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!