Bambule school of rumba. ;-)
Michael Bard, Deborah Benner and Amilcar Cruz at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage. August 8, 2007 6:11pm
It's 12:17pm on Thursday as I type these words. Yesterday I met up with a recently-arrived flamenco dancer, Emily Mazzotti, who'll be performing with Ginette and I this Friday at Cabanas. Rehearsal went well--in fact we didn't even need to use up the whole hour of reserved studio time. Since we finished up early, I enlisted Emily's expertise in helping me select a pair of castanets at the Guitar Gallery which was just a few metro stops away. So far so good, 'cept when we left the Guitar Gallery and tried to get on the Cleveland Park metro afterwards, it was closed for security reasons and we ended up deciding to take a taxi to the next available metro station.
I know what you're thinking: we should've taken one of the free shuttle buses. But trust me on this. It was chaotic and it was hot and humid. Despite the 100-plus degree weather, people were frantically running for the buses and senselessly overcrowding them. I decided that we weren't about to become sardines on a bus with a bunch of sweaty frustrated people. No way! It was worth the extra cost to take a taxi. Believe me!
Anywayz, I got a pair of professional quality castanets. Mission accomplished! I escorted Emily to the metro to make sure she caught the right train home (she's new to the DC area) and I went back up to the street level to find a place to grab a bite before heading over to the Kennedy Center to support my fellow guitarristas: Michael Bard and Amilcar Cruz.
Michael. August 8, 2007 6:24pm
Why did I title today's blog entry "Bambule school of rumba?" Well first of all, if you're not familiar with Bambule, it's a restaurant in Friendship Heights that's known for its live guitar music on the weekends. I don't remember the exact year it started but it was the late 90's or 2000. Guitarists Richard Marlow and Kivanc Oner started it all performing there for a few years and us flamencos went there all the time to chill out and enjoy the mostly Gipsy Kings repertoire.
Michael and Amilcar. August 8, 2007 6:25pm
Of course, all of us musicians take on outside gigs from time to time, and it turns out that pretty much every flamenco or rumba guitarist in DC has probably subbed here at least a few times when Richard and Kivanc went out of town. Eventually some of us ended up regularly playing at Bambule. Yours truly even played here for a few years with Richard Marlow. My colleagues Michael Bard and Amilcar Cruz were subbing here a lot and quite a few times ended up playing together. Over time they developed their owned repertoire, got booked here at Bambule for Thursdays nights and together with Michael's wife and singer, Deborah, formed the group Trio Caliente.
Amilcar. August 8, 2007 6:31pm
Trio Caliente performed last night (Wednesday) at the Kennedy Center's Millennium Stage and if you missed it, no problem. You can watch the video.
Michael, Deborah and Amilcar. August 8, 2007 6:57pm
Speaking of rumba, there's a new group in town, Grupo Zhandalo, making its debut this Saturday at Frascati Restaurant in Bethesda. One of the guitarists in the group is my friend Tito Dorante. And in this show, which starts at 11:00pm, they will also have flamenco dancers. Call 301-652-9514 to make your reservations. If you recall, Ginette, Pam and I performed at Frascati back in June.
As for tonight (Thursday), I don't have any gigs, but I might go to Las Tapas to see dancer Anna Menendez perform. Who wants to go?