Como Su Ritmo No Hay Dos or What Cuban Music Heaven Looks Like

We live about an hour south of Los Angeles. (That's how you calculate distances here in Southern California; by how long it takes you in traffic to get from one place to another.)

This is a wonderful thing because that means that we can go see shows in L.A. but not have to live there. See what I mean? Win-win. ;-)

And when summer begins the first thing we do is look to see who is in concert, because if there's anything we love, it's summer concerts. (Okay, we love any kind of a live show anytime of the year, but that's not important right now.)

Imagine my surprise and delight when Amy invited me to go see Andy Garcia and the CineSon All-Stars at the Conga Room in L.A. (Okay, let's just have a moment of silence in reverence. Thank you.)

Andy Garcia.
Who has his own category on my blog because, well, he's Cuban and he's so cool. *Ay Dios mio!*

Here's Andy on cowbell.
Andy on cowbell
And yes, I took this picture.

Notice how it's close-up.

How there are no heads in front of him obscuring the shot.

How it looks like it was taken from (where we were sitting) FIVE. FEET. AWAY.

Amy invited me to go because:
1) She enjoyed his music so much the last time she saw him and
2) I'm kind of a big fan. (I know. Total understatement. Shut up.)

So we got to the Conga Room early thinking we'd have to line up and maybe push some people around to get a good seat. Okay, not really, well, I may or may not have done that, but that's not important right now, either. =D
Conga room

Anyway, relieved that we didn't have to manhandle anyone and because I lead a charmed life, we were able to get two seats IN THE FRONT ROW DIRECTLY IN FRONT OF ANDY and where he would be bongo-ing and cowbell-ing and piano-ing for the next two and a half hours. (Shut up. I KNOW!)

Andy's footlocker

The show was fabulous. If you have not heard the CineSon All-Stars do yourself a favor and get their music or better yet, go see them live.

I was seriously in Cuban Music Heaven.
Apparently, so was Andy. *sigh*

Of course we danced! When a Cuban conga starts, who can stay in their seat? Seriously!
And being in the first row gave us lots of room. =D

"Abre que voy!"
Amy dancing

He played some of the hauntingly beautiful music from The Lost City.
Andy on piano

And of course, a tribute to the Master, Cachao.

Andy on bongos

We had the BEST time.

We sang-along. We laughed. We danced. We clapped. We started the conga. (=D) We cheered for a Free Cuba.

Much to my everlasting delight, he winked at us and smiled at us and at one point even stuck his tongue out at us. (I know. Shut up. I'm guessing it was a purely defensive move: "I should be nice to those two noisy Cuban women in the front row directly in front of me, lest they get a little crazy.") =D

But do you know what kept going through my mind during the entire show?

Besides, "More cowbell, por favor!"...


This Cuban man should sooo have a copy of my cookbook!  ;-)

A celebration of Cu...
By Marta M. Darby