Sunday, May 26, 2013

Better late than...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/26/13

...missing it altogether. A little car trouble caused me to miss the first set of Tiempo Libre at Arts Garage last night. I arrived just in time for the 'break' and so had a chance to visit with some of the warm people that make up the Garage's volunteer staff. They are a dedicated group who start by setting up the room and finish with clean-up and breakdown. In between they manage to greet and seat you with a smile. There are many more than I will name but these are some that were there for the packed house last night. Lonni Cohen, Rachel Rose, Bette Forman, C.C. Kelner, Shirlee Zeranda, Ami Adams and last but not least, the 'man of the house', Eric Greenberg. I pause for an anecdote---Ms. Ami Adams directed me to my seat. Walking in front of me I couldn't help but notice her tall stately figure and very interesting style of walk. (I have granddaughters who are older). Not being able to control myself I told Ami that she had to be careful when walking in front of men my age. There can be serious consequences i:e heart attacks, stroke and falling over one's feet. She blushed, I apologized. I hope this is not the end of the story.

Enough blather----this is supposed to be about the music----and music there was. Tiempo Libre is a tight Latin band. No music stands or sheet music, this is a well rehearsed group of talented musicians. They play it all, mambo, son, salsa, cha-cha-cha, merengue. On drums is Israel Noroles with Raul Rodriguez(trumpet), Wilbi Green(bass),Jorge Gomez(keys),Luis Beltran(sax/flute), Leandro Gonzalez(congas) and out front Xavier Nilli doing the vocals. As I said the room was elbow to elbow and so there was little room to dance. Latin rhythms are infectious and it is difficult to stay in your seat. When they started a cha-cha, Xavier invited a few people to the stage to dance. One of the couples was Gail and Nelson Miros. They were doing some unusual steps. In chatting with Nelson later on, he told me that he (70) and Gail (much younger) had learned to dance in the glory days of the Catskills when the Concord, Raleigh, Kutshers and The Laurels were in their hey-day. She is recovering from hip and knee replacement. You would never know it. The band did an up-tempo salsa for the closing. Everyone was on their feet. If you like to dance you couldn't help but notice the 2 ladies who were "doing it right". Nicole Escalara(staff member) was 'shakin' & bakin'. Her partner in 'time' was Michele Hickford. I never met anyone with a name like Hickford who could dance salsa like this little gal!!!

Alyona Ushe does an outstanding job of running the show and choosing staff who include Lailani Whitt (coordinator of volunteer services/house manager) and the aforementioned Nicole. I was glad that I made it there for the closing set and enjoyed every minute of my second (in 2 days) visit to Arts Garage. Thanks to the staff, volunteers and Tiempo Libre.    
Al's Disclaimer:
A short note: The reason I write this is because I love music and words. I do not book acts. I do not promote acts. I do not accept invitations to review artists. I go to venues of my own choice. When and where is not influenced by anything other than who I would like to hear that night or day. If I don't like what I hear, I won't write about it. When I like it I let you all know. I never mention a name without asking permission. "Pardon me, Miss. Would you like to dance?"       

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