Sidetracks And Detours
PASS IT ON
Weekly Walkabout Sunday 16th July 2023
Live Jazz by Karla Harris
by Joe Alterman
by Trevor Bannister
Jazz On Air by Steve Bewick
Creative Writing by Michael Higgins
Readers´ Perspectives by Peter Pearson
Island Insight by Norman Warwick
KARLA HARRIS & THE JOE ALTERMAN TRIO
previews by Karla Harris
photo moon to gold
An Evening with Karla Harris and the Joe Alterman Trio:
The Moon to Gold Show
July 15, 2023 7:00 PM
Doors Open: 6:30 PM
Middle C Jazz has General Admission seating available on a first-come basis. We also offer preferred seating for our Baby Grand members.
For information regarding our Baby Grand Membership click here.
Be prepared for an evening of powerful, emotion-tugging vocals presented through straight-ahead and contemporary jazz, blues favorites, and a few originals. Think Nancy Wilson, Billie Holiday, Aretha Franklin, and the Fifth Dimension all in one night.
photo karla harris
Click here for a special message from Karla Harris and Joe Alterman
Jazz vocalist Karla Harris has made a career within the art form she loves for more than three decades, captivating audiences from Portland to Provence. While in college, Karla began singing with the St. Louis Jazz Quartet, a group featuring highly regarded regional jazz vocalist Jeanne Trevor, an early mentor. In the early 2000s, she was lead vocalist in combos led by internationally acclaimed bassist Tom Kennedy, whose credits include such greats as Rosemary Clooney, Freddie Hubbard, Mike Stern, Lee Ritenour, Ben Vereen, Dave Weckl. An invaluable experience, it helped pave the way when a 2005 move to the Pacific Northwest landed Karla in Portland, Oregon’s, celebrated jazz scene.
“Vocalist Karla Harris tends to take the stage by storm and doesn’t let go till it’s all over.” – Clubscene
phot jope alterman trio
by Joe Alterman
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Alterman moved to New York in the fall of 2007 to study music at New York University, where he earned both his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Music. While there, he had the opportunity to study with greats including Don Friedman, Joe Lovano and John Scofield.
Karla Harris – vocals
Joe Alterman – piano
Kevin Smith – bass
Justin Chesarek – drums
Bottom of Form
Sunday, August 13, Atlanta, Live at the Balzer. Introducing the “MERGE” concert, music diving into multiple influences, at the beautiful Balzer Theatre. Debuting several new songs in this show with the Tyrone Jackson band. Many thanks to our sponsor, The Manely Firm, P.C.
Scan the QR code on the poster above for tickets or link here. Make it an evening downtown — several nearby restaurants are offering 20% discounts to diners who present their ticket. You can see the list here.
Looking to autumn:
Friday, Oct. 6, 2023, Atlanta, Callanwolde Jazz on the Lawn. Music under the stars; bring a picnic! Thank you to sponsor Audi Atlanta. Tickets on sale now. (Popular series, purchase early.)
Friday, Oct. 27, 2023, Springfield, OR, Mayor’s Gala, Wildish Community Theatre. Headed back to the Pacific NW to headline this annual benefit event and conduct a master class for middle and high school music students.
Sunday Oct. 29, 2023, Siletz Bay, OR, INHouse Jazz series. House concert on the Oregon coast with my Atlanta friend, pianist Tyrone Jackson. Request a reservation here.
Sharing the love
More and more, I appreciate the positives jazz builds beyond its creative aspects — good things like collaboration, communication, shared goals, cultural appreciation, relationship-building, self-awareness. I’ve been enjoying opportunities to share about this music at community events over the past year. Looking forward to sharing with young learners next month at Jazz Discovery Series, an interactive afternoon for Title I campers at Callanwolde Fine Arts Center Creative Camp on August 2.
Thank you for checking out this email. Please visit my website for additional dates.
Look forward to seeing you soon, Karla
Jazz at Progress, Friday 30 June
EYES LIT UP FOR ´SONG FOR MY FATHER´.
review by Trevor Bannister
photo trevor pio 7
Here is a Review by Trevor Bannister (left) who developed an ear for jazz as a youngster and was firmly hooked by his mid-teens, buying records, listening to live bands and avidly reading Melody Maker each week. He hopes that his reviews for Jazz in Reading, which first took shape in 2015, (and now for Sidetracks And Detours) continue to express that enthusiasm and capture not just the great music played at Progress, but also something of the venue’s unique atmosphere and character. Trevor has collaborated on two publications, ‘Dusk Fire: Jazz in English Hands’ the autobiography of pianist, composer, bandleader and educator Michael Garrick and ‘It Won’t Sound the Same Again: Great Jazz Never Does’, the autobiography of saxophonist Jim Philip.
The Horace Silver Project: Freddie Gavita trumpet and flugel horn, Clare Hirst tenor saxophone, Andrea Vicari piano, Marianne Windham bass, Matt Fishwick drums
An ‘end of term’ party atmosphere pervaded the Progress Theatre as the Horace Silver Project kicked-off the final Jazz at Progress gig of a hugely successful 2022/23 season with the unmistakeable tones of ‘Sister Sadie’. Bearing the distinctive hallmarks of pianist, composer, bandleader Horace Silver, the ‘Grandpop of Hardbop’ to whom the evening was dedicated, this piece immediately set toes tapping and heads nodding. How could anyone resist the powerful rhythmic drive of five virtuoso musicians at the top of their form playing music drenched with an intoxicating blend of bebop, blues, funky soul and gospel, tinged with a delicate flavouring derived from Silver’s family roots in the Cape Verde Islands? Horace Silver introduced this new recipe for jazz on unsuspecting audiences well-nigh seventy years ago. Its appeal and potent effect remain as strong as ever.
Silver’s other great strength was in his choice of titles – simple, straight-forward, catchy and to coin a phrase, ‘They tell you exactly what’s in the tin!’
‘Pretty Eyes’, from the 1966 Blue Note album ‘Cape Verdean Blues’ is a good case in point; a beautifully lilting evocation of ‘pretty eyes’ conjured by Freddie Gavita’s lyrical flugel horn in combination with the warm tones of Clare Hirst’s tenor saxophone.
The scorching ‘Nica’s Dream’ moved up several gears to pay tribute to the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter. This member of the Rothschild dynasty forsook her aristocratic lifestyle in Europe to become a patron to jazz musicians, notably Thelonious Monk – and cats (reputedly 306) – from her hotel suite in New York. Needless to say, this roller-coaster ride perfectly captured the spirit and eccentricity of this remarkable lady who once raced Miles Davis down Fifth Avenue in her pale-blue Bentley.
Andrea Vicari dug into her piano, especially hired for the occasion from Hickies’s Music Store, ably assisted by Marianne Windham’s bass and Matt Fishwick’s drums to generate some heavy-weight funk on ‘Jody Grind’, and to set up a launching pad for Gavita’s stratospheric trumpet. A truly Gospel ‘Amen’ brought this tremendous number to a close.
Clare Hirst took her place in the ‘pulpit’ to lead the sermon on ‘The Preacher’, Silver’s attempt to ‘reach back and get that old time, gutbucket barroom feeling with just a taste of the backbeat’. In no time at all, Hirst had her congregation eating from her hand and dancing with their feet.
The joyfully exotic ‘Cape Verdean Blues’, featuring amongst its highlights Andrea Vicari at her most compelling and an outing both visually spectacular and brilliantly imaginative by Matt Fishwick on his drums, brought the first set to a dazzling close.
Horace Silver gladly accepted the affectionate moniker of ‘The Hardbop Grandpop’ and used it as the title track on his 1996 Impulse album which marked a return to the classic small group line-up after many years working with larger ensembles. It follows the jazz musicians’ timed-honoured practice of creating a new melody over an existing chord progression – in this case via the old favourite ‘Indiana’ and its subsequent variation ‘Donna Lee’. It all made for a straightforward, nicely paced swinger with a standout bass solo from Marianne Windham.
Clare Hirst, who shared mc-ing duties with Andrea Vicari throughout the evening, cast a knowing glance at the audience when she announced that ‘this next number needs no introduction’. Indeed not. Eyes lit up with instant recognition as the quintet laid down the gently soulful introduction to ‘Song For My Father’, arguably Silver’s most beguiling and often played composition. Freddie Gavita soloed to great effect, the beautifully placed notes flowing with crystalline clarity.
In contrast to the fun and danceable good spirits so far expressed, the next two numbers, ‘Ecoroh’ and ‘Peace’ revealed the emotional depth of Horace Silver’s musical imagination. I found the dark edge of the first and the poignancy of the latter deeply moving.
‘Nutville’, on the other hand was a case of watching the touchpaper being lit ahead of the band taking-off on a voracious flight of invention. An explosive performance, especially in the percussion department where the ferocious complexity of Matt Fishwick’s drum patterns belied his otherwise gentle and thoughtful demeanour.
First recorded by the Silver quintet in 1954 and with lyrics later being added by Jon Hendricks, the bluesy ‘Doodlin’’ has been covered by just about everyone from Ray Charles to Dusty Springfield. A further reminder of Silver’s universal appeal and enduring legacy, it made the perfect choice to close a thoroughly entertaining and truly invigorating evening. All praise to the Horace Silver Project and best wishes for future success. Promoters please note – THIS is a fantastic band !
As ever, thanks to the Progress Theatre, especially the Front of House Team headed by Stuart McCubbin and techno wizard Rich Saunders for sound and lighting. And a special thank you to our audience, particularly the youngsters we’ve welcomed recently. Your generous support makes it possible to continue presenting the very best of live jazz on the Progress stage.
Jazz at Progress will recommence on Friday 15 September when Pigfoot Plays Ellington.
Chris Batchelor trumpet, James Allsop baritone sax, Liam Noble piano and Paul Clarvis drums will present their unique interpretation of material drawn Duke Ellington’s fabulous repertoire.
‘An entertainingly riotous, swinging, delicate, gnarly account of Ellington’s legacy is promised.’
Watch out for details on the Jazz in Reading website www.jazzinreading.com
pass it on logo
by Steve Bewick
While I search for our lost summer sunshine in the UK, here is our listing for next week´s Hot Biscuits jazz broadcast. With my colleague Gary Heywood-Everett we take a listen to the fine guitar work of Esmond Selwyn.
This musician has been acknowledged as one of the world’s great jazz guitarists and jazz guitar instructors ever since his entry in 1995 into the highly prestigious and much coveted work by Ivor Mairants, ‘The Great Jazz Guitarists’. Ivor wrote “…Esmond has, in my opinion, a fingerboard technique.
His stunning, masterful playing needs to be fully appreciated by a much wider audience, especially here in Australia where we tend to miss out on a lot of such fantastic players
Hoagland Howard Carmichael (November 22, 1899 – December 27, 1981) was an American musician, composer, songwriter, actor and lawyer. Carmichael was one of the most successful Tin Pan Alley songwriters of the 1930s, and was among the first singer-songwriters in the age of mass media to utilize new communication technologies such as television, electronic microphones, and sound recordings.
Paul Desmond then tackles ´a bridge over troubled water.`
The show will finish with David Preston playing, `O’Winston`. If this selection looks good to you, then please `pass it on to your like-minded, jazz loving friends.
You and they can listen-in anytime and may ever be joined by Sidetfacks And Detours readers from around the world.
check www.mixcloud.com/stevebewick/ 24/07
logo Creative Writing
WRITERS CHANGE NAME
from Michael Higgins
As readers of the writing in such places as the all across the arts columns, produced by Steve Cooke, might know, or those who read the pages of the daily blogs posted at Sidetracks And Detours might also have realised, I temporarily took over the aptly named Poets On Tap, alongside Eilleen Earnshaw, which group the late Robin Parker deftly named after we left the Flying Horse for the Medicine Tap pub on the Esplanade.
At the Flying Horse we were ‘Pegasus’ (my suggestion) and at the Baum we were of course the famous Bard from the Baum (Norm´s or Robin’s suggestion?) At the most recent monthly session at The Medicine Tap on Sunday we had a good crowd to remember Robin by, including Jackie Phillips, Shirley Anne Kennedy and one half of the Nearly Dead Poets, who had not been with us for a while. Ray Stearn was there, too, with a fine eulogy and I read a poem from Robin´s Edenfield Scrolls poems.
Robin’s partner widow, Anni, kindly sent me the words to Robin’s parody, Wilpshire Rising Sun, which he had written for one of our Off The Rails pubs on the outskirts of Blackburn- the Rising Sun in the hamlet of Wilpshire. I sang this yesterday at the Rising Sun just after the pies had come and the gang and staff raised a glass to Robin in absentia. I also read from his poem Tower of Bowton from the Scrolls.
Meanwhile, all across the arts reporter Steve Cooke recently caught up with Ray Stearn a leading light at Touchstone Creative Writing Group as was. With the shadow of covid, to some eyes, still visible, and the imminent closure for 18 months for refurbishment of Touchstones Arts And Heritage Centre it seemed an interesting point to take stock of what is going on with artists formerly known Touchstones Creative Writing Group.
Ray told the newsman that ´the pandemic nearly saw us off, but we survived through conducting workshops via zoom. These proved so popular in fact, that some members wanted to continue with them even after lockdown restrictions were lifted. To be hoinest, though, we probably weren´t sufficiently blessed with enough members of high enough tech skills to enable us to deliver simultaneous live workshops alongside zoom broadcasts. Then we discovered that the fact that Touchstones provided us with a room for free in which we could hold our meetings, we quickly found the echo in the cathedral-like Gallery held too much re-verb to allow clear hearing of our speakers when they spoke ! So we decided to search for a new venue, but didn´t have to search far. The Medicine Tap made us very welcome and the slightly reduced attendances after lockdown made good use of the facility.
Hindsight is a wonderful gift and we quickly learned that we would have been searching for new premises anyway due to proposed refurbishment of Touchstones, which is to be an eighteen month project.
Of course, the move along the road meant we had to find a new name for the group and we wondered (WOT) to call ourselves and so Writers On Tap was born. We have been successfully meeting there now for over a year, (after a happy ten years thereabouts at Touchstones). Now, though, we also have refreshments easily available, from soft drinks, through coffee and tea, to something a little stronger if needed.
The format of the meetings remains the same. Each month one of our pool of excellent facilitators, currently Seamus Kelly, Jennie Bailley, Giai Holmes or myself, presents a workshop and it seems to work very well.
Our four facilitators include an award-winning poet and each is a published author or poet. Attendees can receive ideas on moving to publication with their work from published writers within our current membership. We have also continued to reach out to the community with Pulling Threads, which takes travelling performance pies to other societies and clubs in the area.
The Castleton Scientific and Literary Society have been long-time supporters of Pulling Threads and, this season, have
been joined by the U3A at littleborough, and The Norden Historical Society. Pullin Threads are currentloy touring a piece valled Behind Closed Doors.
Any publicity is most welcome but please include the information that Writers On Tap meet at The Medicine Tap in the centre of Rochdale on the first Thursday of each month between two and four pm..Because The Medicine Tap also serves excellent food, writers can even arrive early and enjoy a leisurely lunch before putting their pens in gear. In fact they can even stay on after a writing group meeting and have tea there as well !
ALL POINTS FORWARD
by Peter Pearson
I read a very comprehensive, readable and concise piece in this morning´s Sidetracks And Detours post from Norman Warwick. The blog editor and writer has Kreated a Kollection of ten Mark Knopfler Kronikles, I could almost hear Norm cheering with relief as he pressed enter on this final edition. Final ???,…steady on Norm. There might be a way to go yet.
photo knopfler guy fletcher By way of update, you may be aware that during Mark’s last worldwide tour in 2019 he made somewhat ambiguous announcements from the stage concerning future tours. There was little doubt that there would be no more world wide tours but the sense was that he might do a John Stewart and do selective low-key gigs. He did say that the recording and composing side would continue.
Currently he has an album virtually done but most of us expect release late this year or early next. Guy Fletcher’s website provides fans with almost daily updates and pictures of recording sessions. Greg Leisz is said to feature prominently.
The word from Guy, who is a long time collaborator with Mark is that there may be no tours at all on the back of the new album.
We fans noticed that Mark’s body was starting to feel the strain on the last tour. It is thought that the quite serious injuries from the motorcycle accident had left their mark (no pun intended). He was increasingly taking a seat and passing more guitar riffs to Richard Bennet.
It will be recalled that Mark also brought in sax and brass to the tour, albeit that the fiddle of John McCusker and flute of Michael McGoldrick were still prominent.
At 75,-same age as me, what can you or I expect?.
Even the Eagles have now announced their final tour.
Norm drew ten Knofler Kronikles, when I requested a piece on the former Dire Straits member, so I wonder if he will create a nest of Eleven Eagles Essays?
We watch and wait.
logo Island Insights
FIESTA TO HONOUR VIRGIN DEL CARMEN
By Norman Warwick
The town celebrates from July 8 to 16 its festivities of honor to the Virgen del Carmen, extending invitation to neighbors throughout the municipality of Yaiza and Lanzarote to share and enjoy the activities of this festive program of a week full of popular music, concerts, native sports, tribute to fishermen, festivals, Young night, workshops and children’s games and many other fun proposals that are combined with religious acts. Check the full program here:
Playa Blanca Festival Program From July 8 to 16, 2023 Saturday 8 17:00 h. XII Tournament 3×3 Nuestra Señora del Carmen 2023. Organized by Club Tinyala and Sports Area. In the Plaza del Carmen. 17:00 h. Draw and start of the mixed ball championship, next to the Bus Station. 20:00 h. Draw and start of the championship of envite, in the fairgrounds.
Sunday 9 17:00 h. Draw and start of the domino championship, at the fairgrounds. 20:00 h. Draw and start of the round championship, at the fairgrounds. Performance of the parranda Son del Norte, in front of the ventorrillos
Monday 10 17:30 to 19:30 h. Children’s workshops in Plaza del Carmen. 20: 00 h. Act Tribute and opening of the exhibition ‘Sailors and Fishermen of Playa Blanca’. In the center La Aurora, with trio parrandero. Then, musical performance Grupo Dancing Queen (Tribute Tribute ABBA), live, in the Plaza del Carmen
Tuesday 11 18:00 h. Chalanas Competition, in Playa del Pueblo. 21:00 h. Performance of the Play Back Seniors of Yaiza ‘A Special Party’, in the Plaza del Carmen
Wednesday 12 17:30 to 20:00 h. Children’s workshops in Plaza del Carmen. 20: 00h. Summer Cinema in the Plaza del Carmen. 21:30 h. Dance of the Mayor with the group Dúo Tropical and parranda Sondemar, in the Plaza de del Carmen
Thursday 13 18:00 to 20:30 h. Workshops and children’s games in the Plaza del Carmen. 21:00 h. Karaoke ‘To make you feel famous’, in the Plaza del Carmen
Friday 14 19:30 h. Great Fight between combined, in the Playa del Pueblo. Organizes Sports Area. 20:30 h. Meeting of Popular Music Parranda Janubio, with guest soloists Israel López, Gara Niz, Faina Martín and Fefo García. 23:00 h. Great Young Night with performances by Ballet Dance Pop, MKR130 and Nano Méndez and DJs Ángel Pérez, Elvis, Pedro Morales and dj Izan, in Plaza del Carmen.
11:00 h. Desiguales 10 (Asociación Creciendo Yaiza), en la Plaza del Carmen.
12:30 h. Pasacalle con la Banda Musical Archipiélago de Gran Canaria,
11:30 a 13:30 h. Hinchables y actuación musical del Grupo LD de Tenerife, en la Playa del
14:30 h. Pasacalle con Banda Musical Archipiélago. Desde la Playa del Pueblo para finalizar en la
Plaza del Carmen.
A continuación, Gran Fiesta del Agua amenizada por el grupo Los Conejeros, en la Plaza del Carmen.
17:00 h. Regata Homenaje a “Patas Vivas”. Organiza Área de Deportes.
19:30 h. Misa en la iglesia Nuestra Señora del Carmen.
21:00 h. Gran Actuación en directo del grupo español La Frontera, en la Plaza del Carmen.
A continuación, Gran Verbena Popular con las actuaciones del Grupo LD de Tenerife y Orquesta Rika Banda de Lanzarote.
Saturday 15 11:00 h. Desiguales 10 (Asociación Creciendo Yaiza), in Plaza del Carmen. 12:30 p.m. Parade with the Banda Musical Archipiélago de Gran Canaria, 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Inflatables and musical performance of the LD Group of Tenerife, in Playa del Pueblo. 14:30 h. Parade with Archipiélago Musical Band. From Playa del Pueblo to finish in Plaza del Carmen. Next, Gran Fiesta del Agua enlivened by the group Los Conejeros, in the Plaza del Carmen. 17:00 h. Regatta Tribute to “Patas Vivas”. Organizes Sports Area. 19:30 h. Mass in the church of Nuestra Señora del Carmen. 21:00 h. Great live performance of the Spanish group La Frontera, in the Plaza del Carmen. Then, Gran Verbena Popular with the performances of the LD Group of Tenerife and Rika Banda Orchestra of Lanzarote.
Sunday 16 – DÍA DEL CARMEN 12:00 h. Solemn function in the Plaza del Carmen, with the participation of the Vocal Group of Yaiza, and then Land and Maritime Procession accompanied by the Municipal Band of Yaiza and reception at the Playa del Pueblo with the parranda Pal Porrón. Next, Gran Fiesta Asadero with the Son de la Loma Group, the Sincopa ́Ti orchestra with Iván Cacu from Tenerife and Tribute to Manny Manuel, in the Plaza del Carmen.
Coral Polifónica San Ginés – July 7th
50th Anniversary review by Norman Warwick
The Coral Polifonica San Gines performed a concert last Friday evening, 7th July, as part of their 50th Anniversary celebrations. Along with the choir, the band is made up of prominent musicians from Lanzarote who will take to the stage to perform versions of some of the most popular rock songs in history.
It was to take place at the Víctor Fernández Gopar Theater in Arrecife, which is the alternative name for Teatro El Salinero and we managed to purchase a couple of the very few tickets not already snapped up. It was easily done as we bought the tickets at €12 each online at:
We know the theatre well, and indeed, we even feel we know Victor Fernandez Gopar pretty well, too. We always hear more about the man who wrote poetry about the island and its landscapes and its traditional industries like salt, sea and fishing. Not only is Gopar celebrated by a theatre being named after him. There is also a statue of him, created by Cyntia Machim, one of the island´s most-loved sculptors, in situ in Las Brenas on the ´table mountain´that looks down over the Salinas De Januibio that Gopar loved so much.
We attended the civil unveiling of that statue a few years ago, on a day when the village was coated by a sand-thick calima, that painted the area, and the statue, in strange rust colour. That didn´t stop several hundred people attending the ceremony!
Victor Fernandez Gopar often celebrated the importance of salt to this island, writing wonderful poetry about it, and many of those poems have been adapted into glorious songs by Lanzarote Folk Lore Groups. Today, there was an unveiling of a statue of the poet with the working name, long ago adopted by the island´s biggest theatre, in Arrecife, of El Salinero. Some of his descendants had been invited to today´s ceremony that took place in the town square of Las Brenas, where he was born in 1844. The square looks down, over a distance of a couple of miles, to the section of coastline on which Salinas de Janubio salt fields stand.
We have visited this working community many times, and have even undertaken guided tours by a young lady we call Sara Of The Salinas, who is keen to preserve the industry as it stands today and perhaps to steer it back towards some of its former glory. See our archives.
So why did four new residents (ie who have come over to retire from the UK or other parts of Europe) attend such a localised event as a statue being unveiled in a small town up in the mountains? There are several reasons. Three or four of those reasons might be beer tents, crepe caravans and paella platters and tapas.
Another reason might be to see the almost unique mixture of fun and reverence the islanders manage to bring to these events in equal measure. Even the worst calima (effectively a sandstorm) for decades could not get in the way, and about twenty of us simply rolled up our sleeves and relocated all the food, an array of tapas that would have fed the five thousand, and chairs out of the open air square and into the community hall. The bands quickly rewired all their instruments and the table microphones for the invited speakers were set up and sound check, checked one, two, three all over again.
This meant that by time an audience of about two hundred and fifty people had gathered, with all of the ladies still managing to look elegant even as the sky was the colour of poison and the palm trees were bending double to slap visitors in the face, we were all directed into the hall where the ceremonies would take place
The wonderful town of Las Brenas still made everyone welcome, even under an Armageddon sky and we were all sitting comfortably when the speeches began. I can´t tell you, I am afraid, who was the mistress of ceremonies, but she did a superb job in keeping everything light and informal as she introduced speakers that included family members and descendants of the feted poet, as well as The President Of The Island, the Minister of Culture and the Mayor of Yaiza Municipality of which Las Brenas is a part. The MC had things running like clockwork, too, as she first organised the presentation of a plaque and mementoes to the family. She then led us all outside into the tempest of one hundred miles per hour gusts of hot, sand filled air to see the official unveiling of the statue created by Cintia Machim and to then all partake in a photo shoot.
The statue remained dignified (and upright) throughout, as pointed out by Cyntia (above left)
There was also a reading (in Spanish admittedly) of some of Gopar´s pieces and there was a music group or two with timples and guitars playing the songs of the salt.
It was in some ways an event very redolent of the opening of the statue of Gracie Fields that has stood on The Butts in Rochdale town centre for the last four or five years
So, even the act of booking the tickets fro tonights event in 2023 evoked so many memories of the years we have lived here on Lanzarote but it was soon time to leave the past and to head to Gopar´s theatre to hear a somewhat fuuristic rock ensemble.
The San Ginés Polyphonic Choir was founded in 1973 by Braulio de León, who was its director until 1986. After a period of inactivity due to the death of its director, its members decided to form an association and elect María Piedad del Río Sendino as the new director. Since then, the choir has actively participated in the musical life of Lanzarote and has received awards such as the Pancho Lasso Medal from the Cabildo de Lanzarote and the award given by the Capital City Council for the Bicentennial of the City of Arrecife. Over the years, the choir has had different directors, including Alicia García Uña, José Antonio Elías Roldán Javier Díaz González. Currently, the management is once again in the hands of Elías Roldán.
It had been a whilse since we had been to the Teatro El Salinero. Situated across the road from the UD Lanzarote (another theatre od dreams!) in the heart of the sporting arenas for basketball, netball and the like means parking can sometimes be at a premium and restaurants are situated a bit too far away in other areas of the capital.
So we set off from home at 4.15 pm having fed the six cats and given them their ´treats´, because they form a line outside our door and won´t let us go until they feel well fed.
As we were driving up LZ2 we decided we would stop at Tias for a meal, secure in the knowledge that Arrecife would then only be another twenty minute drove. Arrayati un Mila is a beautiful arts dominated restaurant, with huge landscape paintings on the walls and even chained down from the ceilings so that the landscape (all are of Lanzarote) lies flat above your head. That offers some interesting perspectives, that´s for sure. There are black and white photographs everywhere of Tias and Lanzarote as they were before the coming of the planes.´
The restaurant is perhaps more used to serving those who attend the Teatro del Tias around the corner, rather than Arrecife theatre-goers, and we have certainloy been on several occasions with there is a real buzz about the palce at an after show supper. Tonight, though, pre-performace, the venue was quiet with a pop-musi radio playing softely from somehwhere and our favourite waiter singing along , pretty tunefully. Thee was no one else in the dining area, so he finished his chorus before he took our order for tna salads, a white wine and a beer.
The salads were delicious and freshly made but nothing could compare to my dessert a moose-like dessert, drowned in chocolate source that tasted light and creamy. It should have been served with a health warning !
Thirty minutes later we were in our theatre seats, and ten minutes afte rthat the announcement was made in Spanish that
¨Coral Polifonica San Gines vriung KCor and Rock to the Teatro EL Salinero¨..
There came to the stage a rock band of the likes I have never seen before. Guitarists, percussion and keyboards and back line choral ensemble. The Line up was of men and women, young and old, and there were two or three solo vocalists and a musical director on stage, too.
The show opened with a heartfelt version of John Lennon´s Imagine and somehow the song being ´sung´by q signer, Carida Perez Euginie, added to both the simplicity and the profundity of the song´s lyrics.
Bienvenidos (Welcome) was the second number, before an intricate vocal-instrumental, cleverly arranged of Every Breath You Take, made famous by The Police a few decades ago now.
Then came our first hearing of the soloists, Lorena Torres Careres. She took Lennon and McCartney´s All You Need Is Love and somehow made it her own with an interpretation that invested her passion and belief in the lyrics of a song with which the musicians also had lot of fun. All the joy and ´brass necked´ humour of the song was captured by soloist, choiur and musicians. I am still trying to think now, on the morning after, whether I have ever previously heard a cover of this song, which is far more complex than we first realise.
Coldpaly, who recently played a series of concerts across on mainland Spain, (at terrifying prices) were represented next with a lovely song, Clocks, with which I wasn´t familiar.
Knocking On Heaven´s Door was highlighted by the harmony between male and female vocals.
Like many readers, I´m sure, Dee and I have heard so many live and recorded re-interpretations of Lenoard Cohen´s Hallelujah, (including a live delivery by Lanzarote Gospel Choir): We have seen Cohen perform it The Masnchester Arean before we camer to live here, and I even have books on my shelf over here abnout what the song ,means,. The presentation we had tonight from Coral Polifonica San Gines brought the piece back to beautiful basics. Glorious harminsed choruses, and a heartfelt and reverential exploration of the lyrics.
Perhaps it is here I should mention the fact that, as if as a special treat for us, the lyrics were delivered in a precise English. We might even have been the only English people in the theatre.
So, what a treat it was to hear a solidly cemented Anoither Brick In The wall We hear that debate rages in the UK about the wokery and content warning being applied to books on the curriculum, and some are saying that teachers are exceeding their sphere of influence. The line of Hey, Teachers, Leave Those Kids Alone took on even deeper meanings here a powewrful vocal delivery and perfect instrumental arrangement.
In fact, there then followed an instrumental medley that particularly show-cased the playing of Miguel Calzadilla and Frco Javier Redondo as well as Javier Diaz and Maurizio Botti. This section of the show also featured the excellent Fabrizio Boscaini and the banjo of Jose Luiz Gonzalez..
Those of us familiar with the Robert Plant-Jimmy Page, Led Zep version of Stairway To Heaven might have worried that our solo female vocalist, Lorena Torres Caceras, might not have been able to handle a song that is still often tagged as heavy metal. Oh we of little faith ! She spun the gold around her finger, and with dininuendo and crescendo, she created magic.
A powerful, enjoyable ensemble piece followed in the shape of Bon Jovi and Living On A Prayer.
There then followed a little bit of lyrical intrigue. Coral Polifonica San Gines delivered a glorious version of California Dreaming and (perhaps merely because of the way they had learned the song) they adhered to its original wording of ´I pretend to pray´, which are the words Papa John Phillips actually wrote.. So many cover versions, though, change the line to I began to pray, I asked if I could pray. Tonight´s delivery had me pondering what Papa John had actually meant !
Our second solo female vocalist, Anne Lloret Diaz, brought us a triumphant fist bumping What A feeling from Fame, recorded many years ago by Irene Cara.
I was thrown when the concluding song was announced as Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. I have alwas found the orginal Queen version somnewhat overblown and theatrical. Another truth is that no one can ever deliver it wellas Fredie Mercury and the guys in Queen,
We should have had more faith in female soloist Lorean Torres Cacenes. She somehow made the song seem introspective rather than bombastic and there was an incredible poignancy that led to a fully derves call for an encore.
Director Elias Roldan first weatched the delivery of floral bouquets being presented to the two female vocalists and to the signer of the opening number. before counting in his musicians to a rendition of We Are The World, written by the collaboration of Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie.
The applause was still ringing out minutes after the ensemble had left the stage for the final time. As we began to file out though, there was no doubt of how powerful and impressive this concert had been. It had been delivered as a thanks to fans who have supported the band though its fifty year career and the audience chatter was about the great selection of songs and of the performance itself.
We managed a quick word with our friend, my wife´s yoga instructor, Mercedes, and she was as excited as we were about the show. Just ahead of us in the egressing crowd we could also see another friend, Marianne, a chorister and music director herself, who was also very obviously enthusing to her friends, too.
In English cricketing terms Coral Polifonica San Gines were celebrating fifty not out,…build that into a century guys.
(logo) What´s Next?
It´s a busy week again next week. We look at Bradford´s beautiful theatre The Alhambra in the UK whgich has in the past welcomed to their stage the first class ensemble that is the Alving Ailey Dance Company from America. Whilst in the Uk we will also take a look at hopw primary pupils over there respoind to art in the classroom. We will put the career of Donny Osmond in clearer context and will also try to avoid categorising Steely Dan before working on opur bigger bookshelf to accommodate a memoir by a man who really has lived his life Like A Rolling Stone. All that will be in daily editions of Sidetracks and Detours from Monday To Friday before next Sunday´s Pass It On includes an excellent piece from Steve Cooke that leads us from Ebor Studios, up Toad Lane, looking in at Granny´s Attic and heading out to the Fylde Coast, just for a laugh, with one of the country´s best loved comics. Ralph Dent will follow Sidetracks And Detours to learn more about a female singer writer making a name for herself in the Americana Genre. IU you see us wandering around, step across and say hi.. So, Happy Trails to you until next time.