Alex Gutierrez Blog

Alcazaba Pre Thanksgiving Party " A Miami Tradition"

“I think about 14 years ago a whole lot of people decided take advantage that they didn’t work the next day and all decide to go to Alcazaba at the Hyatt Regency in Coral Gables” At least that’s the way it seemed , but the real story is a little bit different . Wednesday night was not the busy nights when this Miami Landmark first opened it’s doors in 1988,as a matter of fact the ” club” originally intended as a ” lounge” was not even open on Wednesdays after it’s Grand opening in August of 1988. Friday was the BIG Night. I had the pleasure of being there from the start along side of DJs Ray Noda and Jose Garcia.
The origin of the legendary day before Thanksgiving goes way back to around 1989 – 90 . Wednesday night was jazz night with a little known Puerto Rican flute player named Nestor Torres (In 1989 Torres released Morning Ride, his first major label recording on Verve which became a best-selling album on the contemporary jazz charts) He would do 2 sets and be done by about 8:30 PM.As the Dj I would try to keep the people in there as long as I could after that , Wednesday was not your typical ” going out” night……..YET. Nestor had built a pretty good following, regulars and his career was taking off. As I remember one Wednesday night he started his set later.I was told to come in and play some filler music until he started and then do my thing after.Well alot of his regulars were there early ,not knowing the change of plans. A funny thing happened , I started playing some low tempo soul hits ” You’ll Never Find ” Lou Rawls ” Hang on in there Baby” Johnny Bristol and people started to dance and request more of the same genre.By 7:00 pm I had a pretty good dance floor and not since my Friday Happy Hours at Club Mystique ( Airport Hilton) had I seen such an eager group of Dancers at this early time. Nestor went on at about 9 pm that night and was done by around 11pm which combined the Happy Hour people with the late night crowd. It was happening and in the following weeks the crowds increased and doubled to the point that people were reserving tables inside the club. The Pre Thanksgiving Bash just happened as a result of the increasing crowds,the
” No work the next day” factor and some print and radio Advertising the Hyatt was doing at the time.As the years passed we incorporated Live acts such as Secret Society,Erotic Exotic , Sweet Sensation as well as local Latin favorites Los Sobrinos del Juez who performed outside in The Court Of The Lions. The day before Thanksgiving became what I called ” The Cuban St. Patricks” ( San Gibin) and every year was bigger and better than the last. There was always a Rumor that they would Close down Alcazaba ,they came true in 2009. Luckily for a few years after that Thanks to Maria Martinez from Execumar Promotions . The party continued for a few years after it closed as a one night only thing. They still came back,packing the place. It was sad when the last few years they decided not to continue…. a piece of Miami nightlife had died. A tradition…… gone.
Check out Mister Q 305’s article and pictures of the last time we were there at this link….PRE THANKSGIVING BASH BY MR.Q 305
Thanks to Mr.Q 305 for all these great images

All Photos Property of Mr.Q 305
All Photos Property of Mr.Q 305