..and not so many Jews.
Veracruz Jazz Festival. Second anual event in Mexico's famed Gulf port.
I'm hired to play banjo with the strange and amazing Panorama Jazz Band. They have a fine banjo player, but she don't like to travel (wha?!) which is fine by me as I'll be the cat who get's to go to such wonderful places and play good music.
Here's the crib notes:
1) Parading on a float in downtown Veracruz with a combined Panorama and Mahogany Brass Band. There are two local models flinging candy at the assembled.
These people like candy way too much.
2) Panorama's tuba player John Gross doing something I always obsess about and forgetting his leadpipe at home. He visits a local hardware store and then fasions a make shift one with AC tubing and duct tape. !Viva Technologica de Mexico!
3) Drinking and eating on el Zocolo, the public square in the center of town (which in Catholic Mexico means next to the catherderal.) The New Orleanians refer to it as "Jackson Square," except there's way more street musicians here. Mostly crappy "Norteno" accordion bands, like I don't get enough of that at home. Did see a couple of amazing Sones Jarocho trios and a community brass band playing the heck out of Danzon music. Decent Mariachi too, but I can get that any night that Relampago is playing here too..
4) I am presently the size of 3.75 average Veracruzans. Don't ask me how we found out.
5) Do not eat the BBQ. No really. Even if they sponsored the whole festival. Just don't do it. Not when the tamale vendors are right around the corner.
6) The Okie Jew was featured singing a Church of Christ Hymn played by a New Orleans Jazz band in Mexico, at a festival run by a Lebanese pianist. Chew on that one for a while.
7) The consul general of Honduras has offered me a place to run away to. Laugh if you like, but Jews are taught from an early age to "be comfortable, but keep you passport current." Historically speaking we're due for a pogrom right about now, and I have the man's cell number.
8) Flying back to Houston and then running down to the Miller Ampetheatre to play with Brian Marshall for the 17th annual Accordion Kings Festival.