Ahora Si!

*The title of this post, "Ahora si." translates literally to "Now yes!" It's an idiom we Cubans like to use when something is REALLY happening. As in "this is really going down right now." It's also the title of a song sung by Andy Garcia and the Cineson All Stars, but that's not important right now.....or maybe it is?

At the beginning of this year, I declared that my goal for 2013 was to finally meet Andy Garcia. It's been a fantasy of mine to meet him and of course, impress him with my wit and versatility. I have a friend that says you just have to make declarations like that and "put it out there for the Universe." And so, I did. Here's what happened next...

May is my Birthday Month. That is, my birthday lands somewhere around the 3rd week of May, but I try to milk the celebration for as long as I can. And that's usually the entire month. (Don't judge me.)

My family is used to this and so when May rolls around they start thinking in terms of what-to-do-for-mom-for-her-birthday. Which is how I found myself dressed up with high heels and makeup at the Catalina Jazz Club in L.A. on Saturday, May 4th at a concert by Andy Garcia and the Cineson All Stars. This was my birthday gift from my daughter, Amy Kikita.

Amy marta

We had seen Andy before and loved his show so I knew what to expect and was looking forward to the evening. Talk about a versatile artist! See this post.

The Cineson All Stars are a collection of some of the finest Cuban musical artists ever assembled. Andy is the   quintessential Cuban music historian and between songs told of the origin of each of the compositions, including how that style of music came to be played in our native Cuba. It was educational and edifying and made the music just that much more vibrant.

Andy garcia and the cineson allstars

"Ahora si!" is also the title of a song composed by the legendary Cachao and dedicated to Andy Garcia in celebration of his youngest child, a son, Andres, after he already had 3 daughters. The lyric goes:

"Si! Si! Si! Ahora, si! Barón!" (Get it? The "Barón," or boy, after the first 3? It's kind of genius, really.) Please click on this link and listen to track #7 so you get a feel for the awesome Afro-Cuban-mamboness of it all. Better yet, go download the song and add it to your iTunes playlist. You're welcome.

Much to our everlasting delight, Andy Garcia and the Cineson All Stars played for over 3 hours that night without a break. Which meant that we were wiggling and dancing in our seats for some of the time, but finally we could not contain ourselves any longer and it was the "Ahora Si!" song that brought down the house.

Andy garcia on congas

An aside: there was a familiar-looking,skinny blonde who got up to dance right next to our table and ended up bumping butts with Amy. It turned out to be the actress, Sharon Stone getting her Cuban on. Of course, Amy is a much, much better dancer. She can't help it. It's in her blood.

We were there with a handful of good friends who appreciate this type of music and we all sang along, and danced all night and took crappy pictures with our smart phones and generally had a fantastic time. And we hung in there way past midnight until the last note had been played.

"Let's go meet him. Tonight's the night." That was my daughter. If you've been following this blog for the past 6 1/2 years, you know that I have an entire Blog Category dedicated to Andy Garcia (find it over in the right nav) and am a serious fan.

Ok. I was ready. Well, sort of....

If I was fantasizing about the conditions under which I would finally get to meet Andy Garcia, my hair and makeup would be flawless and I would NOT be breathless and sweaty. But then, when you put these things out to the Universe, you really don't have much control over how they will go down, do you?

Andy garcia and marta darby 1

Also, wit and versatility? Gone. Completely blown out by sweat, exhaustion and holy-cow-I'm-finally-meeting-Andy-Garcia-and-my-hair-is-sticking-out-Medusa-style. But I did get to meet and greet.

And that was enough.

Andy garcia and marta darby 2

And he agreed to a photo op. A blurry, badly lit, over-exposed photo of me and Andy Garcia. Which I have already blown up and framed and hung above my desk and will treasure forever. (Happy Birthday Month to Me!)

Next time I put something out for the Universe, I'm going to insist on better mega-pixels.

Ahora si!