Monday, April 26, 2010

Playing Trumpet with the Famous

Over school vacation I had two salsa gigs. The first one was in Hartford at the Expo Center where "the Rolling Stones of Salsa", Gran Combo was the headlining band. Salsa Night Band was the first of three bands and it was quite a trip for $150 and four songs. Bad sound men do not make for a positive performance, but at least Gran Combo had their own sound guy and they sounded excellent. Nothing incredibly fancy, but very solid and clean. Javier was in his glory when he went up and sang coro on one number. This was the largest crowd I have ever played for which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 to 9 thousand people.

The second gig had me playing in an All Star lineup of salsa musicians. Legendary salsa musicians Bobby Cruz and Richie Ray were in Providence and needed a band for a gig so my trumpet buddy Carlos called me up. The band had the best salsa musicians I have played with from top to bottom. Three trumpets, three trombones, three percussionists (with exceptional music reading ability), a bass player and three coro singers. We had to practice and perform 10 songs within two days. Had a lot of fun on the gig and met some cool guys.