There is so much we can talk about, so I hope that Ilya will use the opportunity to make his own post so that I don't miss anything, and so that you can get a different perspective on our adventure.
Among the difficulties was the fact that this was one of Kiev's coldest weeks in YEARS probably, with every day averaging -25 degrees Celsius. Because of this, many of us got sick, including Jimmy, Lesya, and myself - I was out the night before the concert with a super high fever, scared that I wouldn't be able to ATTEND the concert, let alone sing in it. Sacha's car broke down, the car I rented got stuck in ice and snow many times and Jimmy himself pushed it out of many a snowbank, something in my arm snapped from playing the guiro that I couldn't really play it anymore, the venue people (Galeria Lavra) did nothing that they were supposed to - the place was completely frozen by the day of the concert (and we were especially careful to ask about heat all throughout our preparations for the event), the toilets were broken, the place was filthy, and the cleaning people were nowhere to be found. We had to emergency-order extra special heaters for which we were going to pay a large yet needed amount, yet they never ended up showing up because they were "stuck in traffic". So, the salseros came and filled up an icy room, but it got warm really fast.
Despite all of these problems the days were great. Two rehearsals with Jimmy were amazing. All of us were focused on his amazing skills, sound, rhythm, phrasing, and technique on the trombone, and his deep knowledge and experience with salsa music. All of us - I think especially the horns - were trying to observe every movement so that any detail could maybe make us just that much better of a salsa player.
Meanwhile, we got to hang out with Jimmy socially and he was great. Telling us the stories behind his songs, something about our other salsa idols, and generally laughing and having a ball with us, being the life of the party. Despite the INCREDIBLY difficult weather, Jimmy was a real sport and he seemed like he was having just as much fun as he would if he were playing in Puerto Rico, which made us feel very honored that he would go to the effort to make us feel so comfortable.
Ilya, Jimmy and I even got to go on M1, the Ukrainian version of MTV, for an interview eaaaaaaarly Friday morning (again, reminding that it was COLD - the offices had very little heating). Otherwise, a few news channels came to take interviews with us on the night of the concert and we had our own camera crew which hopefully got to capture the magic.
The actual concert was great, although it started a bit late. Paradush was amazing, perfectly supportive and full of energy with their Brazilian beats. We also had Yulia and Gabriel, two dance teachers from Kharkov, who were our last-minute MC's because Adrian couldn't make it in the end, and they did a fantastic job! They also brought 60 people to come see us all the way from eastern Ukraine, so we really appreciated it!
The actual concert of Dislocados + JB was great. We played a couple of our tunes that Jimmy played along with, which were great, and otherwise we had SO MUCH FUN singing and playing Jimmy's songs. Jimmy was so full of energy, and this time the band let loose a bit too (not like at rehearsals as much) and had a great time, trying to improvise and generally just feel the music and have a great time.
The whole experience was amazing, and we'd like to sincerely thank Jimmy Bosch again. When we get official documentation up of the event, of course we'll share it.
And, once again, I'd like to thank our sponsors (Caribbean Club, Na Hati Records, Opera Hotel, Den Schliker, Verano Tours, Berman Group, What's On Kiev) as well as our amazing assistant - Anya Lukanina.