Alan Hughes
Gig Seeker Pro

Alan Hughes

Band Rock Acoustic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Labor of Love"

Labor of Love
Chef and entrepreneur Alan Hughes pays the bills with cooking, but music is in his heart
By Julienne Gage
Published on February 03, 2005With Alan Hughes, chef extraordinaire and lead singer of the hard-driving band Prole, songwriting and baby-making have a lot in common. They both require some serious rocking. Jonathan Postal
Alan Hughes, the man behind One Ninety Restaurant, wants to let you know he can rock out, too"Somebody who makes songs has a cosmic duty to be wise with the [words they choose]. It's almost like human conception," says the 36-year-old Argentine transplant.

For example, "Señor Presidente," from Prole's last album, Desobediente, is an open letter criticizing how our leaders fill their coffers with the people's money, and then lecture us about how to live our lives. "Listen Mr. President the discontentment is widespread. The people don't agree with your behavior. They have calluses on their hands and the souls of their shoes are worn thin," he sings.

On the other hand, there's "Pelo de Concha," a cut from Prole's upcoming album. The title, which is Argentine slang for pubic hair, is based on a crass Latin American saying: A pubic hair pulls more weight than two cows.

The true Alan Hughes is both crass and sophisticated. He's like the restaurant venues he creates: fine dining in a relaxed, come-as-you-are atmosphere. In Miami, he is best known as a chef who has cooked for Madonna and J.Lo, and a co-founder of One Ninety Restaurant, the much-beloved bohemian restaurant in the Design District (which has moved to the Albion Hotel in South Beach). But for him, taste is a momentary pleasure, while music feeds his soul.

"I see Prole as one of those bands that's not waiting for their breakthrough because it's the process that they're most interested in. Every time we go on stage for a performance, it's like going to church. When I have a gig with Prole, I feel like I saved a year of psychoanalysis. It's like therapy," Hughes says.

Prole's audiences have been somewhat limited, since they are neither straight-up hard rockers nor one of Miami's up-and-coming fusion bands. The group has always felt happier rocking at seedy joints such as Churchill's than trying to sway the social and political consciousness of teenyboppers at Latin pop venues like Macarena. "Those places play it safe. The bands need to be neat. I'm not doing music to play it safe. I'm doing music to say what I want to say," Hughes explains.

Hughes grew up in Buenos Aires, where he would help his British mother whip up plum jam in the kitchen and then run down the street to watch his rocker cousins jam with their band Demos in the back yard cottage. "It was like hearing thunder and running towards it. It gave me this kind of chill," Hughes recalls. It was the mid-Seventies, and rock groups such as Yes, The Rolling Stones, Genesis, and Argentina's own Sui Generis embodied the defiant spirit of a generation increasingly discontented with the right-wing politics that fueled the country's military dictatorship.

By the Eighties, Hughes was working in Buenos Aires as a model, apprenticing with world-renowned chef Francis Mallmann (who now owns Mendoza in Miami), playing reggae in a band called La Zimbabwe, and falling in love. At age nineteen, he left it all to explore Europe, landing first in Madrid, where he eventually found work as a cook. While Hughes was spending peso-less nights sleeping in the Madrid metro stations, blanketed in newspapers, La Zimbabwe released its first album (in 1987) and became a huge success in Argentina.

After struggling in Spanish kitchens, Hughes went to New York to study at the French Culinary Institute, later serving as one of former New York City Mayor David Dinkins's chefs. In 1995, Hughes moved to Miami, where he opened the catering company Culinaria.

It was there that Hughes returned to his rock and roll roots by creating the band Koalición, which evolved into Prole about five years ago. "Prole is probably a reincarnation of a few groups I had," he says. "I was always the songwriter, but a few band members had to pass through before I found the right formula. Part of being a Gemini is that I'm good at starting things but not very good at finishing them." That's where the rest of the band comes in. Drummer Ricardo Mazzi, bass player Jhonattan "Negro" Campbell, and new guitarist "El Chato" Hernandez help him complete the cycle. "They are amazing musicians," says Hughes. "I come up with the concept or the idea of the song -- maybe 80 percent -- and then they end up putting in the breaks and cuts and arranging the melody."

Despite Prole's "for the love of art" mentality, goals help maintain its momentum. With the help of new manager Julie Starker, it's rehearsing to record its third independent CD in February and to tour Argentina in April. Starker has encouraged the group to record both Spanish and English versions of its forthcoming album to reach a wider audience. She has also persuaded the band to spend more time in the studio and turn its local shows into coveted events by playing just six times per year.

On December 26, Hughes held his first Il Porco (The Pig) Festival at the original One Ninety Restaurant. The lineup included Prole, Tereso, Kayak Man, Nacio, La Lacra, and Gnarly. He plans to make it a biannual event that emphasizes local music and can compete with what he terms "Mickey Mouse" festivals such as Rock en Miami, which rely heavily on foreign invites.

Hughes admits that putting food on the tables of his clients helps him do the same for his kids at home. Gourmet cooking is more lucrative than rocking out at Churchill's Pub.

Jonathan Postal
Alan Hughes, the man behind One Ninety Restaurant, wants to let you know he can rock out, too"Sometimes that duality becomes a little hard. It's very interesting because I can spend sixteen hours in a kitchen, but if I don't have a little rock and roll every so often, I'm a dork. It happens the other way around as well," he says.

Hughes pauses to study the texture of the wine in his glass before nodding and declaring, "This is the life." Then Alan the rocker returns. "[Prole] has an amazing connection, a really great working relationship. There's this seriousness involved -- you're making a baby."

- The New Times


Music Nonstop
By Celeste Fraser Delgado
Published on March 01, 2001When emaciated guitarist Stuka nearly kicked over the sound system at Señor Frog's the Monday before last and rescue vehicles arrived to break up a brawl, Miami Beach 2001 started to look a lot like Buenos Aires 1981. At the debut show of Argentine punks Los Violadores in the midst of a military dictatorship, police arrested everybody, including the band. Twenty years later, and as furious as ever, Stuka still is abusing his instrument -- and infusing the ever-earnest protest rock of earlier immigrant Alan Hughes's Miami-based outfit Prole (as in prole-tarian) with an invigorating dose of outrage. Evelyn Posada
Miami's new proletariat: Pelu Rivera, Alan Hughes, Stuka, and Alex Posada
Starfish, 1427 West Ave, Miami Beach
Saturday, March 3. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 305-673-1717.
Ricardo Lemvo and Makina LocaMaking his first advertised Prole appearance at Churchill's two Fridays ago, the sunken-cheeked veteran perfunctorily fingered chords through the Prole originals before unleashing the artillery that set the unsuspecting crowd thrashing to Violaters' classics such as "Repression" and "And Now What Happens, Eh?" If the sonic assault caught Little Haiti regulars by surprise, the South American throng at Señor Frogs showed up rowdy with anticipation, having learned as kids to count hyperinflated pesos to the Violadores' "1, 2, Ultraviolento." Inside the otherwise mild-mannered Mexican restaurant on Washington Avenue's 600 block, more than three hundred people egged on Stuka. "It was just a matter of Argentine ego," says frontman Hughes of the guitarist's aerial acrobatics. "Everyone went wild."

If Los Violadores flared up in response to the military regime that ruled from 1976 to 1983, Prole's ever more Río Plata roster is the result of Argentina's current economic crisis. "Now there's more and more people coming here," observes Hughes. "Many of them are great rockeros. Argentina is the country where rock began in Latin America." In addition to Stuka, Pelu Rivera, another recent transplant from tangolandia has joined Prole in recent weeks. "The Argentine scene is growing," Hughes continues. "It's like a subworld. It feels good to play music that sounds like the music people heard back home."

Despite common complaints about the dearth of venues for live music in Miami, Rivera says the scene is treating him well. In a short time he has found ample studio work and regular gigs with Prole and another band, Los Gardis, which plays lounge-decibel covers of Beck and other contemporary avant-rock at Spice, Sand Bar, Zanzibar, and clubs in Broward. It may seem surprising that the livin' is easier here for the musicians than it is in Buenos Aires, which boasts a vibrant nightlife as the fifth largest city in the world, but Rivera points out: "It's not easy to survive. Down there it takes a lot of force to make things happen. That's what makes the difference. All of these people [here] make music, but we're used to fighting with a sword in the jungle."

The amplified swashbuckling is taking place more frequently on Washington Avenue, as live music makes a comeback amid the rows of dance clubs. "Every Monday we have a different record at the door," crows local rocker Tony Alarcon of the band Lo-Fi. Alarcon, who promotes the Señor Frog's night along with partner Robert Ziehm, founder of the Chili Pepper in Fort Lauderdale, says, "We keep having to add bands."

Across the street, in the narrow confines of the club Zanzibar, another pair of intrepid promoters is trying to make Tuesday and Wednesday nights work with what they call Open Rehearsal sessions by local Latin alternative bands. The sessions opened with the impromptu debut of Stuka and Rivera with Prole three weeks ago. The following week bilingual rave rappers Council of the Sun ran through their paces while a crowd of mostly musicians and their friends listened politely from barstools. Waiting for his turn to go on, rhythm guitarist Marthin Chan of Volumen Cero explains the sessions' appeal. "We didn't have a rehearsal planned for this week, so when they called we decided to go ahead and make this our rehearsal," he notes. The emo-core quartet tried out a couple of the English-language numbers from their upcoming album, then improvised with friends from the audience, relishing the freedom of the informal event.

The humans-with-instruments formula apparently takes some Beach denizens by surprise. A group of musclemen stopped in front of the plate-glass window that borders the Zanzibar stage, gawking at the sight of men with guitars. And on a recent Monday, while models, photographers, rastas, and rockeros flowed in and out of Señor Frog's, a man introduced to me as a Very Important Artist sniffed at my profession, oblivious to the performance by Council of the Sun that forced our conversation up several decibels. "What could you possibly write about?" he sneered. "There's no live music here." Gesturing to the musicians, I stated the obvious: "They're here."

"Yeah," he agreed, "but who gives a rat's ass?" Indicating the pillar of the live scene conveniently hovering behind me in glasses and a knit cap, I countered, "Rat Bastard does." The Artist shrugged his Very Important shoulders and shuffled off for a confab with the noisemaker.


With the live rock/punk/soul scene undergoing a tentative renaissance on the Beach, the nebulous cloud of traditional Cuban music is precipitating its own alternatives. When Café Nostalgia drifted over to mid-Beach turbocharged by a handful of teenage timbaleros, Radical on Coral Way gathered force with weekend cabarets featuring the best in Cuban trova and filin'. Hoy Como Ayer, the reincarnation of Nostalgia in its original Little Havana space, gathered a group true to the legacy of stone-faced crooner Barbarito Diez, performing with all the emotion of wax-museum figures, enlivened only by the Dadaist performances of maracas-wielding Rockin' Cha. Gracious HCA owners Fabio and Pepe accumulated detritus from the other clubs, adding at various moments prodigious bass player and arranger Omar Hernandez, incorrigible sonero Luis Bofill, and sentimental singer Marcelino Valdes to Madame Tussaud's ensemble. In the meantime a gaggle of younger musicians was experimenting with new variations on old sons by Buenaventura at Havana Dreams in the Doral and by the nameless house band at Bolero on the 600 block of Washington Avenue. But that was last month.

Briefly fronting Buenaventura and stopping in at Hoy Como Ayer, Bofill has made his way to Giacosa in Coral Gables, where he hooks up on weekends with a number of former Bolero musicians and omnipresent saxophonist Hammadi Bayard. This past week Hoy Como Ayer dismantled the wax and welcomed Buenaventura for a regular guiso (that is, gig) just as fast as their wheels can carry the experimental band from its evening shows at the Doral supper club. Somehow in all the comings and goings this self-proclaimed "son alternativo" sextet picked up Cheito Quiñones, a Puerto Rican sonero. "I'm Borin-Cuban," declares the seasoned singer who got his start on his native Boriquen with salsa legends El Gran Combo. Arriving in Miami twelve years ago, he's sung backup for Cuban acts from Willie Chirino to Gloria Estefan. "I'm still learning," he says of his foray into Cuban music, "but I'm a jíbaro, which is what they call a guajiro -- it's all the same flavor from the countryside."

Evelyn Posada
Miami's new proletariat: Pelu Rivera, Alan Hughes, Stuka, and Alex Posada
Starfish, 1427 West Ave, Miami Beach
Saturday, March 3. Doors open at 10:30 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 305-673-1717.
Ricardo Lemvo and Makina LocaMaybe, although Cheito's somewhat clumsy handling of a folkloric rumba last week suggests that his most exciting contribution might arise from the differences between the two island traditions. Over the past months, the musicians have tightened their experimental variations on traditional son, introducing breaks as clean and breathtaking as whiplash. Cheito's expert vocal improvisations suggest he will prove a quick study, certain not only to master the form but to make it something else. His barefoot rendition of the heartbreaking classic "Twenty Years" ("Here's a piece of my soul/That you rip without pity") moved both the audience and the singer to tears before he quickly sang an apology that left them laughing, leaving no doubt that the Borin-Cuban has much to offer. "I'm not trying to copy Bofill," Cheito clarifies. "There's only one like him. I'm trying to do something completely different."


If we're lucky, that something different may turn out to be as satisfying as the Cuban-influenced Congolese sound of Ricardo Lemvo, who will be bringing his Los Angeles-based Afro-Cuban Makina Loca to Starfish on March 3. Big-band rumba made its way back to the mother continent in the Thirties, hitting the Congo with a force that reverberates through Central African pop still. Stir all those mutual influences into the ethnic stew of Los Angeles and bring it back our way for the weekend. Then show me a rat that won't be shaking its ass.

- The New Times

"Argentineans Rock"

Argentineans Rock!
Stuka, the Gardis, Prole, Tereso, JAF, Alfi Martins, Pelu Rivero, and Vieja Gloria speak out on struggling and surviving on the Miami rock circuit
By Javier Andrade
Published on September 04, 2003Argentineans weren't always as active in Miami's music scene as they are now. But bands like Tereso, Prole and the Gardis have been playing around for a while now, getting themselves mixed up in jams with visiting Argentine rock celebrities like Los Piojos or simply trying to make a buck. Although different circumstances led them to come here in the first place, they all quickly learned that only a few lucky musicians can actually earn a living from their chosen profession. Steve Satterwhite
Argentine rockeros, clockwise from left: Alan Hughes, Pelu, Gardi Pais, Juan Rozas, Gaston Zukowski, Stuka, and Marcelo Crocetti
Pelu Rivero, The Gardis, Tereso and ProlePunk band Los Violadores' guitarist Stuka flies back and forth to his native country to sustain that band's legend, which originated in the mid-Eighties with its usually abrasive shows. Here in Miami, he often shares a stage with the Gardis, and has even played guitar over Argentine TV producer/DJ Alex Pels's downtempo beats. But he's not interested in establishing his own band here; he already has Los Violadores, whose albums are being distributed in the U.S. through fellow countryman Gustavo Fernandez's Miami-based company DLN. He moved to the U.S. to give his thirteen-year-old son Ivan a future. "Just say no to no future! What a punk slogan!" he laughs.

In contrast Gardi Pais plays three, four, or more nights a week in bars so he can cover his monthly expenses, which include two cute little girls and a wife. His band the Gardis features two other Argentineans, bassist Gaston Zukowski and drummer Sebastian Acosta (who also plays in local rock group OHMS). At times the trio has expanded its basic lineup to include guests like Stuka, blues rocker JAF, and guitarist Gabriel Carámbula, an unexpected development to those who remember when Pais was a rhythm guitarist for Carámbula's Argentine rock band Los Perros in the mid-Nineties.

The Gardis have a busy weekly schedule that usually consists of a gig in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesdays, Miami Springs on Thursdays, and Irish House in Miami Beach on Fridays, along with a show at North Beach's Sandbar every other Saturday. What's their secret? During their shows Pais's own English-language R&B songs play a secondary role to fervent renditions of Rolling Stones cuts that help get people's attention in any room they're in. "We are doing what the Beatles did in Hamburg," he says. But the band leader, who delivered pizza for three months after arriving in Miami in 1999, does not consider the Gardis to be a covers band. "If I really want to do that I'd grab a bunch of songs from the top 40 and I'd make three times more money playing Fort Lauderdale 50 times a month," he claims.

Singer and guitarist Alan Hughes, who has led his band Prole for five years and sings in a late-Eighties rock argentino mode, politely disagrees with Gardi's method. He prefers to develop his band's identity by focusing entirely on his own compositions. Prole has a brand-new Tuesday showcase, PROLEferation, which started this month at Churchill's; independently released a self-titled album; and is preparing a follow-up disc, too. However, things are not easy for altrock bands like them. There are not enough places to play and it's hard to develop any loyal following comparable to what local bands in Argentina are used to.

But Hughes lives here now and that's the reality he has to deal with. Learning how to become a chef while living in New York gave him an alternate way to survive. He left Argentina to go to Spain in 1989, and relocated to Miami in the early Nineties. In America he worked in several kitchens, paying his dues as a cook and chef before buying the increasingly hot Design District restaurant One Ninety last year. But he says, "I'm a chef with a rocker heart."

If you're in the Design District you might run into some of the guys in Tereso. The group is about to independently release its first album, which will cover most of the stuff it's been playing for the past seven years. All of its members hold down other occupations to pay the bills. Singer Juan Rozas is a painter who went from picking up trees after Hurricane Andrew hit Miami in 1992 to delivering pizza, before concentrating on painting. Some of his best sellers are big reproductions of famous artists, tailored for ceilings in wealthy people's mansions. Meanwhile guitarist Marcelo Crocetti specializes in metal, sculpting big heads that have taken up most of the space in the warehouse where he works (and have lately been supplanted by small insects). His mother's cousin, Juan Carlos Payarols, is a famous goldsmith in Argentina who has sculpted presidential canes for that country's last four democratically elected presidents. Crocetti, who used to wear a Mohawk, has sold some of his pieces to the now-closed Leah's Gallery as well as to some Miami photographers. Still he has to spend some time working in an older family business, distributing baked goods to stores and supermarkets that cater to immigrants.

Blues rocker JAF is another nut in the jar. He spent more than a year playing the club circuit when he decided to leave his mid-Nineties Argentine pop glory behind. But he couldn't secure a record deal here so he left for Spain. His short stay in Miami is fondly remembered, though. If you go to Sandbar, you will probably notice that bands don't play in the back of the bar standing on the ground anymore, not after JAF built a two-foot-high wooden stage in the front of the club. "I can play better if it's onstage," the impulsive carpenter said at the time. Too bad he didn't stick around to see what Miami was really like
But those who know what the city's about, like producer Alfi Martins, enjoy it enough. In the mid-Eighties he worked as a keyboardist for Charly Garcia before moving to New York later that decade. For a while he lived in Madrid, but after deciding he wanted to come back to the States he finally settled in Miami in 1995. He's been involved with the "meta-hop drum and bass" band Council of the Sun for a few years and recently worked on a remix for Bajofondo Tango Club. He is not planning to go back to Argentina anytime soon. "I can't say that I didn't enjoy playing there," he says. "But all I can think of now is [being able] to buy an apartment in front of [soccer team Boca Juniors' stadium] La Bombonera to live there when I retire."

Steve Satterwhite
Argentine rockeros, clockwise from left: Alan Hughes, Pelu, Gardi Pais, Juan Rozas, Gaston Zukowski, Stuka, and Marcelo Crocetti
Pelu Rivero, The Gardis, Tereso and ProleThe latest addition to the Argies pack is drummer Edmundo "Pelu" Rivero, who recently left the Gardis and debuted as a solo artist at Sandbar, where he now performs every Thursday. Pelu came here in 1998 after sharing a band called Semen with his brother Damian for nine years. His grandfather, singer Edmundo Rivero, was an Argentine tango icon, but he didn't want to cash in on the legend. While cleaning bathrooms and kitchens, Pelu waged a legal dispute to recover his now-five-year-old son Fausto, after his mother brought him to the States without Pelu's consent. But the court decided in his favor, and he's now able to visit Fausto as often as he wants. Pelu met Pais in 2000; while with the Gardis, he got a chance to sit in as a session drummer with many Argentine celebrities. Charly Garcia was his favorite. "To play with him was a dream come true," he says.

Rivero shares another dream with Tereso and Fort Lauderdale-based rock band Vieja Gloria: They all want to play at Obras, a 5000-seat stadium that has been Buenos Aires's rock cathedral since the late Seventies. Vieja Gloria has developed a small following over the last seven years, playing its own songs along with a few Argentine rock classics by cult bands like Redonditos, La Renga, Los Piojos, and Divididos. But when bassist Pablo Vivas talks about his experiences here for the last twelve years -- he and his friends in the band paint houses, do gardening, or whatever else is necessary to earn income -- he doesn't have to say that he's homesick. It comes out over a long conversation during which he expresses his anger at the state of Argentina's economy and how its politicians have left tons of people like him with little alternative except to emigrate.

"Once you've been painting all day I swear that you won't think of strapping a bass to your neck," assures Vivas, who nevertheless manages to do it three times a week. Some fans love to visit them during band rehearsals so they can literally cry while listening to the group's intimate Redonditos covers. "We play for the suffering Argentineans," he says.

Somehow, all the abovementioned musicians share his lament. Despite the modest success some of them have achieved here, none of them left Argentina with a smile. It doesn't matter how long ago.

Pelu Rivero performs at 11:00 p.m. at Sandbar, 6752 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. Call 305-865-1752. The Gardis perform at 11:00 p.m. Fridays at Irish House, 1430 Alton Rd, Miami Beach. Call 305-534-5667. Tereso performs at 11:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 9, at Purdy Lounge, 1811 Purdy Ave, Miami Beach. Call 305-531-4622. Prole performs at 10:00 p.m. Tuesdays at Churchill's, 5501 NE 2nd Ave. Call 305-757-1807.

- The New Times


Koalicion; EP
Prole; Prole
Prole; Desobediente
Alan Hughes; HUTE bei JLKo



Alan Hughes/ Bio
Born in the Sixties in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Alan Hughes pursued his musical inclinations early in life, studying piano and later moving on to his main instrument, guitar. By thirteen he was a capable guitarist, rounding the circles with older musicians in the Buenos Aires underground. He later decided to add a bit of formal training, capitalizing on opportunities to study with renowned Argentinean guitarists Lito Epumer, Jaques Luce, and Jim Tobias.
By the Eighties, Hughes had developed into a professional musician, helping to form the popular Buenos Aires-based rock outfit called Zimbabwe. A talented chef; Hughes has gained international attention for his culinary excursions as well.
After traveling extensively in Europe, Jamaica, Haiti, Mexico, and Honduras, he landed in New York City, playing in the rock band Skin, and all the while developing his songwriting skills. Later Hughes moved to Miami where his desire to project his international experiences into his Latino musician's collective yielded the bands Koalicion and Prole.
Singer and songwriter, front-man and provocateur; Alan currently is returning solo to the soil and roots of his music with the first of three acoustic records scheduled for release; Namely HUTE bei JLKo, a collection of compositions that range from deeply angry decries of certain social injustices (as on the song "Traicion"), to the introspective and bluesy ("Ampa"), to rock-pop ballads ("Bajo el Puente" and "Antelacion"), and mysticism (as in "Baktun XIII" and "Nudo Sonico").

Nacido a fines de los sesenta en Buenos Aires, Argentina, estudio piano desde temprana edad y luego eligio la guitarra como su instrumento. Tuvo como maestros a Lito Epumer, jaques Luce y Jim Tobias entre otros.
En los ochenta, Hughes fue el guitarrista original de La Zimbabwe Reggae band, banda de la que deserto para viajar extensamente por Europa, jamaica, Haiti, Mexico y Honduras. paralelamente desarrollo una carrera culinaria formandose como chef hasta tener su propio restaurante.
recalo en New York, donde comenzo a componer y formo parte del grupo Skin. Finalmente se radico en la ciudad de Miami. Alli pudo proyectar su experiencia internacional en dos potentes bandas de rock latino: Koalicion y Prole.
Como autor y compositor, Alan lanza un ambicioso proyecto solista de tres discos acusticos, el primero de los cuales HUTE bei JLKo, muestra viejas composiciones que van desde la rabia por injusticias sociales al blues introspectivo y el rock pop.