S.O.B.’s was opened by owner and director Larry Gold way back in 1982 with the purpose of exposing the musical wealth and heritage of the Afro-Latino Diaspora to as many people as possible. True to its mission, it has become renowned as the premiere venue not only for World Music, but all genres, in New York City and the world over. In its early days, SOBs existed on a barren stretch at the corner of Varick and Houston Streets, but the area soon became the trendy neighborhood of SoHo and the venue’s reputation began to grow with performances from Latin legends like Tito Puente, Marc Anthony, Celia Cruz & Eddie Palmieri.
The tradition of Brazilian artists has been nothing short of incredible. Legends like Seu Jorge, Ben Jorge & Astrud Gilberto have all graced the stage of the venue which gained its namesake from their native country. In terms of the the new latin sound, the list only gets more impressive with names like Isaac Delgado, Orquesta Aragon, Los Papines, Manolito Simonet, Septeto Nacional Ignacio Piñeiro & Los Van Van. Over the course of its 28 years in business, SOBs has also developed a reputation in the music industry as a breeding ground for emerging artists and trends.
For newer performers, a show at SOBs can be the springboard for their careers, garnering them press from mainstream local, national and even international publications as well as attracting attention from music industry professionals. This has been the true with uncounted artists, including John Legend, Erykah Badu, Kanye West, Common, Drake & Ryan Leslie. The venue gives more established artists the opportunity to connect with their fans on a personal level, due to its unique, intimate setting .
Today the SOBs draws both local and international crowds and continues to specialize in Latin music, Haitian, Brazilian, Caribbean, R&B, Hip-Hop and World music. It exists as a unique place to experience the lively sounds from all types of cultures within the global diaspora, a fact reflective in its slogan the “Home of Universal Music”.