Saturday, October 20, 2012

the guaguanco - Al talks the talk and dances the walk...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky, 10/20/12

Maybe it wasn't JAZZ and definitely wasn't BLUES but it was live and best of all it was TRADITIONAL. Orquestra Aragon a band from Cuba, originally put together in 1939 came ashore in Delray at last night. They were scheduled to appear both Thursday and Friday nights but some confusion with visas or flights delayed their arrival and so the did a "double" last night. The 15 piece orquestra(including 5 violins) played the music of their native Cuba. The pervasive rhythms of their homeland are varied in type. Danzon, cha-cha, pachanga, son, bolero, salsa, and guaguanco(pronounced wah wan coe). I left guaguanco for last as that particular kind of music has always represented freedom to me. It allows the dancers to freely create steps and movement. The "Orquestra" played and my shoulders moved. They continued and my hips (although still seated) responded as well. Somewhere around the 3d song, two, very attractive, young women sat down next to me. Define attractive you say. Okay. Both a full head taller than I. Both with waistlines about half of mine. Great hairdo's, both short, their hemlines as well (short I mean)and legs that stretched from the floor to the ceiling---I could go on but my pacemaker is starting to go beep-beep. Long story short--they observed my chair dance and Dianne asked if I would like to dance. That's what I like about "today’s" women. Karen (the other astonishing woman) urged me on. I love salsa(mambo) and can dance. I was not reluctant. I jumped up, stumbling a bit. I react to the rhythm and she responds---man, did we dance. I came to find out that they were there because they got tickets at a "Toastmasters" meeting. I asked why they were going to "Toastmasters" They replied in unison, "to improve our public speaking skills". My response was that they needn't speak. All they had to do was walk up to the rostrum, say "Hi" wave a little, flash those smiles and sit down. 
The band was sensational--unfortunately I have no listings of individual names(rhetorical question---How come you knew the ladies names?) but
 all you really need to know is it is Orquestra Aragon. I stayed for the second show and danced a little. Needless to say my partners were a bit more mature. The band continues their tour in the U.S. for a couple of weeks and I sincerely wish them success. They are well deserving of the respect they earned----no it wasn't JAZZ or BLUES but it was a really a great band. Special thanks to Dianne, Karen, Bette and Pierre who helped "make my night." 
Thursday because they cancelled the appearance of the Orquestra Aragon at Arts Garage, I instead went down to Coconut Grove to be with some friends, Duane, Deborah and Bill. We went to CocoWalk, a shopping mall, where Mel Dancy was appearing in a solo performance. If you want to spend a really pleasant evening listening to Mel is a definitely good choice. He has a soft mellow delivery when he sings ballads and can get down in the gutter when he sings BLUES. So we enjoyed a few glasses of wine, nibbled on some calamari and tapped and clapped the evening away.
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Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida
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