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!