Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
First, some comedy....Our first day in the DR, the morning TV show we were to do was cancelled and eventually, we found that out too! Happily it was rescheduled for the next day. It was an amazing two room TV set replete with drag queens, lip synchers, very sexy dancers (boys and girls), merengue-pop singers and too many stage hands to count and a one person make up crew. We waited to go on without much direction and then boom! at least four cameras for different angles...half way into the tune after the butterscotch tasting fog machine went off, so did all the power, really, ALL the power, mid-tune! We stood in pitch black for a bit and then picked it back up with a splice mid solo and did another song. Another act started while our set changed for the next act...non stop show in the DR!
Meanwhile, the venues we're playing in the DR are unbelievably artistic and flat out beautifully conceived. The Casa de Teatro in Santo Domingo, we played once and we play again tonight. (Sandwiched between these two performances there is another at a 700 seat theatre that we packed with young people who gave us several standing ovations.) But back to the Teatro, this place is a beautiful 250 seat theatre with a gorgeous stage, lights and sound (thanks Sly!), and a screen that projects the performance into the bar outside. The US Embassy folks here really worked so that we connected with the people, especially Rex Moser. Other amazing people make these things happen too, that have nothing to do with the Embassy. People like the creator of the venue Casa de Teatro, Freddy Ginebra, and Fernando Rodriguez, journalist and soulmate of the music, are people dedicated to great art and jazz in particular. We were lucky to have support like this. I think this is the most enthusiastic group of people I've encountered in my travels to date. They told me they loved the emotional quality of the music and the passionate way I moved. It's really nice to have an audience love what we love, so we created an experience together. They sang along without wanting to stop and even after opening things up to a jam at the end of our last show, it was hard to end the night. We hope we'll get back to the DR!!!!