Checking in...

March 14, 2014

The feast continues...

Liza, the gal from Chicago has turned into a great resource and friend.  She's basically doing what I'm doing, but has been doing it for five years.  She knows everybody, she's bringing me up to speed on bands, players, recordings, styles, form, etc.  I will miss her.  It's great to have someone during this time who is as passionate about salsa as I am.  We bang out montuno patterns wherever we are.  She showed me a groove.  I took it into the practice room and put a twist on it and tossed it right back at her.  She played again at the Nuyorican Wednesday night and I got to sit in again.  I can't imagine this trip without having met her.

Juan Carlos Garcia is a friend from Seattle whom I've played salsa with a number of times.  He's Puerto Rican and down here currently to set up a business.  In the 90's he went to Interamerican university.  He took me there Monday and I met some faculty and observed the university salsa band rehearsing.  Holy cow.  This band was great and it wasn't just horns and rhythm section.  There was a chorus of six people singing the background coros and soneros.  Tight, rhythmic harmonies.  What a blast.  The director is a nationally acclaimed arranger.  He's going to give me an arranging workshop/lesson/chat/hang next Monday.  Amazing.

But first, Liza and I are going to the conservatory to hang out with a friend of hers.  The three of us are just going to hang with a piano for a couple hours.  He's a monster player.  I'll be recording all of these encounters and should come home with material for years of study.

The reality of leaving is starting to set in.  I have so many connections now - a simple reminder that all I needed from the start was patience.  Now I've got more to do than I know what to do with.  What gets me through this?  Breathing...

 

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