The Cornerstoners
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The Cornerstoners

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF

Miami, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Hip Hop Rock




"The Cornerstoners Discuss Past, Present, and Future"

Any band worthy of mention will agree: the chemistry among its members is as important as the music they create.

Steven Tyler has said his forty-year tenure with Aerosmith has felt like a marriage, equally difficult as fulfilling. C.C. DeVille’s tumultuous departure from Poison in 1991 may have made life easier for the remaining members, but sluggish album sales following his exit proved how delicate the musical balance within a band really is.

The CornerStoners have had changes in their line up as well, but see them perform and you’ll know they have it right now. A hip-hop fusion quartet that blends heavy rock with a funky jazz undercurrent of sound creates an exhilarating experience for anyone within a four-block radius lucky enough to hear them. Four distinct and confident personalities contrast each other off the stage, but while performing they are four limbs of one body, each one with a role, an influence and purpose.

Lead vocalist and lyricist Michelangelo Chavarro is the fulcrum. One of the original members, the band is his baby. He is soft spoken and charming, a stark change from the man who roared and belted edgy rhymes and passionate notes just moments before. He is laid back and cool, allowing each member to speak their mind and very focused on the direction and objectives of the band.

Alana Dym is a rock goddess. Setting The CornerStoners apart from the rest is the fact that she is their drummer. A classically trained percussionist, she wailed fiercely on the drums while wearing light-up, heart-shaped sunglasses and a smile. The second eldest member of the band, she brings female sensuality and sensibility.

“I’m a drummer,” she says. “I hold it down from behind. Yes, I am a female and it’s something I get a lot of attention for, mostly positive, but at the same time I’m just a drummer and my gender is something I can’t get around.”

Bass player Harrison Pearl’s disposition is like his instrument of choice. Like the bass, he exudes a mellow, shy persona underlining the others. He rarely speaks, but as he quietly stands and observes, you can see a vibrant, rumble of passion for music and his band mates stirring within.

While speaking with The CornerStoners, an intoxicating, contagious, hilarious force was zipping around us in the form of their guitar player, Chris P. He is a guitar virtuoso in the making. An avid fan of Joe Perry, his amazing riffs and addictive personality brings something special to the dynamic. Outspoken and sharp, he is Harrison’s antithesis. As one is mild and obliging, Chris is avid and commanding.

“I’ve been playing guitar for a decade,” he says when you catch him standing still. “The sound that I got now is developed from having played jazz. I wanted to be Joe Perry.”

They had just finished an hour set at Jada Coles in Miami and the buzz had not yet worn off. A strong set list featuring songs from their debut and most recent release included Born Free, On the Road, Cold World, WTF, among others. The CornerStoners are earning their keep in the music scene. They have graced stages in several states as well as overseas and South America. Gradually, they hope to live off their musical passions and bring new experiences to new fans in new places.

“I can’t live without music,” Michelangelo says. “Once I discovered I could do it and how much freaking fun I can have doing it, I can’t see myself working the nine to five. I want to be a fucking gypsy on the road, playing music every night, meeting new people and blowing new minds,” he added.

They have established themselves to the point where they are no longer playing for free, a highly coveted spot for any up-and-coming artist. Despite their localized success in the South Florida area and ever-growing resume, they are loyal to fellow bands (and friends) who are trying to accomplish similar goals.

“Telekinetic Walrus and the Pride of Ions and The CornerStoners have been doing a bunch of gigs together. We have totally different genres, but have similar messages in our songs, like self-realization, peace and are totally worth mentioning,” Michelangelo said.

Staying true to the rock-n-roll lifestyle so many crave, The CornerStoners show enormous focus in the business aspect of the industry. Weaving through different musical cliques in the Miami area and partnering with people to film videos, they use the power of networking to increase their range.

“As far as I know there are a lot of different scenes in Miami that make it harder to network, but it is extremely important in what we’re doing,” Michelangelo said.

And the room for growth they exhibit allows for large amounts of potential to be exploited. With Michelangelo’s guidance, the band’s only limit is the horizon.

“I have visions of Alana at the forefront with a marimba, up at the front of the stage singing and rocking at the same time,” Michelangelo said.

“It’s not at a level that we’re ready to bring it out to the public. It’s there, we can do it, but?it’s not perfect,” Chris P said.

As with any relationship, making it work and keeping bonds strong is a constant work-in-progress.

“As a band we feel like a family,” Michelangelo said. “Whatever things we have to work out we’re doing it hand in hand.”

Their friendship is palpable and their music is fresh. A bold, brave message over sick guitar riffs, strong bass accompaniment and one bad-ass female drummer make The CornerStoners a force not to be reckoned with. They have a predestined union that is written in the stars:

“I’m into astrology, so we got Alana and Chris P who are Sagittarius, and I’m a Leo so we got straight fire there. Harrison over here is a Pisces so his water sign mellows us out,” Michelangelo said.

We suggested that you get CornerStoned ASAP. Why? Because it feels so good. -

"Indie Unplugged Miami New Times Review"

The 17 tracks are split between five outfits: the rightly popular Raffa and Rainer, the like-minded Nacho and Johann, the rocking Alucard, the good vibes of Fitzroy, and the tripped-out sprechgesang rap of The Cornerstoners. Good sampler. Get it.
- Miami New Times

"A Flower in the Weeds"

The Cornerstoners launched into an earnest rap: "A new chapter of my life is open. I'm so focused, I'm so focused. Everybody in the house say change is good, change is good. Let's change," implored the man at the mike. - Miami New Times

"The Stone That the Builder Refused"

After their communal performance venue got shut down, it seemed the Cornerstoners, local hip-hoppers/Latin rockers with talent and energy to burn, would go the way of many a Miami band -- that is, split up and fade into oblivion, leaving fans to reminisce about them over blunts and beers. No such luck, homies. On their MySpace page, the group members boast, “We don’t die; we multiply.” And they’ve done just that by creating their own promotions groups, printing their own flyers, booking their own venues, and taking the scene into their own hands. Gotta give them props for keeping the dream alive. - Miami New Times


Various - Indie Unplugged Miami (2008)
The Cornerstoners - "The Cornerstoners" (2010)



Magic City locals remember The Cornerstone as Miami’s most unique experimental art venue. After the club was shuttered in 2007, its spirit was kept alive through the Cornerstoners, a band that grew out of the hotspot’s fire-breathing creativity. A revival of live Funk and Hip Hop sounds, led by irrepressible MC, Michelangelo, the Cornerstoners have evolved into a force known for tearing up the Miami music scene and funkifying stages around the globe.

With acoustic Hip Hop origins, the Cornerstoners have grown into a danceable, high energy fusion of Progressive Rock, Blues, & Funk. Band personnel includes: Alana Dym laying down a strong Hip Hop drum foundation; Harrison Pearl delivers a funky feel with his smooth Reggae bass pulse; Chris P provides a fast rock but gentle groove on the guitar; and MC Michelangelo spits a dose of provocative, socially conscious lyrics completing their style. Though creatively rooted as individuals, they come together for a larger movement staying true to their namesake’s birthplace, The Cornerstone.

With two international tours, three national tours, and countless regional tours and even a recent 2010 Bear Creek Music Festival Performance, The Cornerstoners are staying extremely active in the Miami music scene, performing at many local festivals, such as Grow, Breathe, Envision and Confunktion 3.0.5. The Cornerstoners are currently in the studio recording their second album while still entertaining local fans with their high-energy live performances.