It's 2:36pm on Sunday as I type these words. Despite going to bed at 5:00am this morning, I still got up around 10:00am feeling well-rested. Not logical I know. It certainly helped that I went easy on the alcohol for change. Not that I'm an alcoholic or whatever. Just cutting back a bit these days so I don't wake up with a throbbing headache in the morning. I'll quickly finish this up and get outdoors for the rest of the day and chill.
Anyway, last night was a pretty intense (albeit very enjoyable) evening that began with a performance at the Alliance Dance Institute where they were having their Spring Showcase featuring student and professional performances.
Some of Marsha Bonet's students performed a special choreography that featured snippets of different palos from bulerias, fandangos de Huelva, Sevillanas and rumba. And the cool thing, at least from my perspective, was that not only was it their first time to perform flamenco onstage, but it was also their first time to perform with live music. Accompaniment provided by yours truly!
Cynthia, Sophia, Kate, Rachel, Marsha and Miguelito. April 29, 2006 9:25pm (photo by Jason)
I'm not just here to promote myself and my services, but I feel it's very important that flamenco dance students get some experience working with live accompaniment early on. I've already talked about the advantages of live music in flamenco many times over the years, so I'm not going go into it now. Kudos to Marsha on insisting on using live music for this showcase!
It's 10:25am on Saturday as I type these words. Just got up and I'm running late already so this'll be short and sweet.
Yesterday I went to Alliance Dance Institute to rehearse with Marsha. We're performing tonight at the Spring Showcase during the dance party at her studio. I'm pretty excited because it's the culmination of months of rehearsing and it's also a different kind of challenge: we're performing for a crowd of serious dancers--not flamencos but serious dancers nonetheless.
Afterwards, I headed to Georgetown in time to setup my sound system and perform at Cabanas.
Sunset at the waterfront. April 28, 2006 7:48pm
Got an email from Monica a few days earlier asking me about the show at Cabanas. She was meeting a friend at National Airport who was just arriving and wanted to take her out to a flamenco show. She and her friend Colette are dancers at the Columbia Restaurant in Tampa, Florida. Actually, Monica had to step down from performing to make time to go back to school. Anyway, it was my pleasure to welcome these two ladies to Cabanas--the first time they'd see a tablao show in DC.
April 28, 2006 9:09am
Actual conversation on the metro around 11:00pm last night:
"Didn't I see you play somewhere on Connecticut Ave?"
"Was it at Cafe Citron?"
"Yeah, is that where you're playing tonight?" I'm guessing this guy and his girlfriend were on their way to downtown DC perhaps Adams-Morgan.
"No, I just finished playing at a restaurant in Rockville."
We introduced ourselves. I gave him my card and told him to come to my show at Citron on Monday. Moments later, I said goodnight and got off the train at my stop.
OK, it was kinda cool to be recognized on the metro. Then again, I have a distinct look not to mention the fact that I've got a guitar slung on my shoulder and 100 pounds of sound equipment on a cart. But what touched me was that I made such an impression on the person that he actually remembered me. Turns out it was a few years ago when he saw me playing at Cafe Citron!
It's 6:58am on Thursday as I type these words. Yesterday I had a day off from performing but still had a few business-related errands to take care of....
The new restaurant Tapeo asked me to create a flyer to announce their new flamenco show. I promised them I'd put something together that included photos of the dancers I would be using for this gig. Sounds simple, right? Well, the problem is that I had to select the perfect pics and I've got thousands to browse through! Ugh. Simple, yes but labor intensive! Then there was the painstaking process of editing out the background behind the dancers.
This is what the first draft of the flyer looks like...
I was just about to head out the door when I got this email from Julia Cristina. You might remember Julia. I performed with her a few times last summer. She provided a pic plus some text so it only took me five minutes to publish this. She writes:
I am currently staying in Jerez de la Frontera and plan to stay here until the beginning of June. Then I'll be in Madrid for about a week (studying at Amor de Dios a little and partying too).
Jerez is beautiful--tiny and overflowing with flamenco. I am studying with Manuela Carpio and Ana Maria Lopez, both teaching me Bulerias de Jerez. The format of the classes is nice (but a little nervewracking for me at first): there are 2-4 guitarists who usually come, and the teacher acts as the singer. Each student gets about 3 turns to get up and dance a short Bulerias. Its a Fin de Fiesta every time...except the teachers can correct you if you screw up.
I am staying in a little apartment with a woman named Estela Zatania, an american journalist who has lived in Spain for about 30 years. She's a true flamenco by now--some mistake her for gitana.
This pic of me (by me) was taken on the street where Estela lives. I'll try sending another a flamenco pic or two later--I'm going to the Feria de Sevilla on Saturday which might provide me with interesting things to get on camera.
Hope all is well in DC!