Words and Wine

A New Level of Bohemia At Words and Wine

This article is Sponsored by HialeahComedy.com

While performance venues in Miami is at a slow dwindle, Words and Wine is undeniably prevailing. Spoken word and musical artists organized one of the best performance events in Miami. Currently located at La Bodeguita Restaurant in Hialeah; you can enjoy an adventurous evening of live entertainment on a Wednesday.

As a personal favorite spot to work on joke material and blend in with a fun crowd during the midweek; I decided to ask a few questions to its founder: Nikki Rodriguez.

Background on you and how you started Words and Wine and why?

Words and Wine started about five years ago, at our house on Biscayne. It was a communal house of artists (Jamhaus). One day I decided to invite some friends to sit around and read poetry. It ended up turning out over 50 people to read and play music. I discovered this is something to work on and continued it on since to different venues. Unfortunately, the house is scheduled to be demolished.

I am a spoken word artist myself, I started at Churchill’s and pursued it ever since. I still perform every now and then.

What do you look for in a venue to host the Words and Wine events?

Once I decided to move on from the Jamhaus, I went to the American Legion a veteran watering hole on the East side of Miami. It blew up! Even under aged attendees began appearing. That’s when I decided to get professionally organized to grow this scene. I began looking for anywhere management allowed us to get a percentage of the bar deal and saw value in what Words and Wine can do; and most importantly someone that would like to have us there, rather than someone solely pursuing sales and money.

What’s the Timeline of the venues Words and Wine was featured in?

  1. The Jamhaus
  2. The American Legion
  3. Electric Pickle
  4. PAX
  5. Moonchine
  6. Lala’s
  7. Hollmans
  8. The Social Lubricant
  9. Now currently at La Bodeguita
  10. UPDATE*: Now located at Churchill’s

What were some of the success and failures of Words and Wine?

The success is definitely the following. No flyers, just word of mouth from artists supporting each other.

The failures have been lack of understanding with venue management or when a venue closes down.

But it all works in our favor since we are now a Nomadic movement of artists.

Any memorable moments?

I once booked a band from Oregon called Now Is All You Have (NIAYH). They were cross country touring in a school bus and they were about to feature at the American Legion. Cops then raided the event before it even started. That was the final show at the American Legion, and I had to temporarily move it back to the JamHaus. It was a sad moment for Words and Wine. But when it returned to the JamHaus it was one big party because so many people came out to support and it was truly memorable.

Where do you see the future of Words and Wine?

My husband and I have decided to move to Oregon in the near future and would like to leave the Words and Wine legacy to someone I trust. Someone passionate for its movement and promoting the show to newer levels. Its been difficult for us in Miami, there’s talent but venues and people in Miami in general don’t support these things too much. You should know as a comedian. But I don’t pursue it to be mainstream anyway.

What do you see the local performance arts in Miami becoming?

Honestly, I dont think people here in Miami are aware that these arts are local. I’ve met some of the most talented spoken word artists, comedians, poets and musicians here in Miami, but people just don’t have an ear to the ground for them. It’s been there and will always be there. But for someone to really be big on their talents, I don’t see it deriving from this city. Only corporate live events seem to be successful.

Who are your event hosts and how did you meet?

First it was Boogalou. He started at the JamHaus and was also at the Electric Pickle and Legion and TSL. ThenĀ  I met up with Rio Chavarro aka Rio Dios Mio. A local male performer that also hosts Burlesque performances in Miami. His brother Michelangelo a great artist as well, is a good friend of ours that leads the shows when Rio is booked those nights.

Who are some artists you like and enjoy working with the most.

All of them really, but to name a few: Tamboka, Umagalera, Nativos, Michelangelo, Rio, and Ephnico. I noticed so many new talent that aren’t publically known have impressed me.

Do they find you or do you find them?

Both. Some are good friends or I’ve seen them perform live. There’s also some that hear about our events that are currently on tour that would like to be featured. I request for links and photography of their work and take it from there.

What do you look at when they send you this info?

It has to be aesthetic to our Words and Wine bohemian theme. Laid back and something people can tune in to. Can’t do heavy metal, not that I don’t like it, it just would throw off what we are trying to establish. Overall, anything pleasing to our dedicated audience.

You can catch Words and Wine performances every Wednesday at La Bodeguita in Hialeah.

If you would like to join us for comedy nights at this intimate venue; HialeahComedy.com hosts a comedy showcase every month on a Sunday.

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Manny Garavito is founder, writer and stand up comedian for Miami Comedy. Originally from Long Island, Manny moved to Miami at an early age to soak in the sun and culture. In addition, he is a freelance digital marketer.