Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Funny Note

This week with the OSUG (orchestra) we have a very good conductor, Mykos Michalidis. He is trying his best to get the music off the page and convey what the composer wrote. That is a tall order for our group. He has stayed very possitive which is not always easy to do with us. If you are in Guanajuato don't miss the concert at 8.30 in the Teatro Principal.

We have our workers back at the land so it is hard for me to have much time to post updates. It was nice to be sleeping outside last night. And with my simple diet of bean burritos, it is probably a very good idea that I spend most of my time outdoors away from most people.
I still can't wait to tell you about the jazz concert of the year last Sunday at the Gene Byron.

The workers are on what I like to call "Phase 2" rebuilding the ruins. "Phase 1", land reclamation is now complete. I will post a few fotos to show you a bit more. Once the ruin walls are complete my plan is to put roofs and floors on/in them and then we (the family) will move in. It is a very cool project and super fun to build your own place. One funny note, yesterday was my day of fame, when the workers arrived they were telling me something about TV, then I figured out that they had seen me on the TV. They were all giggling about it. In town walking home after rehearsal, I was also stopped by several different groups of people that had been to one of the 6 gigs I played this weekend. Crazy! It's a very small town.

Now, back to work.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Well Oiled Jazz

After the OSUG concert Friday night I played with Dan tuba and Laloc drums at the lovely Corcho de Baco. Saturday I spent the morning getting the water pump replaced in my old 87 GMC Suburban. I found the best mechanic in Guanajuato. More on these guys later. Now back to artists of a different medium. Saturday I rehearsed with Cuban pianist Gabriel Hernandez and bassist Tyler Mitchell at Zilch. These guys are a couple of the finest jazz musicians anywhere in the world. We performed a 1 hour show with vocalist Marilyn Holderfield from Cleveland. She sounded good and the band tore it up. After this gig I took the guys over to there hotel La Casa de los Cuentas where Gabriel, Tyler, and myself played a few hours worth of jazz for a small but very lucky crowd. Gabriel and Tyler play together often in San Miguel GTO, MX. They are a well oiled jazz machine. They played many original compositions. I had just as much fun listening as I did playing.

Not An Easy Gig.

The girls had Friday off from school, so they came with us to rehearsal. I took these fotos on our walk down Tecolote. I was glad I had the camera to get a shot of the gas guy carrying a gas canister up the hill. Not an easy gig. The foto of the orchestra is taken from backstage upstairs where the girls hideout during rehearsal. Maestro Batiz working with the OSUG.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Teatro Juarez

The beautiful Teatro Juarez in the center of Guanajuato, Mexico. Just as beautiful on the inside as it is from the outside.

How about the atom bomb exploding above the chamber orchestra?

Tools of the trade; Piccolo trumpet, Bb trumpet, and garden hose trumpet.

Tuba Jam At Zilch

Tuba Jam rockin' the house at Zilch 11 Feb 2010.
L to R Me, Mario Gomez (percussion), Laloc Vallejo (drums), and Dan behind the Tuba. I love the foto of the people in the crowd. Lots' o' love, smiles, and happiness.

Laloc "Mr GQ"

Members of the crowd chanting. "Shirt Off!"

Play On The Roof

Just got done talking with Jean at "La Casa de los Cuentas" about a concert this Saturday. The concert will feature a few of the the jazz giants from San Miguel GTO. The FINE WINE TRIO, Gabriel Hernandez (piano), Tyler Mitchell (bass) , and Bobby Kapp (drums). The group will play on the roof of the hotel if the city doesn't refuse. If so, or if the weather does not permit, we will play indoors. This should be an evening of intimate jazz to remember. La Casa de los Cuentas is the hotel I told you about a few posts ago. Great location in downtown Guanajuato Mexico, super clean, and good prices. They also seem to be trying hard to get a live music scene happening in there place. Keep checking in with Jason in Mexico for more information.

Tuba Jam Nudity

Dan Buckowski sitin' in with Tuba Jam at Zilch 11 Feb. 2010
With Tuba Jam clothing is optional.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

11 Feb. 2010 Teatro Juarez (Garden Hose Trumpet)

Playing one note and swinging the rubber hose around to create the Doppler effect. "La Fisica de la Musica" Teatro Juarez 11 Feb. 2010.

Can't Beat That

Had a blast playing around town last night. Started off playing with Dan (tuba) and Laloc (drums) At a super cool, new, cheap hotel in downtown Guanajuato. I not sure of the name, but I will find and post the name and fotos for you guys. If you are looking for a very clean, nice place for hardly any $$ this seems like the place. They even have live music. You can't beat that. Not many people at the gig, however we did have a crowd gather out in the street and they seemed to really enjoy themselves.

Next I played at Capelina with Jorge (bass) Casper (flute) and Laloc again. The restaurant was packed. Everyone was out on the town celebrating for St Valentine Day. Super fun playing standards with the guys. All in all a very fun evening.

Friday, February 12, 2010

What A Night

What a night. Tuba Jam literally rocked the house at Zilch. More on that in a minute.

First the "serious" music. I started my evening off with a rehearsal and concert at the beautiful Teatro Juarez. La Fisica de la Musica was the name of the concert and as you can guess it was about the physics in music. Not super exciting stuff, but interesting and the live music provided by the orchestra kept most people from falling asleep. I played a few tunes on piccolo, 3rd Beethoven Leonore off stage trumpet calls, and I demonstrated the Doppler effect with my rubber hose trumpet. The rubber hose trumpet and my demonstration brought out the only laughter of the concert. Always nice to hear people laugh. Here are a few fotos from the rehearsal. Couldn't find anyone to take fotos during the show.

Tuba Jam is a group I put together with some friends here in Guanajuato. We are your basic party band and we play music of many styles. We LOVE to have a good time and do our best to get everyone within earshot to do the same. Last night at Zilch we had a great crowd. The 1st set everyone seemed content to just sit and listen, but after a tune or two into the 2nd set people began to dance. The crowd went crazy! At the request of the crowd, both Dan Norman, our tuba player and Dan Buckowski who was sitting in on clarinet took their shirts off. You know people are having a good time if they ask a tubist and a clarinetist to disrobe. At one point the crowd of people dancing in the middle of the room were jumping up and down and I could feel the floor moving under my feet. You know you are rockin' the club when the club actually is rockin'. It is one of the best feelings as a musician when you really get people to move. So the next time you are somewhere with a live band get up and move. I don't care (and no one else does either) if you are the worst dancer ever. It simply doesn't matter. When people are moving it becomes infectious and most people could use this sort of infection.

My fotos aren't loading right now. I'll send them out later. You won't want to miss the nudity.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Next 3 Days.

Lot's o' playing for me the next 3 days. I will try my best to get fotos of each different concert and venue. Tonight I am at the beautiful Teatro Juarez at 7 pm and then with Tuba Jam at Zilch from around 10.30 until.

Tomorrow, a concert in the Teatro Principal, with the OSUG (my steady orchestra gig) and then Tuba and Trumpet duets until Midnight at Corcho de Baco.

More on Saturday in a bit.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


So I get out of the shower and while drying off, my arm hits the light bulb which knocks the wire off of the stick that it rests on and the light falls down. I grab the light at the base where the wire happen to be exposed (see foto). Nothing like a little electric shock to get you going in the morning. I'm awake!


Forgot to put the bedroom foto in.

A Tour

This morning after my shower I had a rather shocking experience. But first, a tour of our apartment, also known as "Casa Verde". I'm still not very good at posting fotos yet. So you can see our front door which opens into the middle room, with a bed for a sofa. Kitchen and bathroom (yes, that is a close washer in our bathroom). The scene of the shock.

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Just stoped in an internet cafe for this update. This keyboard SUCKS! Oh well.

It has been raining ever since we got back from our hike on Monday. Very unusual weather for us. We have only been here for 4 years so we don´t have very much data to go from. I am not complaining. We NEED the rain. We have been on water rationing for a while (more on that later).

One thing about being taller than most of the people is that you really have to look out for the little pointy things on the end of everyones umbrelas. They tend to be at eye or chop (lip) level and some are pretty sharp. I think they would work well in a Bond film for some sort of stealth weapon.

Just got done eating 2 gorditas from one of the street vendors in the Baratillo. Here is the scene; A group of about 9 people standing in the rain around 1 lady cooking the masa (taco shell) part of the gordita and 1 lady fishing out of about 12 different plastic containers what ever filling you want inside your gordita. You know your food is good if people will stand in the rain to eat it. Mexico is wonderful. The rain is wonderful.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Monday Was A Holiday

Monday was a holiday here in Mexico, so I took my girls and two friends from school for a hike in the mountains above Santa Rosa. The drive takes about 40 min. from Guanajuato and for the first time ever I had to throw the Suburban into 4 wheel drive to get up part of the climb. It had been raining in the morning and the very steep sections of the cobble stone road climbing out of Santa Rosa were pretty slick.We had very nice weather for the hike. It was fun being the child herder.