In the international economic system, an Alpha City – sometimes referred to as a global city, a world city, or a world center – is a metropolis that has a direct and tangible effect on the social and economic affairs of the entire globe. Miami, Florida is an Alpha City because it is a major global center of trade, finance, commerce, culture, media, entertainment, and the arts. Although Miami, proper, is relatively small, with a population of only 420,000, the Miami metro area is home to about 5.5 million people, making it the fourth largest urban area in the United States.
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While downtown Miami contains the largest number of international banks of any city in the U.S., the Civic Center, or Health District, has the country's second largest concentration of medical and research facilities. The Port of Miami is the world’s number one cruise passenger port of call, and because of its location on the southernmost tip of the continental U.S., approximately 40 percent of Miamians speak Spanish – which is why one of the city’s tongue-in-cheek nicknames is the “Capital of Latin America.”
That being said, Miami music is heavily influenced by its Central and South American neighbors. Cubans, Haitians, Dominicans, Colombians, Brazilians, West Indians, and other Caribbean Islanders have all brought their musical styles to Miami’s shores over time: the conga, the rumba, the meringue, the cumbia, the samba, reggae, and calypso are just some of the varied sounds and tempos that have infused Miami’s music scene and made the city the center of the Latin music recording industry. The “Miami Sound,” a blending of Cuban musical traditions with elements of rock, pop, disco, and funk, was popular worldwide in the mid 1980s. Latin superstars Gloria Estefan and Ricky Martin live in Miami.
Before the explosion of Latin music, Miami’s Overtown neighborhood was, for many years, a vital and vigorous center of Afro-American music: jazz, blues, soul, and doo-wop. Sam Moore, of the legendary duo Sam and Dave, grew up in Overton. James Brown, Ike and Tina Turner, and Ray Charles were all well- known in the community. Overton was also an essential stop on the “Chitlin Circuit,” the road tour itinerary of many travelling, black musicians. Meanwhile, nationally known Afro-American stars like Count Basie, Nat King Cole, Duke Ellington, B.B. King, Ella Fitzgerald, and Aretha Franklin all entertained at the hotels of nearby Miami Beach.
Disco had its heyday in the Miami of the 1970s, personified by such groups as KC and the Sunshine Band. The 1980s and ‘90s gave birth to Miami Bass, a popular style of bass-heavy hip-hop, embodied by musicians like Trick Daddy and Luther Campbell’s, 2 Live Crew. The era was also a period when electronic dance, techno, and rave music could be heard in Miami at outdoor festivals and indoor clubs. Southern Rap, a style of hip-hop, was also struggling to define itself against East and West coast versions of the genre.
The Miami rock scene also had a successful run during those years and many venues, including Washington Square, Roses, the Stephen Talkhouse, Cactus Cantina, the South Beach Pub, Blue Steel, and the Culture Room presented popular local artists. Today, the city is also home to Indie/folk acts, alternative hip-hop artists, ska punk, and rock/metal bands. Modern venues include Space, Mansion, Parkwest, Ink, Cameo, Mykonos, Ibiza, and Ayia Napa.
In order for the makers of all these different musical genres to get “air-play,” they have to have a way to record and reproduce their albums. At Bison Disc, we’re not in the recording business, but once a group or band has laid down some tracks, we’re the folks who can duplicate and replicate their musical CDs. We also package them in stylishly designed Jewel Cases, Jackets, Wallets, Sleeves, and Digipaks.
Miami has numerous orchestras, symphonies, and performing arts conservatories. Some of these include the Florida Grand Opera, the FIU School of Music, the Frost School of Music, the Miami City Ballet, the Miami Conservatory, the Miami Wind Symphony, and the New World Symphony Orchestra. The new Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is the second-largest performing arts center in the United States after New York’s Lincoln Center. Popular Miami music festivals include Calle Ocho Festival, Carnaval Miami, and ULTRA, the world’s premier electronic music fest. Miami is a popular location for the filming and setting of movies and television shows, and has been for over 50 years, partially due to its warm climate and abundant sunshine. Each year the city hosts more than 1,000 location film shoots, bringing many millions of dollars into the city’s economy. Approximately 3,000 companies in the film and entertainment industries in Miami-Dade County employ an estimated 15,000 workers.
The list of movies with a Miami connection is a long one. Some well-known films shot or set there include: Absence of Malice, Any Given Sunday, Body Heat, The Bird Cage, The Happening, Lady in Cement, (starring Frank Sinatra), Caddyshack, and the James Bond films, Goldfinger and Thunderball. Popular TV shows include: Miami Vice, Burn Notice, CSI Miami, and The Golden Girls. For many years, Jackie Gleason, known as “The Great One,” broadcast his weekly TV show from the Miami Beach Auditorium, now named after the famous star. Gleason ended each show with the catchphrase: “Miami Beach audiences are the greatest audiences in the world! G'night, everybody!"
At Bison Disc, we believe that every audience is the greatest audience in the world - as long as they’re listening to a CD, or watching a DVD or Blu-ray disc, that we’ve duplicated or replicated and packaged in one of our customized Jewel Cases, Wallets, Sleeves, Digipaks, or Box or Collector sets.
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