Hello friends and fans, I have not posted in quite some time. It’s mid-summer 2019 and with the educating portion of my life mostly off my plate for the next 6 weeks, it’s the time for ideas big and small to germinate, and to get in long practice sessions. I’ve been working a lot on vocal technique over the last year as well as percussion, and am continuing that with even more dedicated time. I spent several hours the last two days on a new arrangement which is shaping up to be really cool! And finally, I’ve been awarded a King County 4Culture grant to put on a special performance next year. Now that the project is a reality, I’m digging into the details of how, when, who and what. It’s so good to have time. Check out the “shows” link to see about outdoor summer shows coming up in the next few days. We’ll be back at the MQ lounge on several Tuesdays in the fall, as well as the Sea Monster with Sonriente and Zarabanda. Hope you are all having a wonderful summer!
It’s been a busy year with lots of highlights. A few of my favorites were working with the students at Yakima Valley Community College, playing with Kiki Valera and friends at the Triple Door, and playing some wonderful hand-made instruments (a pandeiro by Bola and a natural gourd guiro by David Trejo). Thanks to Tor Dietrickson for scoping out and procuring drums for me, which have been a huge pleasure to play and inspiration to practice. We’ve got one more date in 2018 at the Musiquarium on December 18th, 5-8 PM. Beginning in January we’ll be playing there twice monthly on Tuesdays and look forward to seeing your there! Check the calendar link for all upcoming dates. Happy Holidays and may 2019 bring you peace and happiness!
Summer in Seattle is in full swing! We had an amazing time with Kiki Valera's Serenata Cubana at the Triple Door and eagerly await the recording of that material that he is currently producing. We've got a few outdoor dates left, and are just getting started with Tuesday happy hours at the Musiquarium. Check the "Shows" link for all upcoming dates and hope to see you soon!
Well, Soy Cuba was an amazing experience, and now we're taking a step back, poring over video and audio and planning what the next phase of the project might look like. Meanwhile, the Sea Monster Cuba Libre sessions have become a great scene for Cuban dance music. Looking forward to performing at two more sessions in 2017 (December 9th and December 23rd). See you there!
About a month ago I got the great news that I've been funded by City Artists! We're puttin' on a show, and this time around it will be a Cuban music retrospective at the Triple Door main stage in downtown Seattle. It will involve around twenty musicians, some very special guests artists and dancers, and a TOP SECRET element that I will not spoil by divulging too soon.
Last week I had an inspiring meeting with my co-director, Alfredo Polier. It was immediately clear that we've got complementary skills, and that he is going to bring some great stage direction experience to bear on this project, as well as vision, repertoire and musicianship. I'll be posting updates soon. Meanwhile, pencil in October 6 and 7, 2017!
Many years ago I found myself newly arrived in Seattle with my brand-new BA in Music. By virtue of a happy accident, I found myself participating in a concert of Afro-Cuban sacred music. San Francisco-based pianist-singer Rebecca Mauleón came up to perform the akpwón (lead vocal) part. As I watched her take total command of the piece, and as the call and response singing cascaded through that church, I knew that I wanted to pursue Cuban music. I shelved my classical music pursuits and began a long and rewarding study of Cuban percussion, dance, folkloric and popular music.
I've been invited by the Seattle Peace Chorus to sing akpwón on that same piece, "Orin Odara" on November 18th and 19th. I'm excited to bring this full circle, playing the piece I was originally inspired by along side several of the musicians I began my studies with. And this time, I'll be standing in Rebecca's shoes!
Check out our new digs! Thanks to Auston James (photographer), Hallie Kuperman (Century Ballroom) and Jes Raymond (website assistance and fantastic musician and friend). So excited to launch the next phase of the band!