MAKU SoundSystem – September 22, 2016

MAKU SoundSystem  -  Rubenstein Atrium  -   September 22, 2016

MAKU is pretty close to the ultimate in World Music.  The basic band has a South American orientation, mostly Colombia.  The concert was like a showcase revue, with MAKU showing their stuff, and then bringing on musicians from elsewhere, not merely backing them up, but getting deep into the collaboration.  We had Lodescar with a gospel-oriented focus; Ben Jaafar (Morocco), playing the guembri (this oversized version is a kind of proto-electric bass) as part of Innov Gnawa, specializing in the music of northwest Africa; Benavides was part of the Afro-Colombian song-and-dance troupe Bulla en el Barrio.  There were others that I didn’t get to portray.  Half the time, in the dim light, I was merely guessing which color I had in my hand.  Poor Liliana!

Juan Ospina

Liliana Conde

Moris Canate

Andres Jiminez

Robert Stringer and Isaiah Richardson Jr.

Kemba Lodescar

Hassan Ben Jaafar

Gabriel Benavides

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Herbie Waters IV – September 22, 2016

Herbie Waters IV  -  Busking New York City  -  September 22, 2016

Herbie is the youngest performer I have portrayed, couldn’t have been more than 12. There he was in front of the Apple store on Broadway at 67th Street.  For all I know, he had decided to practice his classical riffs in public.  Who knows what HW III thinks about all of this, or if he even knows!

Herbie Waters IV

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Music Conservatory of Westchester Jazz Faculty Quartet – September 21, 2016

Music Conservatory of Westchester Jazz Faculty Quartet – Grace Episcopal Church – September 21, 2016

Biggest mouthful of a name for a group I’ve ever documented.  This was a memorial dedicated to the music of jazz sax player (and fellow Westchester-er) Michael Brecker (1949-2007).  New venue for me, and this was part of the ever-expanding White Plains Jazz Fest.

Jake Robinson

Rale Micic

Nicholas Biello

John Lang

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Dorraine Scofield – September 10, 2016

Dorraine Scofield  - Davis Park, West Shokan  -  September 10, 2016

Scofield was a performer at “Olive Day”, which refers to the Ulster County Town of Olive, rather than the horticultural fruit.  So it was a lucky find for my camping weekend at nearby Oliverea.  She’s a true hometown girl, carrying on what is becoming more apparent to me over time, the Catskills Americana trouper tradition.  She seemed to know and greet just about everyone that passed in front of her at this town fair.  Yes that’s an actual photo – I’m getting less doctrinaire about the format of the posts.

Dorraine Scofield

Dorraine at 4 years

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Ben Rounds – September 3, 2016

Ben Rounds  -  Wells Park, Brewster  -  September 3, 2016

In addition to relocating the farmers market to Wells Park this year, Brewster has also (thankfully) added occasional live entertainment.  This week was Ben Rounds; when I arrived he seemed to be in a mini-set of dog-related tunes, so I was happy that he could accommodate my request, Hank Williams’s “Move it on Over”.

Ben Rounds

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Tabou Combo – September 1, 2016

Tabou Combo  -  Rubenstein Atrium  -  September 1, 2016

The Haitian roots of this group go way back; it has now been headquartered in NYC for decades, but beneath my radar.  For the event, space that is customarily given over to seating had been cleared of chairs to make way for dancing, which was definitely the order of the day.  The music was compas, a high-energy rhythmic pan-Caribbean style.  This in turn worked to my benefit, as it allowed me to change settings several times for the full complement of sketches.

Herman Nau

Jean-Claude Jean

Yves Joseph

Ron Felix

Jonas Imbert

Yvon Andre

Reynald Vlame

Andre Atkins & Saxophonist

Jocel Alcemus

TC Trumpet

Roger Eugene

Ralph Conde

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John Luther Adams “Inuksuit” performance – August 27, 2016

John Luther Adams “Inuksuit” performance  -  Governors Island  -  August 27, 2016

This was a large piece that involved a whole slew (too many for me to count) of percussionists spread out across the Hills section (iconic brand new habitat) of Governors Island.  Unfortunate dealings with the ferry – 5 minutes late translates into missing 40 minutes of music!  Oh well!  Situation was too complicated to get everything signed and documented; for now I’m just posting the composite of the sketches I got, with the composer’s autograph.


John Luther Adams & me

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Steve Kroon – August 25, 2016

Steve Kroon  -  Louis Armstrong House Museum  -  August 25, 2016

One more new venue for me; choosing the subway is choosing an all day thing.  Upside: curry goat to be had on the very block!  Kroon’s driving congas keep this hot combo on track; he got to solo a bit on a small talking drum, wild stuff!  Work on Mateo was baptised by the intermittent sprinkles, from one more sky that threatened, threatened, then held off.

Steve Kroon

Bryan Carrott

Adan Perez

Joel Mateo

Donald Nicks

Craig Rivers

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Busking New York City: Jorge Espinosa – August 25, 2016

Busking New York City (Subway): Jorge Espinosa  -  August 25, 2016

Espinosa was in a nook next to stairs on a landing between subway platforms of the Grand Central Station.   I told him that he improved the subway!

Jorge Espinosa

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Duwamish River Festival – August 20, 2016

Duwamish River Festival  - Duwamish Waterway Park, Seattle  -  August 20, 2016

A community festival that includes performances of various cultural groups?  No brainer for me, I’m there.  Especially if there’s an environmental injustice angle, as there is here; Seattle’s South Park neighborhood adjoins the Duwamish Waterway, a Superfund site.  I sure hope I got the spelling right for the Kalpulli group – I copied from the program, but have seen a few other variants on the web.  Banda Vagos, somewhat of a family thingy, was the heavy hitter in the entertainment department.  The banda genre is a Mexican cultural melange mashup (the brass band aspect is a German/Austrian influence) with propulsive high energy, which these guys had in spades!  With nine separate portraits, of a dozen players (got ‘em all!) I’m just posting the composite here.

Carlos Barajas

Rafaela Luna-Pizano

Banda Vagos

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