Susana Baca/Calexico – New Haven Green – June 16, 2013
Although she was not the headliner, Baca (Peru’s Minister of Culture!) was the primary draw for me. Her music is not of the Peruvian Andes; it is of the African diaspora. To me her remarkable voice is a channeling of spirit, otherworldly. Hugo Bravo, depicted playing cajon, had a range of percussive instruments including the “quijada” (jawbone of a donkey). So far, I am unable to identify the violin player. Headliners Calexico were certainly no slouches, with a southwestern orientation that included at times a two-trumpet mariachi vibe. They were joined onstage for a few numbers by some members of Baca’s backup band. What a full sound! Front man Joey Burns took a liking to my work – due to his praise I have included the only-partly-formed sketch of Baca bass player Oscar Huaranga. Burns was helpful in taking my sketchbook around to get autographs from all the Calexico members, otherwise unavailable to me backstage.