Bands on the Rise

From a soulful group creating their own sound to a Jupiter teen dabbling in styles from reggae to alternative, meet six talented acts on the local music scene

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Photo by Lucas Stein

JM and the Sweets

It’s hard not to become a superfan upon hearing even a few notes cascade from the deep baritone pipes of Josh Miles (a.k.a. Joashmaël Michel). Irresistibly groovy, his soulful, bluesy voice reflects the multicultural beauty of South Florida—and of Miles himself. The Haitian-American was born in Dallas but moved to Florida with his family as a child. As lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist with his namesake J.M. and the Sweets—a moniker that “speaks to how we like to make people feel when they hear us,” he says—27-year-old Miles has been fine-tuning the band’s funky “South Florida soul” sound ever since they assembled in 2015 (their first residency was at DAS Beer Garden in downtown Abacoa; they also play at local spots like Tequesta Brewing Company and Guanabanas).

Photo by Jordan Smith Photography

“I met the core members of the group at open jam nights all over the county, from Swampgrass Willy’s to Funky Buddha,” Miles shares. Those original core members hail from all around the Sunshine State and include Lorenzo Lindo, 25 (bass); Michael Perry Jr., 27 (guitar, vocals); and Virgil Price, 36 (keys, organ, vocals). Ben Stokes, 27 also plays with the band (drums, percussion). The Sweets’ neo-soul debut EP, Sol Village, was released in 2017; the second, South Florida Soul, followed in 2019; they released a new single, “Suffer,” last July; and their third EP, South Florida Soul Vol. 2: The Feels, is on the way. Miles, a formally trained vocalist who studied performance at University of Mobile in Alabama, is also a self-taught guitarist and has been hitting the Jupiter circuit as a solo artist too, bringing his unforgettable voice and impressive rhythm skills to the stage. His vibe is kind of like when R&B meets palm trees, and we’re sure to see big things from this talented young man and his band in the future. 

Photo by Shaye Babb

Summer Gill

Solo artist Summer Gill, 24, was born in the British Virgin Islands and raised on a sailboat before moving with her family to Stuart at age 3. Her salty upbringing translates beautifully into her music, including original albums Stormy Weather (2016) and Romancing the Throne (2019). The singer-songwriter—who is often compared to Sara Bareilles and Fiona Apple—delivers clean and powerful vocals with passion, accompanied by her skills on the keys. Gill’s musical talent was evident early on; she began classical piano training at age 7, practicing for seven years before switching her focus to pop and learning to arrange piano pieces to accompany her vocals. “My dad’s side of the family was always very musical, and he made his living as a musician for many years,” she says. “I grew up listening to him singing, playing guitar, and harmonizing with my uncle and grandma. I picked up singing from listening to them and mimicking the radio.” She has been performing on the Jupiter scene since she was around 12—often with her father—her ever-sharpening blend of pop, blues, and alternative sounds a hit with local audiences. You can often catch her performing at Square Grouper, The Malted Barley, and Vintage Wine & Charcuterie, and she will be releasing new singles and music videos in the coming months.

Photo by Amber Haupt

News from Bree

Adam Haupt, 30 (guitar, banjo, flute, foot percussion, vocals), Samuel King, 25 (guitar, baritone ukulele, bass drum, vocals), and Derek Campbell, 30 (bass guitar, vocals) all grew up in the Jupiter area and played in various bands for years before eventually getting together to form their own group in 2019. Each member of the acoustic trio is individually seasoned, having performed with popular area musicians  including The Helmsmen, Cardinal Moses, Jahzilla, and Jupiter Jazz Collective. As News from Bree, they cover both old and new hits, presenting a unique sound with indie, folk, rock, and pop influences. “Our taste in music verges on the eccentric, and it’s fun to play songs people might not expect to hear from a band with our instrumentation,” says King. Explaining the band name, he adds: “In J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, our hobbit protagonists spend the night in a town called Bree, and we’re told that the Shire-folk are not all too trusting of the outside world—as evidenced by their saying ‘Strange as news from Bree.’” News from Bree has been playing locally at places like DAS Beer Garden, Brick & Barrel, and Guanabanas, and on the horizon they hope to expand their live shows and release more original songs.

Photo by Nothing Negative Company

Sierra Lane

Born and raised in Jupiter, 19-year-old singer-songwriter Sierra Lane possesses a voice that can best be described as ethereal. She puts it to good use in her soulful performances of songs she writes herself and with the help of her band—Rocky Rucker (bass), Cory Ricardy (drums), Patrick Montanari (keys, sax), and Derek McClean (guitar). “I like to mesh genres and keep things interesting,” says Lane. “You’ll hear reggae, indie, pop, alternative… That’s just how I like to express my sound—with many layers.” She often brings the skeleton of a song to her band and gives them the creative freedom to compose their own parts, but the result is always reflective of Jupiter’s beach-town vibes. While Lane’s voice is impossible to ignore, she also plays guitar, bass, ukulele, and keys. She performs all over South Florida, and you can often catch her on the Guanabanas stage. In the coming months, she hopes to release more music, film music videos, and—if the pandemic situation allows—go on tour in Florida.

Photo by Nothing Negative Company

Kev Ohm

Brazilian-American Kev Ohm’s music exudes positivity, hence his motto: “Music is medicine.” The energetic singer-songwriter grew up in Jupiter and continues to play the area frequently—formerly with his band Keep It Civil but these days mostly as a solo artist. He can spin a wicked cover tune but also began releasing original music last year. Heavily influenced by the laid-back sounds of Jack Johnson and Magic City Hippies, Ohm’s acoustic pop-rock sound is sun-kissed and uplifting, a bit of reggae with Latin influences and touches of blues and funk. “I’ve been singing and performing for as long as I can remember,” says Ohm, 28. “As soon as I could sing along to the songs I was hearing, I knew I wanted to be a performer.” By 16, he was gigging professionally at venues across South Florida and, after a post-grad detour in the corporate world, he has been pursuing music full-time since 2018. He plans for new releases on a monthly basis, aiming to build community and raise consciousness through music—which is why he loves playing Maxi’s Lineup. “It’s a small venue that gets packed with people itching to hear live music, so it’s always a blast playing there,” he says. 

Photo by Abby Ballin

The Leafy Greens Band

llen Skogman, who grew up in Jupiter, and Billy Kensinger, who has lived here for the past seven years, form the acoustic rock-and-soul duo The Leafy Greens Band. Now engaged, the couple began dating in 2014 but didn’t start performing together until January 2019. They played 150 shows that year, then topped their record in 2020 by playing more than 200 (pandemic and all), cementing their spot as regulars on the local music scene. Skogman, 27, is a classically trained choral singer (her music career actually launched when she served as president of the Jupiter High School Choirs), but she also handles tambo and shaker. Originally from Alaska, 37-year-old Kensinger adds his vocals as well as guitar to the mix. The Leafy Greens Band’s folksy harmonies blend two soothing, emotion-filled voices, which you can witness for yourself at various local venues. They have residency at spots including Double Roads Tavern, Blue Pointe Bar and Grill, Brick & Barrel, and Tequesta Brewing Company. They’re currently recording their first full-length studio album, filled with songs they’ve written together as well as with the help of platinum-selling songwriters they met in Nashville. After that, says Skogman, their goal is “to start playing more shows in true music venues and theaters across the country, get on the festival circuits, be an opener for notable acts, and eventually headline our own shows.” So what’s behind their name? “It’s about our core values,” explains Kensinger. “Staying green and growing; focusing on holistic, healthy lifestyle choices; and thriving instead of surviving.”  

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