MIDSUMMER 09 UPDATE: lovin’ it!

I’m writing now from Minneapolis where summer is in its full all-out-no-holds-barred-best time of the year-grillin’-sangria-fresh oysters-outdoor shows-wild raspberries-bicycling-guitar on the gazebo-new cd out-everyone’s in love-well, you get the picture, yes?

My final night in Madrid I caught Miguel Poveda at the Teatro Haagen-Dazs (formerly the Calderon).  I always “liked” Poveda but never with the ardor that so many share.  This show was really great!  It was a steamingly hot night.  Stage was filled with the likes of Chicuelo,  Luis ‘el Zambo’,  Moraito,  dancer Andres Peña, and various palmeros.  Chicuelo’s brilliant flashiness was elegantly offset by Moraito’s brilliant funkiness.  Poveda’s “voz raja” was elegantly offset by Zambo’s “voz afilla’.  The dancing was electrifying.  And something about all of us jamming in an early-summer sauna added an extra dimension….the first caña upon leaving never tasted so good.

Mandragora Tango’s new CD is finally out!  It is called “Siete Tandas” and features 21 songs arranged in 7 tandas of 3 tunes each—perfect for dancing.  The sound is very good and there are some excellent performances, particularly by the violinist, Laura Harada.  Please cruise on over to mandragoratango.com for sound samples and all the rest.

We (Mandragora, that is) just completed a mini-tour that was something of a blast.  We started in Minneapolis, playing as part of the Walker Art Center’s First Thursday series.  Next stop: Mt Horeb, Wisconsin, playing at their outdoor music series.  We moved on to Madison,Wi and played a milonga at a beautiful Nepalese restaurant whose name I can not remember (oops!).  Last Friday we played in Chicago at the American Tango Institute (I love that place….) and then on to Milwaukee for a milonga sponsored by their tango society.  Back to Minneapolis for our long-standing Sunday milonga at the Loring Pasta Bar.  We concluded with a noon show on the steps of Northrup Auditorium (University of MN) on Monday last.  Whew!  ALMOST TOO MUCH OF A PARTY—BUT—we survived.  We’ll do it all again when we decide to officially release the CD in September or October.

I’m looking forward to two weeks of shows in August with Casandra’s Middle-Eastern Dance ensemble.  I’ll be playing in the orchestra with George and Elias Lammam, Naser Musa, and a host of other fine musicians.  Lots of new music to learn…. It’ll all take place at the Southern Theater in Minneapolis, August 13th through the 23rd.

That’s it!  Thank you to all who read this blog and to the many supportive folks who send along their comments.  Go to the “calendar” page for specific information, please.