You Musicians Rock! Join Harry’s Pizzeria® in Support of Free Music Programming for Students in Overtown & Wynwood

Band Director and Young Musicians Unite Founder Sammy Gonzalez in action, sharing his passion for music with the future musicians of the world.

On Saturday, we’re selling tickets for YMU’s annual fundraiser… the Spring Concert! Stop by to donate through your purchase.

This Saturday, April 1, Harry’s Pizzeria in Coconut Grove will host live music sets by Arrowhead and Avalanche, middle and high school rock bands that are the talented engines driving the work of Young Musicians Unite.  This Miami-based non profit revitalizes music programs in South Florida’s underserved communities one school at a time, giving students a voice through music.  Partner bands like drummer Harry Schwartz’s Arrowhead take the time to play side by side shows with YMU’s students, raise funds through performances like this Saturday’s at Harry’s, and even help with peer to peer mentoring in our after-school programs. Attending performances is how we can close the giving loop!

Find Harry and the YMU crew on the sidewalk just west of Harry’s outdoor seating area in Coconut Grove, next to Kit + Ace, from 6-9PM during the neighborhood’s Fashion + Art + Music series  season finale, returning on first Saturdays beginning in October.  Swing by to dine inside, alfresco or at the counter and enjoy the live music.  Band Director and organization founder Sammy Gonzalez will have a table set up outside where you can donate as well as purchase tickets for its annual Spring Concert at The Gleason Room, backstage at the Fillmore on Saturday, May 20.  This is the biggest fundraiser of the year for YMU and a not-to-miss show, to boot!

Founded in 2013, Young Musicians Unite collaborates with schools that have limited or no music programs.  In 2017, YMU is uniting young musicians in the Wynwood and Overtown community and raise awareness about the importance of music education, providing solutions with high profiled educators and free comprehensive music programming.   Since 2013, YMU has been dedicated to providing free in-school and after school music programs to South Florida’s youth. Under the leadership of Sammy Gonzalez, YMU engages youth from at-risk communities with limited or non-existent music programs. Depending on their individual school, students who participate in YMU become members of a Classical Guitar ensemble, a Jazz ensemble, or a Student Rock Band. The YMU program ensures that students learn the fundamentals of music including theory, reading, songwriting, competition, and performance. Classes are led by qualified professional teachers, and aided by peer to peer mentors and visiting guest musicians. Without exception, all of the equipment, music, performance and teaching fees are waived. YMU have 85+ students currently enrolled in programming and have serviced 210+ students over the years.  We’re groupies, for sure.

 

Banding Together at Harry’s to Support Young Musicians Unite’s Spring Concert on 5/14

Harry's Pizzeria - Young Musicans Unite's Promo

Both locations of Harry’s Pizzeria (Design District pictured) are representing Young Musicians Unite with its amazing concert poster!

We like getting behind young talent, especially when it’s in the family.  After a successful FAM Night performance at Harry’s Pizzeria in Coconut Grove, Harry Schwartz is back with his band Arrowhead, this time for Young Musicians Unite’s annual spring concert… and tickets are live now here!

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As always, 100% of concert net proceeds will continue to fund Young Musicians Unite’s two free after-school programs, at The Young Men’s Prep Academy and The Overtown Youth Center, and will also enable the organization to expand into a third program at Jose De Diego Middle School.   The new program will include a 15-20 student “Rock Ensemble,” a concept created in the early 1970s by the late Douglas Burris’ of Miami Beach Senior high, which continues to this day.

The event, held Saturday May 14, in The Gleason Room — Backstage at The Filmore, will showcase performances by student rock bands, Jazz combos, and guitar ensembles from across Miami-Dade County.  Student ensembles are looking forward to showcasing their talent and efforts of their hard work and dedication throughout the year.

A pair of tickets to a concert as hot as our oven!

A pair of tickets to a concert as hot as our oven!

Beginning today, courtesy of Chef Michael, you have a chance to win a pair of tickets to the show!  Simply follow @harryspizzeria’s Instagram account, tag whom you would like to take as your guest, and THE Harry will choose a winner.  You have until this Sunday 4/24 at noon to enter, and the winner will be DMed shortly after by @harryspizzeria.  Check out his feed too, @harrythedrummer, to see what will sway him your way. [Hint: emoji use is encouraged!]

On the day of the concert, doors open at 7:00 pm; performance starts promptly at 7:30 pm. Ensembles scheduled to perform include, Arrowhead, Redwood Trip, YMP Jazz Combo, and YMP & OYC Guitar Ensemble.

How to House Party Like a Chef (& other occupational hazards we’re totally ok with)

And in the morning, there are eggs.  Not an omelet, limp, spongy corners folded in uniform butter yellow.  No, no.  Tom makes you eggs purgatory, a constellation of color leaping from stained baking dish, bringing the life back in pools of spicy tomato sauce and dunks of crusty, toasted bread.  It’s the perfect hangover breakfast and how to keep the party going when you’re a chef.

Such was the timeline when the Schwartz family opened up their home to chefs visiting for the 15th annual South Beach Wine & Food Festival for a good old fashioned house party Thursday night.  Just a bunch of friends who came to the table to make some delicious food and good vibes.  Here’s what we learned for the next time you entertain at home, taking a page from Michael Schwartz Events (Lindsay killing it again!)

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Grillmaster Schwartz, with his Lynx rig.

+  Always be ready for surprises. If you’ve got a menu that takes some time, have something out for guests when they arrive. Lucky for us, our guests came with good surprises, too.  Izzy’s Jamie DeRosa showed up with a bucket of Island Creek Oysters with champagne mignonette, quickly jumping behind Michael’s kitchen island to shuck with chef William Crandall. Classy.

+ Be present.  The best thing about entertaining is being with your guests so do as much prep ahead of time as you can and delegate.  It usually takes a village, and teamwork is key to ensuring everyone has a good time.

+ Create a flow. On Thursday, we had several stations spread out over the footprint of the house, each offering something a little different so that any variations in fire time went unnoticed.  From the Lynx Grill, Harry’s Pizzeria’s agrodolce chicken wings with rosemary crema sizzled and caramelized into the sticky but not too messy finger food every party needs.  El Mago de Las Fritas brought the magic box and cranked out classic burgers and the new kid on the block – “confundida” – one that is confused it’s a Cuban sandwich, topped with the Cuban-style pulled pork, sangria-cured ham, Swiss cheese, dill pickles, papitas, and mustard on a medianoche garlic-buttered bun. Taquiza Miami’s Steve Santana and Washington Charles brought their A game and A team (Saltz!) to serve octopus al pastor and wood grilled hanger steak with chive flowers and radish, both on special pink peppercorn masa tortillas.  Chef Bradley nailed a perfect falafel sandwich with hummus, baba ghanoush, and Israeli salad all stuffed into a warm pita and topped with tahina, pickled red onions and habanero “assburn” hot sauce, if you’re doing it right.

+ Pour fast and smile!  Running out of drinks is no fun for guests or host.  To keep the beverages flowing, simple is usually best.   Eric Larkee decided on a Gin & Tonic bar but rather than corralling a wide range of Gins to represent the range of historical styles, classic producers and cool smaller micro producers (you know he wanted to!), he exercised restraint.  He picked one solid Gin, Plymouth, to headline the party. Thank you Pernod Ricard, for only the best.

+ Just chill.  For the bar, Larkee went with Fever Tree, Q Tonic and Jack Rudy’s tonic syrup (which requires soda water), all with wonderful flavor and great dryness. But the key is serving them chilled.  “Heck, if you can, chill the Gin too,” he adds. “This is a drink that is better the colder it is and when you’re at a party, walking around especially indoors and out, the drink is going to heat up in your hand a little faster than normal. So you can’t really start cold enough.”

+ Keep it fun, not too serious.  Larkee’s finishing touch was the garnish selection, where there’s room to play without getting silly.  To step it up past the slice of lime, he chose a selection to accentuate some of the more subtle fruit and botanic flavors in the Gin. So: lemon, limes, red grapefruit, strawberry, cucumber, pear, rosemary, basil, thyme, mint, cilantro, cinnamon stick, cracked black pepper.

+ Be genuine.  The most important tip of them all.  Do what you know and be who you are. This not only makes for a simpatico crowd, but an executable set up.  Don’t try to do anything out of your comfort zone. There is time for R&D, but this isn’t it!  Give the people what they want.

Huge thank you to Giovanny Gutierrez of Chat Chow TV for helping us document the evening.   Until next year!

Harry’s Band’s All Here! Young Musicians Unite Plays it Forward at Coconut Grove F.A.M. Night

 

Arrowhead Logo

Click the logo to take a trip down memory lane and watch Harry rock it out on his drum set in 2011, a week before opening in the Design District!

Coconut Grove, get ready for Arrowhead!  Michael’s son, drummer Harry Schwartz, performs with his band for the first time at namesake Harry’s Pizzeria for Coconut Grove’s First Saturday F.A.M. Nights on November 7!  Sammy Gonzalez, president of Young Musicians Unite, band leader and Harry’s musical mentor, trains and works with bands like Arrowhead and all the money they raise at shows goes into providing the funds to support free after-school music programs at The Young Mens Prep Academy in Wynwood and The Overtown Youth Center. The kids will do a set 7:30-7:55pm and then another 8:30-8:55pm with Riptide by Vance Joy, Seven Nation Army the White Stripes, Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana, Break On Through, Be My Girl Jet, and Uptown Funk on the program.  A little more fun for your Harry’s experience and the restaurant’s first live performance ever.  For more information on how you can get involved and support the this life-changing cause visit its Facebook page and follow on Instagram at @youngmusiciansunite.

Coconut Grove F.A.M. Nights run from October through June, every first Saturday of the month from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. on McFarlane Road, Grand Avenue, Main Highway, Commodore Plaza, and Fuller Street, Coconut Grove, FL 33133. Sponsored by the Coconut Grove Business Improvement District in collaboration with CocoWalk and local merchants like Harry’s Pizzeria! Events are FREE and open to the public.  Contact: For more information including parking, please visit http://www.coconutgrove.com or call the Coconut Grove BID office at 305-461-5506.  For the latest news and specials at Harry’s Coconut Grove location follow on Instagram @harryspizzeria and #HPCoconutGrove.

 

Harry’s Jam

One of several original illustrations for Harry's Pizzeria, this one inspired by its namesake drummer, by graphic design intern Junior Narvaez.

It’s a sunny Sunday morning in August, as we park on a quiet, shaded street in the neighborhood off the northern perimeter of South Beach’s Bayshore Golf Course.  We’re here to visit Harry Schwartz at home and record him on the drums. He finally got that set he wanted last year, complete with a rad new room with what I’m guessing is his sisters’ favorite accent — black eggcrate foam insulation, with floor-to-ceiling green strips forming the letter “H.”

Harry’s eight now, and like most kids his age, he’s into Coldplay, LMFAO, Lupe Fiasco, Nicki Minaj, B.O.B, and Eminem.  Like his dad, Harry’s got natural talent and an affinity for music. He started drumming when he was two years old and hasn’t stopped since.

“I was playing on the seat, or like the shelf with my hands,” he shares.

He’s been taking lessons for a few months now, and is just starting on jazz beats. I ask if he thinks his dad will choose a similar playlist to MGFD’s for Harry’s Pizzeria.

“I think. But he should put something different. Like pop or hip hop. But he can do jazz too. Some hip hop, some jazz… Are they doing stuff to the restaurant already?  I wanna go…. Can I see it?”

Suffice to say he’s not the first in this family to be creatively curious.  Harry has since visited the space, and, with imagination swirling, I’m sure has scoped out just the right spot for his future band to rock out. But would he rather be a rockstar or a chef?  He smiles.

“Both!”