Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Reflections on GIG 365

GIG #16 @ Churchill's Pub, Little Haiti, Miami, FL
January 16, 2011

The bartender carried a taser. Sad, broken double decker buses cast their long shadows on the sidewalk from the pub parking lot across the street. Wheelchair Willie pushed himself backwards down the road using his legs. A chest of drawers balanced on a shopping cart creeped into the darkness of a side road.

I was booked for a cancer benefit at the club. Oscar and I showed up early. The Scottish taser carrying bartender said he knew nothing about there being music that night and that I would have to wait until the booker showed up, if he showed at all. I sat down bemused for a pint of stale Guinness and leafed through the local paper.

It was there in the back pages that I discovered a small ad the club had taken out: "GIG 365: January 16 @ Churchill's Pub." I pointed it out to taser man. "Well, you better get set up then!"

I more or less improvised the entire set, surrounded by most of the dozens of instruments that lived in my van. Most of the audience sat at the bar or were in the room next to the performance space playing pool, drinking, and talking as the dusty muted televisions flickered.

Taser dude was also the soundman. He burned a CD of my show and said he enjoyed it. "Never heard a squeezebox like that"

Earlier that evening a few blocks from the club, a bunch of men gathered around a smashed broken door with hammers and drills. I heard them speaking French, and grabbed my accordion to play them a Gus Viseur tune. They smiled and took a break from their repair work for a moment as the music echoed off the facade of their " Buena Vista Deli."

GIG #347 @ Buena Vista Deli, Miami, FL
December 13, 2011

I was due to pick Oscar up at Miami airport later that evening, so I planned to arrange a gig somewhere close before heading over there. I had a nice lunch at a restaurant in Little Haiti and recalled the deli I had stopped at back in January.
It took me some time driving around to find it. Inside, there were two women serving behind the counters.
"Could I please speak with a manager?"
They pointed to another woman in the corner.
"Would you like some music today?"
She gave me a puzzled look (which, with 346 gigs behind me I was well used to at this point)
"We don't do music here, but you could try speaking with the owner about playing in the bistro next door. He is having lunch there now"
The bistro bartender pointed out a man dining with a statuesque black woman. I recognized him right away as one of the guys fixing the door.
"Hello. I stopped here back in January when you guys were fixing the door and played you a tune. I need a gig today and was wondering if I could play here"
He looked at me for a moment as he flicked through his memories. Then he stood up and smiled.
"Yes, I remember. Where would you like to play?"
I thought the deli would be best, so we both headed back over there.
"You are welcome anytime," he said as we entered.
"He is going to play here," he told the surprised manager.
I set up at table in the corner. An old man was eating lunch a few tables over. He listened for a while, then got up to head outside and gave me a smile and thumbs up. He came back after a few minutes and sat closer to me, directly across. I played the old cuban song, "Y Tu Que Has Hecho"
He began to cry, a few tears making their way slowly down his cheeks. When I finished he spoke his first words to me.
"My mother used to sing and play that song on piano for me. I am from Cuba. I have lived here in Miami for about 50 years"

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Thursday, 5 January 2012

GIG 365

Thank you to all of my family and friends that shared the gift of music with me in 2011 and assisted me on the GIG 365 journey. All the very best for 2012.
Audio/Video from GIG #356 @ Corner of Frenchmen and Chartres Streets, New Orleans, LA w/Young Fellaz Brass Band.
A/V by Oscar Cainer.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

GIG #365 - Beginning

GIG #365 @ Little Bar Restaurant, Goodland, FL w/Cory Seznec & Yulene Velasquez. Select repertoire:
Esta Bella Noche - Galian
Lord, Lord, Lord - Trad.
Must Be Time - Ward-Bergeman

Saturday, 31 December 2011

GIG #364 - Children in the Garden

GIG #364 @ Naples Botanical Garden, Naples, FL. Select repertoire:
Last Call - Ward-Bergeman
Feira de Mangaio - Sivuca
Strange Loop Improvisations

Friday, 30 December 2011

GIG #363 - Sweet Sixteen

GIG # 363 @ Coral Castle, Homestead, FL. Select repertoire:
Federal - Ward-Bergeman
Prelude II, Book I, WTC - Bach
Strange Loop Improvisations

Thursday, 29 December 2011

GIG #362 - Berklee Bergman

GIG #362 @ Joanie's Blue Crab Cafe, Ochopee, FL. Select repertoire:
St. James Infirmary - Trad.
Your Cheatin' Heart - Williams
Strange Loop Improvisations

Wednesday, 28 December 2011

GIG #361 - Super Sally Secretary

GIG #361 @ Brandy's Lounge, St. Petersburg, FL w/Tom Piggott and Phil Andre. Select repertoire:
God Bless the USA - Greenwood
Super Sally Secretary - Piggott
Jambalaya (On the Bayou) - Williams

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

GIG #360 - My Home

GIG #360 @ W Main and N 3rd Street, Immokalee, FL. Select repertoire:
Down in the Valley - Trad.
I Got A Woman - Charles/Richard
Dan Tucker - Trad.

Monday, 26 December 2011

GIG #359 - Mickey Mouse Doesn't Live Here

GIG #359 @ Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida, Orlando, FL. Select repertoire:
Jingle Bells - Pierpont
Feira de Mangaio - Sivuca
Strange Loop Improvisations

Sunday, 25 December 2011

GIG #358 - Popocatépetl and Iztaccíhuatl

GIG #358 @ San Miguel Mexican Restaurant, Tallahassee, FL. Select repertoire:
Feliz Navidad - Feliciano
Chamame Parisien - Barboza
Libertango - Piazzolla

Saturday, 24 December 2011

GIG #357 - Sweet Street Symphony

GIG #357 @ Corner of Frenchmen and Royal Streets, New Orleans, LA w/ Sweet Street Symphony. Select repertoire:
Cold Water - Waits
Ain't Misbehavin'- Waller
Black Dog - Shameus

Friday, 23 December 2011

GIG #356 - Young Fellaz

GIG #356 @ Corner of Frenchmen and Chartres Streets, New Orleans, LA w/Young Fellaz Brass Band. Select repertoire:
Little Wing - Hendrix
Georgia on My Mind - Carmichael/Gorrell
Strange Groove Improvisations

Thursday, 22 December 2011

GIG #355 - I Wish I Had Some Help Up in Here

GIG #355 @ St Mary's Baptist Church, St. Augustine, FL w/Minister Raymond Dunlap and the St. Mary's Choir. Select repertoire:
Go Tell it On a Mountain - Trad.
Oh Holy Night - Adam
Do You Know Like I Know - Walker

Wednesday, 21 December 2011

GIG #354 - Big Horns

GIG #354 @ Books Inc., Gainesville, FL. Select repertoire:
Chattanooga Choo Choo - Warren/Gordon
Flambee Montalbanaise - Viseur
Dizzy Accordion - Frosini

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

GIG #353 - Put It Together Boy!

GIG #353 @ Leonardos 706, Gainesville, FL w/Hot Club de Ville. Select repertoire:
Minor Swing - Reinhardt
Douce Ambiance - Reinhardt
Sweet Sue - Young

Monday, 19 December 2011

GIG #352 - Everybody Dance but the Devil

GIG #352 @ St. Mary's Baptist Church, St. Augustine, FL w/Minister Raymond Dunlap & St. Mary's Choir and Bellamy Road, Melrose, FL w/Cathy DeWitt & Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry. Select repertoire:
When the Saints Go Marching In - Trad.
Silent Night - Gruber
Oneness - DeWitt/Freeman

Sunday, 18 December 2011

GIG #351 - Clap Your Hands

GIG #351 @ St. Francis House, St. Augustine, FL. Select repertoire:
Lord, Lord, Lord - Trad.
Last Call - Ward-Bergeman
Strange Loop Improvisations

Saturday, 17 December 2011

GIG #350 - New Beginnings

GIG #350 @ Tacachale/Seguin Unit, Gainesville, FL. Select repertoire:
Federal - Ward-Bergeman
Lord, Lord, Lord - Trad.
Strange Loop Improvisations

Friday, 16 December 2011

GIG #349 - God is Good

GIG #349 @ Gainesville Correctional Facility, Gainesville, FL. Select repertoire:
Cotton Fields Back Home - Leadbelly
Lord, Lord, Lord - Trad.
Sassy Mae - Slim