Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Training Program. Allen is NOT talking Olympics here folks...

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 5/1/13

Tuesday night and I continue my intensive training for attendance at the Havana JAZZ Festival upcoming in December. The program is based on quaffing a serious assortment and amount of rum-based beverages. Including, but not limited to, "Cuba Libre", Rum & tonic, Pina Colada and my own version of the Moscow Mule called the Santa Clara Donkey----rum, ginger beer, mint, lime and a pineapple spear. Do not order the "donkey" unless you and your server are on friendly terms. The 2nd part of the program is listening to as much Latin JAZZ as you can. Where better than BJB's on Tuesday night. It is Oriente's night. Eddy, Olalde, Orlando, Doni and William providing the sounds and rhythms that carry you through the Caribbean. In the audience were folks from all over the western hemisphere. Luiz and Anna visiting from Rio De Janiero. Luiz is a drummer and has a band that plays bossa-nova and samba at clubs in Rio. Marta from Santa Clara, Cuba---that's the hometown of 3 of the band members. Babette, Alfreda and Ron Anonymous from down the block and a guy who was brought up in my old neighborhood and went to James Monroe High School, class of '62. His name is Joe Casalino. He danced mambo, cha-cha and merengue with his ex-wife in the '60s. Tito Puente and Joe Cuba were among his favorites. Joe Cuba fondly nicknamed the couple "the kids from The Bronx".

The band opened with Sonny Rollins JAZZ standard "St. Thomas". They followed with a Balzola original "Amazona". The tune will carry you from island to island and have you feeling the warm sand on your toes.

Then "Why Can't We Get Together", a kind of BLUES song played to a cha-cha rhythm. Eddies solo showed why I call him "El Gato Fresco" (the cool cat). After that, William Allen's "Iliano" which gave William(trombone) a chance to show off.  Olalde's dad, Ramon is still in town, visiting from Cuba, and did a tradition laced solo, playing trumpet, on "Peanut Vendor" in response to my request. In conversation with Eddy, I found out that he was self taught and couldn't read music. At age 24 he became aware the he needed more training if he was to be considered a serious "musician". He learned his lessons well. The band was playing their final number. It was 4 minutes to midnight. All the band members had run out of solo ideas. They turned to face Orlando Machado(drums). He nodded his head and carried the last minutes with an incredible solo, covering every rhythm pattern known to man. Oriente will be at Arts Garage on Saturday, May 11th. I will not be there as I will cover the Essentially Ellington competition in New York. Dillard, New World School  of the Arts and  Community Arts Program (CAP) ALL-STAR Jazz Ensemble of Coral Gables are in the finals. Not bad! Three of the final 15 are FLORIDA JAZZ bands!

About the Havana JAZZ Festival tour: December 15-23. 5 days touring Cuba. 3 days of VIP JAZZ festival passes. Direct flight Miami to Havana. There are only a couple of seats left for this flight. If interested contact     ASAP.

On the ride home Tracy played an "Ellington"--(I think) concerto in 3 movements. The sound made me think it was recorded in the late 40's. Was home before I heard Tracy's description. Considering the traffic pattern I realized that the visitors from up North must have all left town. I say--Happy trails.       

 ~ ~ ~
Traveling to catch some of Florida's good music? Check out these places and rates!
Compare hotel prices and find the best deal -
 ~ ~ ~

Posted by Jazz & Blues Florida 
Please visit to sign up to have 
Florida's jazz & blues news delivered to your inbox.
Or, just email me at
And, if you like what you see here, HIT THAT FACEBOOK SHARE BUTTON below!

No comments :

Post a Comment