Miami based six piece band, performing an eclectic blend of latin, funk and electronic music which they call electronic descarga. The band is lead by DJ Le Spam and includes flute, sax, trombone, timbales & guitar. They perform 150+ shows per year, with a mix of private an public performances.
DJ Le Spam - turntables, sampler, EFX
Tomas Diaz - percussion & vocals
Mercedes Abal - flute & vocals
AJ Hill - flute & vocals
Chad Bernstein - trombone
Jose Elias - guitar
alternate players include:
Ted Zimmerman - trumpet
Aaron Lebos - guitar
Papacho Savon - congas
"Yeomanson’s unpretentious nature and incredible musical daringness coupled with...talented musicians he brought together have made the Spam Allstars one of Miami’s signature sounds as they successfully imbedded their original funkified groove into the cultural identity of a whole generation of Miamians." - Miami Herald
“The Spam Allstars are generating a buzz...for their rhythmic mixtures of electronica, Latin, funk, hip-hop and dub. And the band members are just as diverse as the music they groove to.” - NPR
"stay up late... to hear the rhythmic creations of the Spam Allstars, a group that has played the club [Hoy Como Ayer] most Thursday nights since 2001...The result is a dynamic wall of sound that gets the audience up and dancing between the seats." Sunday Boston Globe Magazine
“a good old latin jam, a “descarga’, with the same spirit of Cuba where descarga originated.” - BBC
"…an authentic Miami sound is being forged by [Spam Allstars]..." - Rolling Stone
“…fresh and daring global sound “ - Sun Sentinel
"electronic descarga — a progressive genre encompassing musical intelligence and delicacy of truly diverse artists. This genre results in a sound unique to this group, lighting a new and exciting flame” - Miami New Times
2015 marked the 20th Anniversary of Spam Allstars. What started as DJ gigs with some added instruments and special fx between tours as a guitar player, DJ Le Spam will be the first to say he never anticipated this evolution of the band. The early days included hilarious spoken word records, mixed with a variety of instruments, and the lovely scent of Spam frying live on stage as a special snack to share with his non-vegan guests. Two decades later this band has a core group of musicians that have been performing an average of 150 shows per year, across the US and some very special trips to Europe, Canada, and South America. They hold a weekly residency at the legendary Little Havana club called Hoy Como Ayer every Thursday (since 2001), which has attracted attention ranging from Good Morning America to the NY Times, a variety of celebrity appearances, and numerous musical special guests sitting in. This is where the band has shed the most and forged what many have called a new Miami sound. The band describes it as an electronic descarga…a jam session if you will…because in the beginning it was completely improvisational. As time has passed the songs have evolved, recordings have been captured, and the sound took on a different form which is a distinct blend of Latin, funk, and electronic music. This electronic descarga is a reflection of the musicians and their cultures, training, and musical influences.
The driving force behind the music is the band’s founder and leader, Andrew Yeomanson a/k/a DJ Le Spam. Born in Montreal, and raised in Toronto, Bogota, London, and Tampa…Andrew has always had a passion for music, history, and tinkering. His early love was heavy metal, and with a British father and a Venezuelan mother, he was raised with a variety of cultural exposure which peaked his interest musically. He began playing guitar and collecting vinyl, and his musical tastes grew in different directions.
The current line up includes Tomas Diaz on percussion (Cuba), Jose Elias on guitar (Dominican Republic), AJ Hill on sax (Miami, FL), Mercedes Abal on flute (Cuba), Chad Bernstein on trombone (Chicago, IL), and Ted Zimmerman on trumpet (Houston, TX). These musicians have contributed significantly to the bands sound and attitude. They each have played in multiple projects over their careers, and continue to pursue their individual passions, but week in and week out they are Spam Allstars. Other musicians that still record with the band, and have toured in the past include Steve Welsh on sax (NY,NY), John Speck on trombone (Seattle, WA), and Adam Zimmon on guitar (LA, CA)
Spam Allstars have recorded six albums and released them independently. The first two releases were limited editions and fairly experimental - Pork Scratchings and Pigs in Space. Their third CD - Fuacata Live - was nominated for a Latin Grammy. This came as a huge surprise as it was recorded from a show at Hoy Como Ayer during their weekly residency. The magic was captured, the playing was unique, and people wanted more. Their fourth CD - Contra Los Robotics Mutantes - was their first studio recording and done so at City of Progress, DJ Le Spams recording studio. Their fifth CD - electrodomesticos - was also a studio recording and included special guests Page McConnel (Phish), John Medeski (Medeski Martin & Wood), Martin Pena (AntiBalas), and more. Spam Allstars recordings have been licensed to a variety of clients including HBO’s Ballers, Volkswagen, Pollo Tropical, Miami Heat, Miami International Film Festival, Nike, NPR shows, Lonely Planet TV, and more...
DJ Le Spam over the years has also developed his recording studio City of Progress. It started as a way for Spam Allstars to record their music, but as his equipment is as eclectic as his record collection, it became known as a place where you can still record to tape, and record on vintage equipment. In 2014, Andrew Yeomanson/City of Progress was awarded a Knights Arts Challenge Grant. This will allow Andrew to upgrade his equipment, and to continue to add to his collection of rare vintage gear. The studio has become known as a specialty recording location in South Florida, where people go to record certain sounds that can not be found in your average studio or to restore recordings on tape.
TODAY….Spam Allstars continue to perform, record, and create music that they love. They are grateful for the many people that have supported their music over the years and are always pleased when they can connect with a new fan.