Monday, November 17, 2008

New Video - Nano's Chilla - Hanging with Baby do Brasil

A Brazilian friend of mine recently suggested, since I've been going to Russia every year, for the last 6 years or so, that I might as well get an apartment in Moscow! You know, he may be might be worth it!

There's a friend in Russia who manages to collect footage of my performances and now he's surprised me with some patched-together clips of my performance in Novokuznetsk, Siberia! It's on YouTube....but I'm linking it here, as well.

A drumbrother of mine, Nano Valerio, has recently accomplished what is known in the Vedic Hindustani tradition as a "Chilla". It's basically a spiritual, self-awareness retreat, whereupon us drummers becoe one with our instrument - in this case, the Tabla drums. Nano, himself, describes this significant event very well...

"As you know a real chilla goes for 40 days, mine was a half-chilla of 20 days. Originally, Guruji (Pundit Samir Chatterjee - Nano's tabla well as mine, too!) was going to set up a space where he and a handful of students would be but at the last minute he had to leave for India. So i was left to do this on my own at my own place. The solitude was fine (and part of the tradition), doing it at home had it's limitations. Because of neighbors i had to trim things down to 12hours of practice time per day. It was very grueling the first few days and had i not blocked out the time and turned down work i probably would have stopped. In a chilla you never take your hands off the drums (except for eating and bathroom) so even the practice itself is intense. Pictures of Guruji, Coltrane and Ali Akbar Khan kept me going. i was surprised that it was very emotional at times and by the end i felt like i could have gone on longer as my mind/body metabolism had acclimated to the situation. If i ever have the time i'd like to do a full-length one but until then i'm happy that i completed this goal (something i've always wanted to do once i heard about it)."

Intense, huh?!!!

Here's Nano, on the top left, dressed in white, in a backstage photo with the Chhandayan World Percussion Ensemble, during a performance in Houston, Texas.

Also in the band and the photo are: L-R / Pundit Samir Chatterjee, Sri Steve Gorn, Dan Weiss, Henry Hey, Baba Don Eaton, Yousif Sheronick, Frank Colón.

This weekend, Margo and I went up to Itaipava, in the mountains of the state of Rio, looking for some quality rest and meditation. But, as fate would have it, we ran into our friend, singer Baby do Brasil (formerly, Baby Consuelo), and we ended up hanging out together all Saturday and Sunday, checking out the night scene, some music, some restaurants.......we had a great time and still got some much-needed rest!

Baby and I are now talking about a collaboration on some projects for very early next year! I'll keep you up to date on that...

And, now,,, some archive photos -

An impromptu jam session with Richie "Gajate" García and Giovanni Hidalgo at the NAMM Show in Anaheim, California!

NAMM Show photos by Martin Cohen.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Photos from The Wild Shamans in Moscow

You know, I'll be posting photos, not necessarily in the sequencial order of events.... and, by this, I mean that while these next photos are of a Moscow concert for US Ambassador, John Beyrle, at the prestigious Spaso House, I've just found some photos of band rehearsals in NYC, the week before. The rehearsal pix aren't processed yet, so they'll be posted up in a couple of days, at the most.

In the meantime, here are some of the photos shot by photographer Pavel Korbut at the 1st concert of the Frank Colón and The Wild Shamans 2008 Tour of Russia.

Ben Stivers - Piano Cecilia Tenconi - Sax

Cecilia Tenconi - Sax David Meade - Drums Tony Cimorosi - Bass


Groovin' with The SHEKERE!

Talking with the CUICA!

Wailin' on the TIMBALES!

Monday, November 10, 2008

New Kremlin Chamber Orchestra "Adoracion al Ritmo" clip on YouTube!

Hello, my friends!

I'm just getting back from a very relaxing weekend down at the "family beach compound" in Angra dos Reis, about an hour-and-a-half south of Rio. I call it such, since Margo and I, as well as Glorinha and Luiz have houses in the same gated beach community, Portal do Verde Mar, and Luiz is now the president of the community's board of directors. maybe sometime soon, I'll post some photos of our Vedic beach house up and in here...

Right now, I want to turn you on to another segment (movement)of the "Adoracion al Ritmo" symphony, composed for me by violinist Eskender Bekmambetov, on commission by the Kremlin Chamber Orchestra, which is conducted by the great Maestro Misha Rachlevsky. I performed this with the KCO a couple of years ago in Moscow, with the world premiere held at the International House of Music, Moscow's most modern show complex. The symphony consists of 7 movements, of which, to date, 3 are up on the Tube. Here's the recently uploaded movement, titled, "Chinese Tea Room".

Meanwhile, a bunch of family photos dating back 10, 15 and 20 years or so has just been recovered and, while there are literally thousands of shots, mostly taken by Margo, from all around the world, I am slowly finding some that we all thought had been lost forever.

Here's one of them, taken by Margo during a concert at NYC's Beacon Theater by the 2nd incarnation of a band called "The Samba-Salsa-Swing All-Stars"! This band performed twice...once in Puerto Rico's Coliseo Roberto Clemente and once at the Beacon Theater, in Manhattan.

The basic roster was Airto Moreira/drums, Flora Purim/vocals, Dave Valentin/flute, Mario Rivera/sax and myself.

For the show in Puerto Rico, we also had: piano/Jorge Dalto, bass/Sal Cuevas, timbales/Nicky Marrero, trumpet/Claudio Roditi and congas/Patato Valdes.

For the show in New York: piano/Michel Camilo, bass/Jaco Patorius, sax/Paquito D'Rivera, and congas/Jerry Gonzales.

This old photo shows a jam between, Jaco Pastorius, Airto, Jerry Gonzales and myself (with a full beard!), on shekere.

I'll be posting some more of these archive treaures, as I find them among the many photos that have been recently recovered!

And, here's a great song by a cool band that I just happened to check out last week!

Grammy-winner John Legend, doing "Green Light", on the Letterman Show!

Thanks for stopping by..... I'll be back soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

2008 Tour of Russia with My Band: The Wild Shamans

Hello, friends!

It's been a while since I've posted on this site and, to tell you the truth, it's obvious that I've yet to get the hang of posting while I'm traveling on tour... And, to further limit my consistent rappin' on this media, I traveled, for the first time in years, without a laptop! I must admit, it was sort of scary at first, but quickly became refreshing not to be online throughout the majority of the day! As a consequence, I'm now limiting my time dealing with email to simply an hour, twice a day - at 11:30 am and at 7:30 pm, Rio de Janeiro time! :-)

If there's an emergency for which you need to contact me immediately, you can do so at my phone numbers, listed on my site -

All in all, my tour of Russia 2008 with my new band, The Wild Shamans, went super! There are still many photos of the tour arriving electronically, so as I sort them out, I'll be posting them up over the next blog musings.

Here's the post on the site pertaining to the US Embassy in Moscow (

"Frank Colon and Wild Shamans in Spaso House
Latin-influenced jazz percussionist Frank Colon and his Wild Shamans launched a ten-day tour of Russia with a performance at Spaso House on October 1. In addition to performing at Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall, the group will perform Barnaul, Kemerovo, Novokuznetsk, and Tomsk."

My second concert in Moscow was at the prestigious Tchaikovsky Hall and I invited my friend and gifted guitarist, Roman Miroshnishenko, to participate in the show! I wish that I could show you some photos of the performance but I've yet to receive any... here's a photo of me and my inseparable shekere,taken outside the theater, in the afternoon, just before our sound-check.

My third show in Moscow (three days in a row!) was at the Union of Composers Club. Our performance was one night of a festival series and, as these things tend to go, the crowd (sold the were all of our shows throughout Russia!) was there for the festival event, but warmed up to our band QUICK, after just a couple of songs! It turned out to be a night of a lot of musical fun! A fan in the club audience has posted a bunch of videos on youtube, for which I and my band thank him... so, I'll post the link to one of them right here -

And, here are some photos taken at the Union of Composers Club -

Fantastic Keyboardist and Great Human Being - Ben Stivers

Musician Extraordinaire - Cecilia Tenconi

These are the photos that I have from the Union of Composers Club, but I'll be posting more from other concerts in Moscow and other Siberian cities very soon!


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

On My Way To The Big Apple



You know, with so many virtual points of access, I’m actually finding it very tricky to tend to the demands of my official music site, the myspace site, my Krav Maga site, the facebook pages, the Linked-In friends, the new Krav Maga Brazil site (in construction) Sonico….. Orkut….. LastFM…….. how does one do it without hiring a staff of web techies just to stay afloat and keep one’s head above the water? Wheeewwwww……..!

As I quickly peck this text into my desktop in my office at Margo’s university (, I look at my watch, knowing that In about 3 hours I’ll be catching a plane for NYC. The time has arrived for landing in the city in order to rehearse the band that I’m taking with me to a tour of Russia, during the month of October.

Now, for the concerts in Moscow at the Spaso House (the cultural venue sponsored by the US Embassy) as well as for the concert at Tchaikovsky Hall, I have invited premier Russian guitarist, Roman Miroshnichenko, to participate on some of songs, as my special guest! Roman and I have been performing together on various different projects over the last few years and, aside from developing an exciting musical camaraderie, we have become good friends! He, in turn, has requested that I participate of his upcoming 2009 European tour… an invitation which I have gladly accepted. More info about Roman can be viewed at his cool site – !

Next week, my friend and partner, Daniel Figueiredo (musician, producer for TV Record, owner of Music Solution Studio) and his wife, singer Luciana Spedo (Banda Blitz, Divas) will be visiting New York City and staying with me and Margo, at our Manhattan Upper West Side flat, overlooking Central Park. It'll be their first time in NYC, so we'll be sure to make it a most memorable experience for them! Please check out our collaborative project, and please feel free to contribute artistically to this worthy cause!

And, by the way, I have been sent some more of the posters that are being displayed around some of the Siberian cities which I’ll be performing at. I've inserted them in this report for you to check them out…….

Monday, August 18, 2008

Upcoming Tour of the Russian Federation + More

Hello, my friends!

As you can detect, by now, I’m still new at this “community networking”... but, I think that I’m quickly getting a handle on it.

I may have been the last person on Earth to get into Facebook, as well but, so far, it’s been a rewarding experience, as I’ve re-connected with a lot of friends, mostly from Puerto Rico, with whom I had lost contact decades ago! It’s good to see that they’re still around and it’s good to catch up on their lives!

But, today’s post is to tell you some details about my upcoming tour of Russia with my new band, The Wild Shamans. I had actually called this group, “The Groove Shamans”, but then I was asked, by my Russian agents, “What exactly does ‘groove’ mean?” So, if this sophisticated, worldly person was asking me this, then perhaps it would be better to change the name of the band to something that was easier to understand, don’t you think?

My tour schedule is 95% locked in for the following performances:

October 1 – 3 / Moscow venues, most notably, Tchaikovsky Hall
Oct 5 - concert Novosibirsk / Academytown, House of Scientists.
Oct 6, Barnaul / Philharmonic Concert Hall
Oct 7 – Kemerovo / Philharmonic Concert Hall
Oct 8 - Novokuznetsk
Oct 9 - Tomsk
Oct 10 – Moscow / Showcase for Exxon-Mobil

Here is a photo of Moscow’s Tchaikovsky Hall promotional poster.

On another note, a couple of weeks ago, I participated on a new recording by Brazilian blues-man, Alamo Leal. It was a cool record session with some nice traditional tunes and some great musicians on the CD roster, most visibly, harmonica prodigy, Flávio Guimarães! I talked to Alamo earlier tonight, as he called me to let me know that his record will be released next month. He still hasn’t decided on a title for the CD yet, but as soon as I receive a copy, I’ll let you all know, posting a image of the cover here, as well.

Meanwhile, 50 of my Krav Maga Federation colleagues, including my teacher and mentor, Master Rhon Mizrachi, are spending the next 3 weeks in Israel, training under the guidance of the federation’s Grandmaster, Haim Zut! Pictures can be viewed at this location: !

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Hello, Drum Friends!

Well, as it is, I may be the last person on Earth to join the blogging world but, as they say, “Better late than never!” Fortunately, my good friend and musical partner, Daniel Figueiredo who maintains the blogs, “Ect e Tal” and “Music Solution”, convinced me yesterday that this is the way to conduct a dynamic dialogue with my supporters and all other drum freaks, all over the globe. So, thanks to Daniel, I’ve now officially joined the legions of bloggers who share their thoughts and vibes on the www.

So, now, what to do with this open global forum? Well, for starters, I’d like to use this to communicate directly with the people who, for one reason or another, access my official web site ( and/or my myspace location ( As I don’t enjoy direct control over my own web site, since it is, thankfully, managed by my cousin Omar in Puerto Rico (, I attempted to make the myspace site a direct means of relating to my supporters and fellow drumming lovers. Alas, this really didn’t prove to be too practical either. So, here I am, testing out an alternative means towards the original purpose…

Through this vehicle, I hope to acknowledge my supporters good vibes and let you all know where and when I’ll be performing, and with who. Besides, I look forward to sharing news items mostly concerning drums and percussion that I happen to discover. I’ll also be posting performance videos and lots of photos of you, which I’ll be taking at all the locations that I perform at!

So, for opener’s here’s a video clip of my former band, taped a couple of years ago in Long Island, NY. This video features the great, inimitable Buddy Williams on drums, the beautiful Cecilia Tenconi on flute, David “Mr. Smooth” Ambrosio on bass, and Adam Klipple on keyboard. The song is, “I Was Made To Love Her”, which is featured on my Latin Wonder CD.