Miami Florida The USA
Written By Sason Bishope Parry
The influences and sounds of electronic dance music today, or as some call it, EDM, are everywhere. Music, TV, commercials, streaming, radio, and more. You can find dance music reaching every inch of the Globe, as DJs and electronic music artists have exploded in recent years to become new-age rockstars. From superstar DJs like Tiesto, David Guetta, Swedish House Mafia, DeadMau5, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, and The Chainsmokers to live acts such as Daft Punk, Disclosure, The Chemical Brothers, and Alison Wonderland, the music has no boundaries. EDM festivals from Ultra Music Festival, Electric Daisy Carnival, and Tomorrowland have become modern-day Woodstock drawing as many as 300,000 fans over a weekend. Superclubs have become the norm of clubbing experience from Las Vegas to Miami as club promoters fly in big DJs every weekend to packed crowds. Although EDM has been around for decades, it wasn’t always at the mainstream level it is today. Before Las Vegas and Miami became epicenters for nightclub entertainment and EDM, local promoters worked tirelessly to pioneer the dance movement and sometimes against all odds.
One such club owner is Gino LoPinto, a New York native residing in Las Vegas for the last thirty years before moving to Miami in 2013 to build one of the hottest nightclub experiences and entertainment brands in the World, E11EVEN Miami. A UNLV business graduate Gino LoPinto started his journey in the Las Vegas club scene in the early 90s. Growing up in a family of musicians, his father was a trumpet player who recorded multiple albums with stars like Liza Minelli. His grandfather and uncles were also into music, so it was always around him.
“I live, breathe and dream about making music and being a part of the music. I wake up wanting to make music and go to bed dreaming about it. Music is in my blood. It’s part of my heritage.” – Gino LoPinto
He learned how to read, write and play music, first with his dad teaching him a trumpet, then by teaching himself guitar and piano, all while growing up with classic Rock as his main influences. But it wasn’t until he discovered electronic dance music that he met his calling and passion and realized what he wanted to do. Building a studio in his pad and working endlessly to learn logic and practice skills to be a DJ and how to merge electronic music with live instrumentation. Working on music later led him to discover his passion for promoting and putting on events. Gino realized that there was a growing underground movement called the “Rave” scene and fell in love with house music. This revelation led him to be responsible for introducing the EDM scene to the Las Vegas strip. Throughout the ’90s, he continued to grind weekly, booking DJs at weekly events that grew in size, and eventually found homes in many casinos. He later decided to open his own clubs, starting with Utopia, which became one of the biggest electronic music clubs in Vegas, and later Empire Ballroom. Casinos everywhere started catching wind of Gino’s promotion and marketing talent, as well as his pulse on the underground dance scene and reached out to him to help them market their dance clubs. Gino then created and launched The Vegas Alliance, and this new company operated as the primary independent marketing arm for many of the nightlife groups and Casinos, and that still continues today. Gino was also the mastermind of the rise of Spearmint Rhino Las Vegas, creating the first after-hours while building it up to become the #1 Gentlemen’s Club in the world.
For twenty year’s Gino grew the Las Vegas dance music scene, which has now become one of the biggest cities in the World for EDM, hosting massive festivals like EDC and home to some of the biggest super clubs in the World like Hakkasan and Marquee. He has booked almost everyone in EDM, from Tiesto, Carl Cox, Paul Oakenfold, Sasha and Digweed, Moby, Erick Morillo, David Guetta, Kaskade, to many others. It wouldn’t be long before Gino’s talents caught the eye of nightclub and cabaret impresario Dennis DeGori, who was working on a new nightclub concept for Miami called “E11even.” He reached out to Gino about the project and asked if he would be willing to relocate to Miami and become the operating partner. This new opportunity was a massive move for Gino, who had established himself as one of the biggest EDM club promoters in Las Vegas, and this would be a big role of the dice, giving up everything he had built. I remember Gino calling and asking me about the Miami market and my thoughts on whether he should take the opportunity. Not to get too much into my musical projects, I gave Gino the thumbs up, saying that Miami is somewhat like Vegas with its 24-hour liquor license and, of course, a growing party town. After much thought, Gino took the leap of faith and moved himself and his entire family, including his wife (Yvonne LoPinto) and three kids his son (Gino Jr. 17) and twin daughters (Maria & Gianna both 14), across the country to Miami, Florida. He also brought along from Vegas his longtime Director of Marketing Eddie Franco and Director of Security Adam Gould who both were instrumental in helping Gino grow in Vegas and launching E11EVEN. Miami became home to the E11EVEN mothership, which opened its doors for the 1st time in 2014. After only 6 months, E11EVEN took off like a rocket ship, anchored by an amazing team of experienced visionaries including Founder/Owner/Creator Dennis DeGori, Co-Founder/Owner Marc Roberts, Co-Founder/Owner Michael Simkins, Operating Partner/CEO E11EVEN music Gino LoPinto, Operating Partner Daniel Solomon, Operating Partner Derick Henry and Operating Partner Frances Martin
Located in the heart of downtown Miami, E11EVEN ultra club has since grown to become the country’s, if not the world’s, hottest nightclub experience. E11EVEN is more than a super club, it’s an immersive adventure encompassing the luxury and sophistication of a one-of-kind experience, the world’s only 24/7 Ultraclub. E11EVEN Miami is entertainment reimagined, bringing together the talents of all partners and fusing the EDM club experience with theatrical cabaret. The Ultra Club showcases some of the most beautiful women entertainers in the world, as well as a moonroof 5-star lounge, a celebrity chef restaurant, and so much more. E11even has gone on to win multiple awards, including Winning the prestigious “Best New Concept” award and landing on the “Top-10 Nightclubs in America,” which is awarded by Nightclub & Bar. Other awards include becoming one of the “Top-50 Clubs in the world” as featured in DJ Magazine and ranked #6 in the “World’s Top-10 New Year’s Eve Celebrations” by Yahoo Travel. E11EVEN Miami has stabilized its presence as one of the most sought-after venues for public and private events. This high-energy and ultra-sexy social hot spot has become an adult playground for big celebrity names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Jamie Foxx, Paris Hilton, Jo Koy and many others attending. E11EVEN has become known for its impressive live performances by some of the biggest stars, such as Usher, Drake, Nicki Minaj, Big Sean, Vin Diesel, and Nicky Jam, to name a few. And of course, with Gino’s love and experience of dance music, every week, E11EVEN sees chart-topping DJs such as Tiesto, Marshmello, The Chainsmokers, DIPLO, Skrillex, and Zedd, among others, that light up the state-of-the-art DJ booth to sold-out shows and rave reviews.
Beyond just a nightclub, E11EVEN had its sights set higher to become a worldwide entertainment lifestyle brand. This led the E11EVEN partners to expand by creating the world’s best-sounding club system E11EVEN Sound by DAS Audio as well as a licensing deal for E11EVEN Vodka, which took off immediately. Wanting to be on the cusp of new tech and innovation, they expanded even further, launching E11EVEN Crypto, becoming the 1st nightclub in history to accept bitcoin as a form of payment. Not sleeping there, E11EVEN partnered with Ryan Shear, co-owner of PMG, a very successful developer of hotels and condominiums. The developers believed in the brand and decided to take the leap of faith to launch E11EVEN Hotel & Residencies during the peak of the pandemic, which could have gone good or bad. The risk paid off, as the new residential venture broke all real estate records selling out two 65-story towers in several months. Arguably the best new residential towers in the state, which houses a Deepak Chopra Spa, a 24-hour lobby bar, sports lounge, E11EVEN pool club “Vegas Style,” and five-star dining. The E11EVEN hotel is slated to open its doors in 2025.
“This is a residential game changer for Miami. Bigger than we could have imagined” – Gino LoPinto
With all the new E11EVEN ventures on his plate and a family to support, any other person would have probably slowed down, but Gino needed to come full circle to do what his life’s passion has always been. He got into the club business because of his love of music and to give himself a platform as an artist, so with fantastic resources now at his disposal, it was time to get back to his dream of producing and putting out music. With the support of his partners, Gino launched E11EVEN music, a new vertical that is part record label, part artist/producer/talent management company, and introduced the world to its first signing, DJ/Producer 11APE. The 11APE identity was born from a meta-primate #11 in the Bored Ape Yacht Club. Gino and his E11EVEN music team had the brilliant idea to place an E11EVEN hat on him, and 11APE was transformed, embodying everything that is the spirit of the E11EVEN brand. 11APE’s music is multi-genre with an EDM base and incorporates the love and party vibes you feel at E11EVEN Miami. With 11APE ready to rock and a dream team production group in place, they went to work. The result was a great first release, “Bad Girls,” which dropped in August of this year, making Gino’s dream of putting out music finally a reality. “Bad Girls’ is a pop-EDM banger that is a collaboration with Pitbull’s artist Vikina and Mr. 305 INC. The song has since started to go viral with a dance challenge on social media and 11APE featuring Vikina live performances. The 2nd single, “Let It Go,” featuring Jeremy Elliot, will drop sometime in October of this year. With other live performances and more big-name collaborations in the works, 11APE has officially gone beyond the metaverse, and Gino couldn’t be happier. 11APE is currently working on more big collaborations and an upcoming EP and debut album will be revealed soon.
E11EVEN has become a dream come true on all levels for Gino and far exceeded anything he or his partners could have ever imagined. The ironic thing is, they are just getting started, with talks of launching clubs in other markets and continuing to grow the brand as big as possible. The skies the limit when you work hard, and Gino has been at it his whole life, proving that when you stick to what you love, work with a great team of talented people and continue to grind with a positive outlook, dreams do come true.
I had the opportunity to sit down with my good friend Gino Lopinto and talk about life, E11even, and his new musical, baby 11ape.
Sason Bishope Parry: How is life treating you in a Covid World?
Gino Lopino: Fortunately, Florida overall handled it very well. I believe Miami specifically grew significantly through the pandemic, even when much of the world closed down. We had our downtime, but we were able to operate much sooner than anyone.
SBP: Tell readers a little about yourself and where you’re from.
GL: I was born in New York City and raised in Las Vegas since I was 10 yrs. Old. I spent 38 years there before relocating to Miami.
SBP: How did you get into music?
GL: My father was a trumpet player. He recorded on 32 albums with stars from Liza Minelli to Tito Puente. My mother’s two brothers were professional musicians, as well as my grandfather. I learned how to read and write music and have been doing it since I was eight. Music is in my blood!
SBP: You started your career in music in Vegas. How did that come about?
GL: I was born with a musical passion. I was a trumpet player like my father at a young age, but the trumpet wasn’t that cool when I was growing up. So, I quit the band and focused on sports while teaching myself the guitar and piano at home as a hobby.
SBP: You were one of the 1st promoters to break house and dance music in Vegas and inside casinos. Tell us about that journey.
GL: Nobody was doing EDM in Vegas, which was called house music in the 90s other than underground warehouse events and Raves. I was the first to bring it mainstream to a club on the Las Vegas Strip called Utopia. That’s forever changed the game for nightlife in Las Vegas. For ten years, from 1996-2005, no other club in Vegas brought the world-renowned DJ’S on the regular the way I focused on them weekly.
SBP: E11EVEN is your new nightclub in Miami and has become the hottest spot in the country in just a few years, what led to this fantastic success?
GL: Not to be braggadocios, but I would argue the world! Dennis De Gori, my partner and the creator of the E11EVEN concept, talked me into a partnership and moved my family across the country to build a lifestyle brand. We had much confidence, but it exceeded far beyond our highest expectations.
SBP: Tell us a little about E11EVEN, your formula for success, and what goes on inside.
GL: Our Staff is our family, and it starts with us but is truly carried over by an amazing staff that is led by amazing Directors, Rob Crosoli, Zac Bouch, Eddie Franco, Miguel Gasca and Adam Gould. E11EVEN is a sensory feast of sight, sound, and taste. It’s one of a kind globally. It hits all aspects of your emotions. I genuinely believe forty years from now, people will look upon it as the greatest club there ever was. I know it’s a bold statement, but it’s true in my mind. Studio 54 is arguably the reigning crown of that statement thus far. Other than such a special period of time, I think we give it a run for its money. We definitely have the content for the
documentary. But my founding partners Dennis De Gori, Michael Simkins, Marc Roberts, and my Operating partners Danny Solomon, Frances Martin, and Derick Henry are long gone.
SBP: With the success of E11EVEN Miami Nightclub, you launched E11even Hotel and residences. Was that your idea, and when will that open?
GL: Well Dennis and I had discussed it as we were growing but Marc Roberts met a very strong developer Ryan Shear, co-owner of PMG. They are very successful in the hotel/Condo space. They believed in our brand and were as confident as we were that it could translate to real estate. We all took the leap of faith and broke Miami real estate records with the time it took us to sell out two 65-story towers. The towers include a Deepak Chopra Spa, a 24-hour lobby bar, sports lounge, E11EVEN pool club “Vegas Style,” and 5-star dining. A Game changer for Miami!
SBP: Now you’ve come full circle and have a music studio and record label E11EVEN music and are launching your 1st dance music act, 11APE, and single, “Bad Girls,” out now. How did you come up with the name and the idea?
GL: We, the E11EVEN partners, purchased an NFT, the #11 bored ape of Yuga Labs Bored Ape Yacht Club. The press went viral, so we made it our mascot. We added an E11EVEN hat to it, and it came to life. He embodies the spirit of E11EVEN. The music, the people, the musical artist that has performed there, and the overall vibe. He’s a love gangsta.
SBP: Was it always your goal to get back to music and being an artist/producer?
GL: It’s why I got into the club business, to begin with. But make no mistake. I am just a part of 11APE. He is a DJ and producer that represents several amazing producers, writers, and creative minds collectively. Think of him as a group, not as a solo artist.
SBP: If you could reach one dream, what is it?
GL: Family was always my first dream. My beautiful soulmate and wife, Yvonne, is my wingman. When I was up, down, broke, she never wavered. I could not be who I am without that woman. That includes my three children Gino Jr 17, and twin girls, Gianna and Maria “Mia,” 14 years old, who I like to call “Karma” and “Revenge,” Lol. That was my goal, and I couldn’t have accomplished it any better. However, besides that, music is my dream. Not winning a Grammy or success, just the ability and platform to release music and hopefully see it appreciated. I’ve finally reached the point where I am now doing that. Finally!!
SBP: As an artist myself, I understand that passion and drive for music, how do you keep that fire burning?
GL: It takes zero effort. I don’t sleep. You would understand, but most people cannot. It’s all I want to do. I’m addicted. Heroin would be less addictive to me. I live it, and I breathe it. I wake up wanting to produce music, and I struggle sleeping wanting to produce music. I’ve written many songs just for me and finally have the platform to release them. But again, I want to be clear, I am just one writer, producer, and creative mind, alongside several great minds that feel the same way I do. 11APE represents and is E11EVEN. He is the Mickey Mouse of Disney, the swoosh of Nike.
SBP: It seems 11APE has many collaborations in the works. Which one is your favourite?
GL: I’m biased to the first 11APE track we wrote. I co-wrote it with Jeremy Elliot and co-produced it with Juan I Gonzalez (John G) and Jake Magness. It’s called “Let it Go,” and it drops in October. I also absolutely love a few huge collaborations following that as well, but something about the first one just hits differently.
SBP: What do you have planned for 11APE regarding upcoming releases and shows?
GL: We are creating an 11APE live show with a very cool visual production to support the musical efforts. Live musicians, dancers, visuals, etc. When 11APE is live, it will be a spectacle and nothing less.
SBP: So, everyone is dying to know who is under the 11Ape mask. Is that you?
GL: 11APE represents E11EVEN. It’s many people at the same time under the mask. If you are a fan of the love and the welcome home movement we’ve created since 2014 at E11EVEN, you will support and love 11APE. It doesn’t really matter who is under the mask. We are a group. A family and 11APE is our family crest.
SBP: Who are your inspirations and heroes in music?
GL: I grew up in a family of professional musicians, so Frank Sinatra was the king in my very young childhood household. But my personal roots are in Classic Rock. I later fell in love with the energy and vibe of EDM. I’ve also grown to love hip hop as well. I can listen to opera or line dance to country. My love for music has no boundaries. I get inspiration from it all.
SBP: You’re also a family man with three kids. How do you manage to build an E11EVEN empire and still have time for family life?
GL: Believe it or not, the countless hours I put into my work and passion, and thank God that’s one in the same for me. I am able to spend a tremendous amount of time with my wife and kids. I’m at the club when they are sleeping, and I’m usually at home when they are getting up for school and coming home from school. We do dinner as a family 4-5 days a week, and we are so close I couldn’t imagine it any other way. BIG props to wifey Yvonne for keeping our house a home.
SBP: Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
GL? Doing the same but bigger. E11EVEN hotel & residences will be open. E11EVEN Vodka will be national. E11EVEN sound by DAS audio will be worldwide. E11EVEN LIFE merch everywhere. E11EVEN crypto will be deep in the metaverse, and of course, E11EVEN music will have many artists on the charts led by 11APE. E11EVEN is the only focus. We are visionaries of a big multi-category worldwide brand. Nothing else. And above all, enjoying my wife and kids! Nothing matters to me without that.
SBP: What’s next for Gino Lopinto, aka 11APE, haha?
GL? I LOVE the way you push that narrative, brother. But there is no “AKA.” I’m not Clark Kent or Peter Parker, Haha. I’m just the HUGE passion and love that leads the charge alongside a genius group of other minds that propel 11APE. I’m down to Earth, filled with gratitude and surrounded by great people. E11EVEN is my future. Anyone can follow me and my journey also on my personal IG: @gino_lopinto
For anyone that wants access to the E11EVEN ecosystem join the 11 captains club by purchasing an 11 captains club NFT – The first collection from E11EVEN Crypto.
BAD GIRL MUSIC VIDEO – 11APE X VIKINA
E11EVEN AT BITCOIN CONFERENCE
E11EVEN HOTEL & RESIDENCIES
E11EVEN MAKE A WISH BALL
TIESTO AT E11EVEN
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