JACKI LYDEN, host:

From the Keys we head to Miami, Little Havana, where the migration of people has created the city's vibrant music scene.

(Soundbite of music)

LYDEN: This is the laid-back groove of the Spam Allstars. Their members hail from Columbia, Cuba, Chicago, even Canada. That's where Andrew Yeomanson aka DJ Le Spam was born. And why did he name the band the Spam Allstars?

Mr. ANDREW YEOMANSON (Member, Spam Allstars): I thought it would keep it real. I thought it would be like Johnny Cash, "A Boy Named Sue," you know, where he gives his kid the worst name, so the kid's got to be the toughest kid out there.

LYDEN: The Spam Allstars have been toughing it out every Thursday night for seven years at a club in Miami called Hoy Como Ayer. And now they're out with a CD, "Introducing the Spam Allstars." We asked DJ Le Spam to introduce us to his band in his own words.

Mr. YEOMANSON: Basically, what I do at Hoy Como Ayer is I have three horn players in front of me, a percussionist or two, and a guitarist. Those microphone lines come back to me where I'm standing, and I mix the band from the stage, which many sound guys would probably think that's a horrendous idea. But the approach I'm taking is I want to be creating a sort of shifting live mix with echoes and having different elements stand out at different times.

(Soundbite of song "Charanga E-350")

Mr. YEOMANSON: This song here is called "Charanga E-350." And charanga music is a form of Cuban music that's characterized by swinging violin and flute parts. The other standout for me on this track is an ARP synthesizer solo by Albert Menendez. That's one of my favorite things on the whole record, I think.

(Soundbite of song "Charanga E-350")

Mr. YEOMANSON: I love sounds that make you wonder what the hell they are.

(Soundbite of song "Descarga Gusano")

Unidentified Announcer: This is the Road Devil driving along the tip of Key West in Florida where I am going to attempt to pick up Fidel Castro in his jeep 90 miles away.

Mr. YEOMANSON: This song is called "Descarga Gusano." At the top of the song, the little piece of dialogue that you hear, it's a comedy record. And what it consists of is a whole series of celebrity parodies. And everybody is talking on the CB. But in the case of Fidel Castro, they used an actual recording of Fidel Castro.

(Soundbite of song "Descarga Gusano")

President Fidel Castro (Cuba): (Spanish spoken)

Unidentified Translator: He says, he would like to take this opportunity to give his love to all of his good friends in Miami.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. YEOMANSON: So you get this piece of dialogue. And what Fidel says is you find all the worms, Gusanos, living in Miami, which he's referring to the Miami Cubans as traitors to the revolution or whatever. And then you have an actress mistranslating his phrase to say he would like to say hello to all of his good friends in Miami. The word Gusano, aside from Fidel Castro's definition of it, anti-revolutionary Cubans in Miami, of course, it means worm. And it's also a slang term for the long duffle bags that the Cubans in Miami used to pack filled with clothes and other things to take back to their relatives in Cuba when they travel in Cuba. So I had this triple meaning going on.

(Soundbite of music)

Mr. YEOMANSON: If you come to visit us in Miami, and you want to see us playing on a Thursday night in Little Havana at Hoy Como Ayer, it's pretty much - the club itself has a nostalgic vibe, a lot of Cuban artwork and record covers up on the wall. And it's a real hole-in-the-wall vibe. We get every kind of people through there. You will have somebody's grandmother dancing next to a 20-year-old kid who snuck in. It's really been one of the most diverse crowds that I ever could've imagined.

LYDEN: That was DJ Le Spam. And if you can't make it to Little Havana to see the Allstars, you can always head to the music section of our Web site, npr.org.

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