

That is quite the endeavor! How does our community influence your work?

There is no Miamibloco without Miami, where Brazilian traditions meet the 305 global sound.

Miamibloco is a group of people that play diverse rhythms and unique individual grooves, with the respect and understanding that the collective sound makes for a banging party. We see the spirit of the 305 reflected in the diversity of our bateria, the community we attract and the wide variety of sounds we play.

Outside of the community building you do with Miamibloco, what brings you most alive about the 305?

Places and communities like Earth ‘n’ Us farm — that are a legendary stronghold of communal living, that prioritize nature and human connection through joy and play — offer a sense of purpose, hope and respect that is grounding and makes us feel proud of be part of the Miami community.

What’s your favorite Miami memory?

Mapping out the mango and nispero trees in various neighborhoods around town with friends and checking on the trees patiently. We would offer to harvest the fruit and make jams to share with the tree owners in exchange.

If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?

The sabich pita from Etzel Itzik with a frozen mint lemonade.

Great choice! Where else would you go on your perfect Miami day?

Start the morning with breakfast at the Glaser Farm farmers market in the Grove, walk it off while looking at art at PAMM, and ending the night with whatever live music is happening at the Miami Beach Bandshell because their programing is impeccable.

What’s your favorite local social media account to follow?

@purehoneymagazine shares the best curated live music and community events in South Florida and has a beautifully designed physical newspaper for FREE that’s filled with great, collectible content.

If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?

A robust and dependable public transportation system that truly connected people so that we could experience true spontaneity, jam, and offer joy-centered opportunities shared in community.

If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?

Meet your neighbors, find out what they are about and form community together. Find ways to interact and build trust with the people around you, it makes for a better quality of life all around, and makes hard times much lighter too.

What are you looking forward in 2023?

Rio de Janeiro Carnaval in February, then March 13 we start our season with an event in collaboration with FUNDarte: Miamibloco + Compahnia Urbana de Dança.

Our season ends with the Brazilian Social on Memorial Day Monday, May 29, and it’s going to be another banger for sure!

That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.