ArtOfficial, Miami’s fusion of jazz and hip-hop, followed up its win at the Florida Grammys with a major event at Transit Lounge to introduce “The Payback,” the band’s newest release. Fans passed free copies of the CD through the crowd, packed into the venue to capacity. The band expanded its sound with a live horn section and female vocals, driving up intensity both on stage and in the audience. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so much excitement at an ArtOfficial show, so many fans jumping and pointing and yelling along with the lyrics.
As ArtOfficial jammed inside, a handful of Miami artists painted on canvases in the venue’s backyard as part of a contest sponsored by Ultimat Vodka. The “paint-off” lasted from 8pm until nearly 4am, when audience members and Ultimate representatives announced the winners. Ross Ford and Kravehad the winning collaboration, taking home the prize of $1,000 as well as generous samples of vodka. So when’s the tasting party, Ross?