Thursday, August 12, 2010

At Home

Where do I begin?

Yesterday a little after 3 in the afternoon, I meet the jazz cats as they emerged out of the tunnel directly behind the Teatro Juarez. Luis Gasca and Tyler Mitchell were riding in Gabriel Hernandez's car and Richie Cole arrived in the next car driven by Bobby Kapp.

The Juarez doesn't look like much more than a very old theater when you enter the building from the rear. I escorted the band up to the stage level and out onto center stage. They were all impressed. Even though I have been on this stage many times, I am still impressed with the view as you look out into the audience.

After getting settled in the hall, I walked the guys across Guanajuato's Centro Jardin to their hotel, Casa de Agua. Once they were all checked in, I walked with Richie, Bobby and Gabriel back towards the hall. Richie decided to hang in the Jardin. Bobby returned to the Juarez to finish setting up his drum set and Gabriel returned to play the Steinway concert grand.

Everyone seemed OK so I returned home for a quick bite to eat, a fast shower and then I walked back down to the teatro.

In Mexico they give you 3 "Llamadas" or calls before beginning a concert. In the Teatro Juarez they announce the llamadas with the syncopated ringing of a bell. The 3rd llamada was at 8:05 pm.

Dan entered 1st, then myself followed by Laloc. On the way out I noticed that there was now no vocal mic where there once had been. I did not want to use a mic for my trumpet and I guess the sound guys forgot I was going to sing. So the vocals I had to sing old school. Boy am I glad that the acoustics in the Juarez are so good.

It has been a while since I have been center stage on a real stage in a real theater. After the initial shock of the literally blinding lights wore off, I felt quite at home.

We, the Garrapatas Mexicanas, launched into our opening number.

We opened up with Bourbon St. Parade. Then a little theme and variations on the James Bond theme. Next the Joe Henderson composition Mamacita. Freddie Hubbard's Mr. Clean followed by Shake That Thing and Do Whatcha' You Wanna Do. The crowd was great and seemed to follow our every move. They really came alive when I started to sing and dance during Shake That Thing and Do Whatcha' Wanna Do. Proving once again that all the world loves a clown.

Once they removed me from the stage. All the jazz cats saddled up and did their thing. Needless to say Richie, Luis, Gabriel, Bobby and Tyler rocked the house.

The crowd at the Teatro Juarez last night was treated to quite a show. As the promoter, I was pleased that the only person who wasn't happy was the theater manager who had told me that we were not to play music past 9:40.

At 9:50 Dan, Laloc and I joined the jazz cats back on stage to play the Miles Davis classic All Blues to close the show.

It was a great night. Thanks to all who were involved.

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