Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Edmar Castañeda Trio @ Rubin Museum of Art 5/16/08

Wow! One of the best shows of my life! I have been wanting to get to the Rubin Museum of Art for one of their Fri Harlem in the Himalayas shows for a while. I hadn't been to the museum yet at all. I didn't even know what the museum was about. It turns out it is for Himalayan art. I got to look around for a little bit before the show and I really like that place. It felt very nice in the galleries, lots of nice art as well. The bar/restaurant looks really nice. You can take drinks downstairs for the show. I was already very happy to be there and I hadn't gotten to the performance space yet.

That space was the best part. Its a beautiful room with little tables and lots of chairs facing the stage. It has both a jazz club and a small jazz hall feel. It has really good energy and it felt great being there. I got a seat on the end, anticipating I would want to get up and dance.

These shows are put on by the Jazz Museum of Harlem. They do about 25 a year and this is the 3rd year its been going on.

The absolute best part about the room is the acoustics. Oh my! There were no mics or amplification of any kind. The sound was perfect.

It started with just Edmar Castanada solo on the harp. It was steller and filled me with all kinds of emotion. I can really say that about the entire show.

After that song, he invited Dana Leong to the stage with his cello. Yes, I was again unexpectedly continuing with the string theme. Yay! They did a song as a duo for the first time that Edmar said he usually does with his regular trio. It was awesome.

Next he invited his wife the singer to the stage. She was great. She has a deep, latin voice. She was part of the music instead of in front of the music, which is how I like it to be when there is a singer.

The set was around 75 min, maybe a bit longer. We got one more Edmar solo before the end. I didn't miss having no drummer at all. There was one song where Dana was playing a little percussion by tapping his cello with his hands and these big rings on his fingers.

I love it when Leong plays cello, more so than when he's on the bass or trombone, although he's good at those as well.

I didn't get up to dance once. I did a lot of moving in my chair, but was so captivated and it just felt right to be in a nice chair.

After the concert, they offer a free guided tour of the museum. I really wanted to do it, but I didn't have enough time to do that and get to my next stop. Its kind of a good thing because it will help get me back there sooner.

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