Entrepreneur: Miguel Ivery (Afro Baile) featured in Phoenix Business Journal | Expose the valley to Latin American Culture!
Steven Totten ReporterOct 1, 2017, 4:06pm MST
In the same way an office worker makes copies or files reports, Miguel Ivery scoures through record collections for his gig as a DJ. It was a fairly typical routine, almost to the point that he’d do it absent-mindedly, which is what happened with a world music compilation he bought.
“I had listened to the front side in the record store and hadn’t paid attention to the back side,” he said.
A short time later he was sitting in his studio, flipped that same record over and found a song that would change his life: a 1969 recording of “Take It Easy My Brother Charles” by Brazilian artist Jorge Ben Jor.
“I listened to it and thought it was amazing,” said Ivery. “I did a lot of digging and found all this cool black music in Brazil from the ‘60s and ‘70s and was like ‘wow.’”
Once Ivery began finding Brazilian music during that period — tropicalia, samba, batucada — he decided to start a monthly event highlighting his discoveries.
Brazilian artists began to take notice of Ivery’s event via MySpace, the prominent social media network at the time.
“I started getting all these bands in Brazil saying they wanted to come and play, sending me hundreds and hundreds of songs, so I made a compilation,” he said. “It skyrocketed with radio play all over the world. I couldn’t even keep up with it.”
The success led Ivery to start his own record label, called Afro Baile, in 2008. It now has more than 20 albums and 40 artists.
All the exposure to Brazilian music inspired Ivery to showcase the culture to the Valley. He founded the Brazilian Day Arizona festival, which features every cultural aspect of Brazil.
What began with 500 attendees in Tempe now has had more than 25,000 attendees since its inception, held at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts.
Ivery has accomplished both the record label and the event independently and self-funded.
“I do all the booking, marketing, design and press releases,” he said. “We need a cultural hub to support Latin American arts and culture, because there’s such a stigma of negativity of Latin American culture here. We want to show there’s a positive influence.”
www.Afrobaile.com | www.BrazilianDayArizona.com | www.BombaFestiva.com | www.DJSeduce.com
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