Uncategorized — December 5, 2006 at 4:19 am

El Negro – 12-06

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horacio_3In the month of April, I was able to participate in a few great recordings……. at the beginning of the month I went to Puerto Rico, first to record with reggaeton girl Shany Duco and then to celebrate Eddie Palmieri’s 50 year career anniversary at the Tito Puente Amphitheatre. Four hours flying, shifted me to Boston, to play a concert at the Museum of Fine Arts, with the Fahir Atakoglu Trio featuring Anthony Jackson on bass. Then we played Blues Alley in D.C., where I connected for Toronto, for the recording of Hilario Duran’s Big Band recording “From The Heart”, with maestro Paquito D’ Rivera, as a very special guest. Bozeman, Montana, San Jose, California, and Denver, Colorado, for a quick drum clinic tour, before playing a couple of nights in New York City, again with the Fahir Atakoglu Trio. The last days of April and May 1st saw me at Clinton Studios in NYC, recording Kazumi Watanabe’s “Mo Bop III”, once again with Richard Bona on bass, and this time around Brazilian percussion great Cyro Baptiste as an invited guest on some tracks.

On May 3rd, the airplane headed to Turkey, for a series of concerts with Fahir and Anthony. We played in Ankara, Antalya, Istanbul, and Izmir. There’s nothing like seeing a country with a native as your best friend! Fahir’s hospitality was excellent, and the concerts went great. Italuba was waiting for me in Rotterdam. A few months ago, in Zimbabwe, I received a gift that has changed my life. A drummer named John Miles Draze, husband of a prominent California doctor who specializes in AIDS research, and father of two, gave me a precious instrument with the most angelic sound I’ve ever heard. This instruments name is the mbira, and this one in particular belonged to the late Mr. Ephat Mujuru, who was one of the Zimbabwean percussionists invited to play at the only concert, that the greatest Bob Marley ever performed, in Africa. John was his student, and when he passed on, John kept the mbira. At the concert of ITALUBA in Rotterdam on May 13th, was the first time that I played the mbira live. It’s a very hard instrument to mic, and it wasn’t until my brothers from Shure sent me a special mic, that I’m now able to amplify the instrument better. It was great to get back with “my” guys. After Rotterdam, The Piazza dei Signori, in Vicenza, Italy, was where we performed as part of the jazz festival (LA BELLA ITALIA!), where I was down because I’d lost one of the mbira keys during the flight from Amsterdam…… from Vicenza, we flew to Napoli, where I landed almost crying for my mbira’s lost key (‘A BELLA NAPOLI!), only in Napoli; the concert promoter found an iron “craftsman”, who took the mbira and came back to me two hours later with the new key (it was the perfect size, but the wrong note, and until I bought another mbira just to replace the key on mine, the problem was not solved, but what an ingenious will. Only ‘A Napoli!). Pescara was the last concert before I went to visit my friend, pianist Ramon Valle in Amsterdam, for a few days off. On the 22nd, ITALUBA played a the New Morning in Paris, two days at the Jamboree in Barcelona, a concert in Valencia, the jazz festival in Vic, and two days at Clamores jazz club in Madrid. The night after, was the record release for Nino Josele’s “Paz” record, with Marc Johnson on bass. La Palma Jazz Festival was waiting for ITALUBA in Rome, before returning to Barcelona for Nino Josele’s second record release party there. I met my guys again in Tenerife, Spain, where I arrived but my suitcase didn’t, (but a new shirt is always a reason to be happy!). Most missed item: my sticks! Thank God that my bag followed me to Dusseldorf, Germany at the Jazz Festival, and the day after we trained it to Nijmegen, Holland, where the last concert of our spring tour happened. My friend Ramon Valle, was a special guest of the concert, and we played a lovely duet of piano and mbira, plus a couple of trio tunes.

OK for now, hopefully you’ll enjoy this read, and remember, we only covered two months! But I promise you, I will catch up soon!

All my best,

Love,
El Negro 12/06

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