What a weekend!!

Nepali-Bhutanese dance at the Terrabeat Cultural Showcase in Louisville (August 5, 2011)

As I mentioned in a previous post(s), I’ve finally done a solo show.  No, not my first–I’ve played plenty of solo shows before as a noise artist or as a solo cellist, but last Friday’s Terrabeat Cultural Showcase was the first as a singer/cellist.  I’ve been posting videos from Friday night like crazy and am still going through the hundreds of photos I’ve taken.  So many wonderful immigrant artists in the Louisville area–it was a veritable mini-World Fest (which I’ll also be playing this year with my Arabic band, Ahel El Nagam)!

Bollywood Dance; Kathak Dance; Nepali BhutaneseDance; Kenyan Dance; music from Somalia; Sudan Vietnam; Burma; and so many others–this barely captures all that happened in those 7 hours on Friday night!

What was a great night was also a celebration of my late brother–who died exactly one year ago last Friday.  I think it was fitting that I helped celebrate the local diversity of the area that Joe and I grew up in and I hope that he would have enjoyed it had he been there.

The next day I had an artistic meeting with one of the projects that I’ve been really looking forward to the most since it’s inception nearly two years ago, Raks Makam.  Jessica and I had a great talk (she was also at the Friday show) and it looks like we finally have a much more solid plan for working up a presentation that we should be showing by the year’s end.  Likely we’ll have portions of it pop up here and there as we develop certain pieces.  I so love some of this Central Asian music and dance–I did manage to sing one of my all time favorite tunes, ‘Kor Arab’ (from Azerbaijan), last Friday and I think folks were really struck by it-the bartender thought it was some call to prayer (since it was the beginning of Ramadan an a room was set aside for the Muslims in the audience to pray) and was astonished to realize it was just the Thai guy with the cello–hah! Continue reading