A look at how the day by day creators of Delray Beach’s renowned music scene are making music and a difference in the “Village by the Sea”
Delray is known to have the best variety of musicians from all backgrounds grooving through Florida’s music scene. I caught up with Shawn Hagood and Ian Caven at the very stylish Bond Street Salon in Pineapple Grove. There we spoke about the shape of music in Delray Beach as well as what it’s going to take to bring it to the next level.
Pittsburg native Shawn Hagood doesn’t really like the term “jack of all trades” but when it comes to music, this multifaceted musician is exactly that. His company, HaGood Media LLC, does the promotional work for popular blues singer/guitarist Joe Bonamassa; he drums for the hip hop group Rich Kid Sound System and he plays keyboards for Arts Garage house band and Pangea Kidz. He is married to a band director he met working on his percussion degree at FAU and between them, they are the perfect musician couple. “She keeps my feet on the ground and I keep her head in the clouds,” Hagood muses. He has an interesting perspective on the Delray Music Scene. “It’s always evolving and always moving forward. The fact that you can find it in the mix from classic rock to young indie bands, depending on what block you’re on, is reminiscent of some of the cities like New York and Austin that are known for their music scene.” Caven adds that Delray Beach still has so much room for growth and it seems as if Arts Garage is leading the way. “Delray Beach has a diverse culture and a lot of the performers and programs are starting to reflect that diversity.” Caven is speaking specifically about the Urban Underground series happening bi-monthly at Arts garage. “It’s grass roots, and that is what the music industry is all about.”
Ian Caven knows grass roots. Born in Bristol, U.K., Caven moved to Jamaica at a young age and grew up watching the likes of U/Roy, Gregory Isaacs, and Bob Marley sweat it out in the ghettos and rise to legends. When life took him to New Jersey in the 1980s, he became neighbors with the legendary hip hop pioneer Curtis Blow. Since then, Caven has been an encyclopedia of old school hip hop and performs all the hits with his band 45Live. “Nowadays, with shows like American Idol, people think you need to get lucky and get discovered, but the people I grew up watching weren’t making music for that reason. They were doing it to bring people together, and musicians are being forced to return to that now.” I agree with what Caven is saying, as it reminds me of one of the key things that makes Delray great! An artist who is performing at Arts Garage shouldn’t just be promoting his performance at Arts Garage, but should be selling the town. “All I’m saying,” Hagood says, “ is that you can get your hair cut at Bond Street salon and a quick walk gets you to drinks at Cut 432, dinner at Buddha Sky Bar, and then trek to the show with a bottle of wine at nine.” Where else can you get a night like that?” It’s hard to argue with that logic. “With all of the amazing tools at our disposal for promoting ourselves, we forget that building community is why we play music in the first place. Facebook invites and a series of tweets are only half the battle,” he says. Caven lives this belief. His daughter was the second recipient of a stem cell transplant for Sickle Cell Anemia. As a result, Caven puts on several fundraisers each year for the Miami Children’s Hospital, where his daughter received the treatment. He just held his annual “Cuts For The Cause” event at Bond Street Salon and is hosting a Putt Putt golf tournament at Putt’n Around Delray on June 14th. “It all comes from the same place, I have a lot to give. If you don’t have a heart to give back, it is hard to be a good performer,” Caven says passionately. Rich Kid Sound System, the project that Hagood drums for, releases its debut LP entitled, “No Cheers for Pioneers” in May. Caven will be everywhere with his band 45live and both of them will be at the popular Urban Underground Series at Arts Garage on June 2nd. The sixth installment is entitled “Summer of ‘92: Twenty Years of Hip Hop” and will feature the best up and coming MC’s along with live breakdancing and graffiti. Catch Caven and Hagood at 45liveband.com and ShawnHagood.com Drew Tucker is the owner of Tucker Music Academy and the Education and Outreach Coordinator at Arts Garage. Connect with him at www.Delraymusicschool.com