Even though music technology has advanced far beyond cassettes, 8-track tapes and CDs, there continue to be plenty of old-school vinyl enthusiasts. For the last four years, collectors have had a home: The Miami Record Fair.
Now held monthly at The Oasis at 2335 No. Miami Ave. in Wynwood, the event is free and open to the public. This celebration of music is hosted by the record label Terrestrial Funk from noon to 5 p.m. on the last Sunday of every month. This month it’s planned for August 28.
Daniel Edenburg, who prefers the name “Brother Dan,” is the owner, curator and manager of Terrestrial Funk, a four-year-old label that “catalogs timeless sounds that evoke the human spirit,” according to their website.
“An event like this is bigger than the person putting it together,” said Brother Dan. “It’s just putting the pieces of a community together.”
He organized the first Miami Record Fair in 2018 by getting in touch with all the record dealers he knew. It was hosted every month at Gramps, a Wynwood bar, until the pandemic hit. The event was then moved to The Oasis for its larger indoor space and air-conditioning.
At the most recent event, on July 24th, there were 28 tables stocked with crates of vinyl records for everyone to dig through, with prices as low as $10 and as high as $400, depending on its condition, rarity and artist. Some vendors there included Lulo Records, Mintage Records, Super Soul Records, Noiselab Records and Command Center Records.
Last month, a track of Afropop rhythms by the Guinean band, Bembeya Jazz National, melded nicely with the laid-back atmosphere of the event.
Visitors can easily spend hours there. The event provides a ventilated indoor and outdoor lounging area. Food options include dishes from Mr. Mandolin, Chikin, Los Buenos, Alidoro, Prince Street Pizza and Buya. If you’re thirsty, there are drinks from Wynwood’s the Tower Bar and Huacachina bar.
George Johnson, who goes by the name King George, has been selling records for 30 years in New York and 10 years here in Miami. Johnson has scores of records from artists such as James Brown, Lauryn Hill, L.L. Cool J, and Michael Jackson. “I’ve been collecting records my whole life, probably since the 80s,” said King George, owner of Super Soul Records.
Tim Dornford is a regular vendor at the fair who sells electronic, house, techno, minimal, hip-hop and 90s music as well.
“I’m always looking for rare finds,” said Dornford, who runs Command Center Records and has been collecting for over a decade now. “It’s good in terms of the community…in getting out and getting involved,” he said.
“I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager,” said Max Ng, a commercial artist selling a vinyl record collection that he’s had since the 80s. “These I’ve had for a while, so I want someone else to have the same experience, to enjoy them.” Ng is selling a $400 David Axelrod record — “Songs of Tomorrow.”
The room was full of boxes and crates overflowing with rock, folk, Latin, house, country, jazz, R&B and 80s music. There were even movie soundtracks.
Among the artists were Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Bob Marley, Aretha Franklin, The Romantics, Britney Spears, Usher and Paul McCartney.
“Usually when I go vinyl shopping, I look for new artists that I don’t know about,” said Sidney Antorcha, a Florida State University psychology student.
Antorcha, who is into alternative and rock music like AC/DC, wound up purchasing an Alice in Chains record. “It’s a pretty good selection here.”
Daniel Edenburg, who prefers the name “Brother Dan,” is the owner, curator and manager of Terrestrial Funk, a four-year-old label, whose website describes “catalogs timeless sounds that evoke the human spirit.”
“In terms of genres, I’d guess you can find just about anything since we sell out 20 tables every month and there are easily tens of thousands of records out there at any given event,” said Brother Dan, referring to the fair.
The fair began as a way to allow people in the community to buy and sell records from their collections.
“It’s getting busier and busier every month,” said Brother Dan. “We had 10 extra vendors reach out this month that I couldn’t accommodate, but maybe they could join us next month.”