Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tambor Vivo THIS WEDNESDAY (7/29)

Follow the drums to the Century Center this Wednesday, where Tambor Vivo, Beverly Botsford's Afro Cuban percussion ensemble, will be performing as part of Carrboro Parks & Rec's Summerdipity concert series:

WHAT: Tambor Vivo at Carrboro "Summerdipity" Concert Series
WHEN: Wednesday (7/29), 7:30-9 pm
WHERE: Century Center, 100 N. Greensboro St, Carrboro
COST: $3/person

I can find no website for this series but recent concerts have charged this admission fee; awaiting confirmation from Carrboro officials.

UPDATE CORRECTION: There is no group rate as previously advertised. Cost is $3 per person. More info on the Carrboro City webpage here.

Tambor Vivo is expanding, with recent additions of Andy Kleindienst (bass/trombone) and Alfredo Morua Averhoff (Cuban percussion, voice). Expect to see live dancing of the Cuban folkloric style of rumba guaguanco from Paso dancers.

Can't think of a better way to spend $3. The drum lives!

Update, posted 8/5:

Video of the closing number--a comparsa. Beverly shows off her aerial shekere skills!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

FREE Rumba Class SUNDAY (7/26)

From Paso people Eduardo and Stephanie:

"Paso Salsa Studio is holding a free Rumba Guaguanco class this Sunday, July 26th in order to help Triangle dancers develop better expression through real Afro-Cuban body movement. Grass roots approach as usual, with some pretty cool exercises to help develop a strong foundation for the Guaguanco. The goal is simply to make more genuinely expressive dancers who are better able to connect with their emotions and channel them through physical movement."

WHERE: 1601 E Geer Street, Durham, 27703 (919.338.2464)

Tip for locating the Studio - turn left at Faucette Ave. and drive around back of the storage/business center. It's confusing because it's in the back of the building.

WHEN: Sunday, July 26th at 7:30 pm

Cost: FREE

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Rebirth of the Rumba

The Ark was a patchouli-laced sweatbox Saturday night during a modern dance jam session for American Dance Festival participants. Jungle percussion was engineered by local drummers, including Bradley Simmons, Patrick Loebs, Jason [last name?] and late drop-ins including Beverly Botsford and Aaron [last name?].

Vladimir Espinosa, down here from Roanoke for ADF, blazed a wide forest path on his batá drums and timbales. (Vlad, a welcome presence here for 6 weeks each summer, also sat in with Carnavalito in June at their Brightleaf Square concert.)

Like a rhythm See 'N Say, the group dialed through a catalog of world rhythms to inspire full body movement. Here's a snippet of the rumba guaguancó:

Something tribal happened during the samba jam, as dancers locked in to a nightclub thump:

Newcomer to the Triangle music scene Alfredo Morua shook a shekere and added verses to the rumba. Morua, a pastry chef at Mad Hatter who was born in Cuba, settled in Angier 3 years ago after living in Manhattan and New Orleans.

Sweet update: Alfredo's bandmate from his New Orleans days, Mark Sanders, just sent me this excellent photo link of the two of them in 1977 in the band Conjunto Caché. Dashiki heaven!

Alejandro "El Niño" Jesus (vocal, center), Mark Sanders (batá drum), Alfredo Morua (far right, guiro). Photo © by Mark Sanders, used by permission.

Mark runs the incredible Cuban music and photo blog Fidel's Eyeglasses, definitely worth a visit if you've never been there. (It's listed in the "Blogs We Like" sidebar).

Cuban Night at Mosaic

Meanwhile, Alfredo Morua made his local music debut last Thursday (7/16) with Tambor Vivo at Mosaic. Primal energies ran high in what may have been the most extraordinary night in the monthly Cuban jam series since they started last year.

Mosaic's Moroccan wine cellar ambience took on a kind of beatnik vibe, where novices and nightclub habitues mingled with rumba aficionados and Cuban homeboys. I saw one New Yorker, a former Palladium dancer, summoning rumba steps from the same deep, mysterious roots that fed the original mambo craze.

More, please.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Eric's Timba

Orquesta GarDel at the Eno River Festival (7/3)

This is only the second public performance of "Eric's Timba" (provisional name), music by pianist Eric Hirsh and lyrics by sonero Nelson Delgado.

Azuquita en la cintura,
Que sabrosura.

With tricky horn lines and funky rhythm breaks, and a warm, subtle melodic bouquet, this is another remarkable timba original to emerge from North Carolina.

I'm especially proud, therefore, that Nelson gave me a lyrical shoutout just past the 2:30 minute mark, right as the timba is heating up. He has a few words to say about the Triangle at minute 4:30.

I'm told that Gardel is due in the studio July 25 to get some of the new tunes recorded.
All Andy
cool in july
click on these to see full size
3 graces
pasos primeros

Meanwhile, here's one more video--Nelson again in the lead vocal, covering Cheo Feliciano's "Por Mas Que Viva":

Andy Kleindienst does a little trombone soloing at starting at minute 2:20. This is a good example of GarDel doing the kind of Puerto Rican repertoire they started out with.

I hadn't been to the Eno Fest in a few years, so I was reminded again how good it is. It helped that they invited classy bands, gospel, blues, indie, bluegrass, and of course Latin (bravo). They have the widest variety of food vendors, with choices from the healthy and ethnic to fairway treats, as well as the best craft dealers. The quality and diversity of all the offerings hasn't been beat. There were fun environmentalists there too, walking the walk with their llama sculpture made of recycled trash bags, and by composting visitors' trash.

The only thing less than dazzling, my friends and I agreed, were the choice of T-shirt designs this year. For instance, the spagetti-strap tee, suitable for July heat and style considerations (am I right, ladies?), only came in one design (hawk) and three colors. As someone pointed out, the hawk is a dramatic animal, but this pose, plumply perched on a limb, is not very dramatic. So that seemed like a missed opportunity.

For future reference, Eno Fest designers (and all touring bands, if you're listening): More options in strappy, girly tees, please.

Tempo Change

Carnavalito's gig tonight, Saturday (7/18) at The Prime Smokehouse in Garner has been shifted back to 8-10 pm.

Free, no cover.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Local Band Spotlight: Pachucos Coahuila

Meet Pachucos Coahuila--aka, bouncy rhythm slingers from Coahuila (via Raleigh):

I met accordionist Ramiro at the Farmer's Market last weekend, where he sold me some nice red yarrow and lantana.

Though originated in Colombia, this style of cumbia is favored in Mexico's northern Coahuila state and the associated Texas border region, Ramiro says.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

"Copa Night" MOVES to Parizade TONIGHT (7/11)

The Cobo Brothers' "Copa Night" Social, an institution on second Saturdays, is moving this Saturday (7/11) to new digs: Parizade, located at 2200 W. Main Street at Erwin Square in Durham.

The reason? Former venue George's Garage recently closed. Parizade, owned by the same restauranteur, is just around the corner from the old nightspot.

Party times at the new venue are shifting slightly, to a half an hour earlier: 10:30pm - 2:30 am. Admission stays at $12, with ladies paying $8 before 11 pm. Dressy attire requested; for more info and directions see the event website.

It may be good timing for the move. Parizade is a bigger space, and has a Latin Party history dating back to...? At some point I'll recount the unofficial history.