Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hemingway, DuPont, Jimmy Belize...(Allen Kanovsky's Cuba jazz explorations - making friends, and impressions!)

Submitted by Al Kanovsky 12/29/13

...and me. Yesterday Jimmy and I spent the afternoon on the lawn of Hemingway's house. We sipped mojitos, talked with some chicas and enjoyed the good life. Today the two of us along with Elaine, joined Rainier and his brother Roger for a road trip to the DuPont estate in Veradera Beach. We have Palm Beach, L.A. has Malibu, Cuba has Veradera. We were stopped by the police. Why? I guess because Jimmy and I look more like revolutionaries than Che or Fidel. After the stoppage we made a stop for coffee and musica. The band was promoting tips by having visitors get up and play maracas for a few bars and a photo op. I chose claves as I really have pok--pokpok--pokpok in my veins. I had it down so the band let me play through a whole song and do uno mas.  It will not go viral on youtube.

The formal JAZZ Festival started on Thursday night and continued thru Sunday. Most of the bands were Cuban with some coming from Europe. The only name familiar to me was Chico O'Farrell. The speeches were all in Espanol so I didn't understand a word. There were multiple overlapping events. Some outdoors, some in concert halls. I heard some of the very best young trumpeters ever including a youngster named Julio Gonzalez.. Heard some players appear with different bands ala S. Florida. Was impressed with the level of talent and enjoyed every moment. Yissy Garcia led an all-girl band with Sane Bunnett(sax), Dayne Arocena(vocals), Celia Siminez(bass) and Magdelys Swigne(Cuban percussion). One of the bands did a tribute to the late, great Beny More. I wish I could let you know al lof the names of players but I could not get to most of them. Back home and headed to Arts Garage tonight. Will bring my camera and show photos if you would like. Jimmy will probably be there also. As Jimmy and I were leaving Cuba, Immigration officials said we would be welcome to return-------but not together--------I wonder why? All the trouble occurred in our wake.

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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