Alfonse Subarsky, one of Key West’s most popular performing musicians arrived in Key West sixteen years ago this September. Alfonse came down from Red Bank, New Jersey, in 1999 for a long weekend, and never left. In Alfonse’s words: “its been a hell of a weekend”.
Before moving to Key West,Alfonse was the guitarist for the Party Dolls band for 11 years, from 1988 to 1999. The Party Dolls was a successful touring band that traveled all over the Northeast, opening for top named acts like Little Richard, and Chuck Berry. But the grind of the touring wore on Alfonse and he left the band. As fate would have it, Alfonse ran in to a a friend at a party who offered to help with the next step in his musical career. His friend worked at the La Concha hotel (Holiday Inn, Key West at that time) She called Frank Dudek the assistant manager of the hotel, and Alfonse hopped the first plane to Key West and met with Frank. They spoke for twenty minutes and Alfonse was hired. Alfonse has been performing regularly in Key West ever since.
Besides performing as a solo act, Alfonse has also been performing in a band called the Prime Movers since his arrival. Along with Alfonse, the Prime Movers consists of Rob Distasi, Brian Roberts, (both New Jersey guys as well), and Ray Spence (from the Bronx). Alfonse laughs: “I had to move all the way to Key West to get together with two guys form Jersey and a drummer form the Bronx”. Together since 1999, the Prime Movers continue to perform for special occasions in Key West. They played the Mayor’s Ball in Key West this year.
Alfonse recalls having performed Captain Tony’s when first arrived in Key West, and having long conversations with Captain Tony, who was also originally from New Jersey. Alfonse is quick to point out that a lot of new, younger musicians have come to Key West, acknowledging “the bar has been raised since I first got here, excellent talent coming to town”.
Alfonse performs at Two Friends Restaurant every Monday, at Rick”s Tuesday and Thursday, and Friday and Saturday at the Pier House Beach Bar, 12 – 3. He’s looking forward to playing the Key West Musicians Festival September 19 & 20 at The Smokin’ Tuna.