Farewell India, Hello Americas

Natalie Travelogue, Uncategorized 2 Comments

It took me until Christmas Eve to start writing about the second half of my trip to India. Partly my whirlwind excursion across the world, which has plopped me right in Latin America, is to blame for my lack of diligence. I am back on the other side of the world, inflicted with a pretty nasty head cold, fever, and general jet lag malaise, which I believe I caught on the 14-hour flight from Abu Dhabi to New York City.    Somehow I managed to stay awake the entire flight, but not voluntarily.  I tried to sleep, but to no avail; it was like a kid trying to sleep on Christmas Eve, I was so excited to come home to Brooklyn!  So now, I’m paying for my enthusiasm. Lesson learned: as much as I hate taking it under normal circumstances, Nyquil is acceptable for plane trips longer than 8 hours.

So, as it is over a week after my arrival, and I have failed to keep my blog abreast of any stories, allow me please to glaze over the events of the past month.

The end of the semester provided more travel opportunities; mainly to Auroville, where I got a chance to visit Krishna and his family, and chill out in a major way on their porch, just watching the rice patties grow.

The "family" at Solitude Farm

I came to India with few expectations, but I hoped that performing would be planned into my agenda. Ed DeGenaro’s band, into which I was graciously accepted as a band member, became the ambassador group for the academy. Ed has the wherewithall and people skills to make things happen, and quickly worked his way into some of the top venues in the region.  This time around, we performed at the B Flat Bar, a classy rock club with a killer restaurant, great staff, and enthusiastic clientele, situated in the happening city of Bangalore. We also performed at Star Rock, an underground music club in the lower level of the trendy Spring Hotel in Chennai.  Each performance, we were nicely promoted as “All-Stars” (by whom the name was penned, please don’t ask me). Here is a write up from Score Magazine, a music mag for South India.

So, you want to know when the band is on tour again? April 2011! Steve, Ed, and I return to teach at Swarnabhoomi Academy of Music in the 2nd Spring semester, and have pending tour dates in Chennai, Bangalore, Kolkata, Mumbai, and Delhi. I cannot wait for this to materialize, and am anxiously awaiting my return to India.

The students at SAM are really inspiring; coming from a culture that doesn’t overly support its youth to pursue careers in arts and entertainment, they all showed a passion for learning this contemporary art form and really came a long way during the course of their studies. I can’t wait to meet the new class and see what kind of music they like to perform, and also to present my own styles to them.

So now! I’m in Mexico City with my family, enjoying the holidays. After the New Year, I will be touring the region and performing at several great jazz clubs backed by a band out of Cuernavaca named Fuxe.  Please check out my calendar if you are in the area and would like to come see the show. Hasta luego!

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