Sunday, May 22, 2005

Drums, Cafe's, Books, Beautiful Weather

Hello,

I hope you have been enjoying the pictures. I can't believe how easy it is to put them up. I don't know what was holding me back before. My next conquest is audio and video. Anyway, I have had a wonderful weekend here in Lower Michigan. Friday was a beautiful day that, for me, was full of practice and rehearsing, complete with a show in the evening at Cafe Felix. I was happy to see some of my students come out and enjoy themselves. It is so nice to have a regular gig like that, where you know what to expect as far as logistics and time. It makes the night much more about the music. We also got a visit from a bass player that, I have heard, will be playing with us on the next gig. It has been difficult for me over the past year or so to play with just guitar and sax, so this new addition will be very welcome. I can't wait to play.
The next morning I was up and at em' early with a rehearsal at Anikets place. We were rehearsing for two performances at the Ann Arbor Book Festival. One show was with the Indian Classical Music and Dance group (ICMD) crew at the International pavillion, and the next was a workshop by Meeta and myself at the Mind, Body, and Soul stage. The ICMD show was very nice. There were a couple of vocal pieces where Aniket played tabla, a violin and tabla piece where I played with another westerner named Karl, and then our tabla trio (Aniket, Rahul, and I) brought the house down with our tabla composition. Well, I guess that may sound a little crazier than it really was...but the audience responded very nicely and we felt great about the whole show.
After the ICMD performance there was just enough time to get a bite to eat at Raja Rani and then it was back to the festival for the workshop. The idea for the workshop was the same as the one I did at Oz's a couple of months ago. Meeta and I would perform, talk about the instruments, talk about the music, and perform some more. The tabla trio also did our piece again. The crowd was very responsive and nice. It was an absolutely beautiful day and we were the last performers on the stage that day, so they let us go as long as we wanted. I think we played about 2 hours straight, I'm not sure. I didn't care, it was just so great to play. I also got to wear some of my new Indian clothes and play my new tabla. Yes, I was a happy boy.
As we step into summer I am looking forward to many gigs, including 4 days on Mackinac Island with the Steel Band, an Indian music workshop at Crazy Wisdom tea room in Ann Arbor, and a trip to L.A. for the CalArts 35 year reunion. I will be posting more pictures from India soon, so keep checking back. Thanks for reading, and please keep in touch!

-John

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