The South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble, initially known as The Flamingo Freedom Band, was founded in 1986 by Mort Jonas and Bruce Freeman. The first performance, with an instrumentation of three clarinets and three alto saxes, was a joint performance with the Gay Men’s Chorus in Miami.
Over the years, the Band has played at a wide array of events representing the gay and lesbian community in venues such as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the Broward County Convention Center, the Orange Bowl, the Museum of Art, the Parker Playhouse, Promenade in the Park, Christmas on Las Olas, the Gay and Lesbian Community Center, area churches, local night spots, and even aboard cruise ships.
As a member of the Lesbian Gay Band Association, members of the band have performed in events around the world. These historic events include being the first openly gay and lesbian group ever to perform at a U.S. Presidential inauguration. Other events include Gay and Lesbian Marches on Washington, DC, and the Gay Games in New York, Amsterdam, and Sydney. The Band has held six LGBA National Conferences, each time including concert performances with well over one hundred performers from around the globe.
Today, the Band continues to grow and develop, adding different types of performance subsets, such as the woodwind, brass, percussion, and jazz ensembles. Under the direction of Dan Bassett since 2006, the organization has risen to great heights, increased in skill, and built a robust repertoire with over 65 active members making music. The future of the South Florida Pride Wind Ensemble is an ongoing movement that strives to harmonize and entertain our community.