Michel Camilo Solo / Trio: Zankel Hall at Carnegie

Michel Camilo Solo / Trio


Zankel Hall at Carnegie, November 13, 2008:


†††††† I arrive early, around 5:30 P.M. I go up to the usherís area to drop off my school books. I had previously discussed and visited Zankel Hall with my co-worker and good friend, Tramaine, who ushers at Zankel regularly. I soon join up with my captain in the Parquet of Carnegie Hall, Peter. Tonight, he is the captain in Zankel Hall for Michelís show. Wow, how perfect!

†††††† Peter and I walk down to Zankel at 7:15 P.M. He takes me backstage and to the dressing rooms that are clearly marked: Michel Camilo, Charles Flores and Dafnis Prieto. There is a piano in each dressing room. I see Dafnisí sticks are: Vic Firth SD4 Combo.

†††††† The backstage area is quiet and a table is set with coffees, waters and programs. I go backstage to visit my friend Dan, who is a sound engineer here at Carnegie Hall. I go on stage to see the light check: all dark, then blue, yellow and magenta lights. Peter asks if the performers sweat, and I assure him that they do. Peter gets plenty of towels for each performer.

†††††† At 7:35 P.M. George Wein arrives looking for Michel Camilo. I get a chance to meet him, and I am thrilled. Soon Charles Flores and his wife, Miriam arrive. We exchange warm greetings and salutations. Miriam loves my quote above Charles on the billboard. She took several photos of the billboard and thanks me graciously.


Charles Flores: enlarged Billboard at Carnegie Hall


Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† Soon we are joined by Michel Camiloís sound engineer, Jack. He is warm and personable, and we strike up a lively conversation. Jack recounts many great stories of working with Michal Camilo and all the great musicians, over the years. Soon, Ingrid (Michelís sister), Victor and Sophia arrive. They too are very friendly and obviously excited about tonightís performance at Zankel Hall.

†††††† At 8:06 P.M., Michel and Sandra arrive. We hug and kiss and exchange warm salutations. I thank Michel and Sandra personally for using my quote on the billboard at Carnegie Hall. It is so very good to see Michel and Sandra again! Michel must get ready to perform. Sandra asks if I can take a band photo before the show, with everyone dressed up, for Michelís website. I am so very much honored and will accommodate them in the privacy of their dressing room. The pre-concert excitement builds and builds. At exactly 8:30 P.M., I take the band photo as requested, behind closed doors. Michel, Charles and Dafnis pose playfully for my camera as the show is only 5 minutes away.


Michel Camilo Trio: showtime at Zankel Hall


Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro. All rights reserved

†††††† The show begins exactly on time at 8:35 P.M.

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A.J. Alfaro