Sunday, January 24, 2010

Jimmy Bosch in Kiev!

WE DID IT! We put on our CD release concert with Jimmy Bosch, and it was a success! First of all, we completely sold out, and more people were demanding tickets at the door. Salseros came from Kiev, Kharkov, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Prague, and perhaps other cities we're unaware of to celebrate live music in Kiev with the special honorable appearance of Jimmy Bosch!

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.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lonely greaseball

Ilya was hanging out with Jimmy Bosch all day, sightseeing in Kiev.

And all I had to do today (besides work) was get on the plane.

Instead I waited 5 hours at the airport before they sent me back home. Broken plane.

And here I am in my house eating McDonalds before I fall asleep on the couch.

Let's hope that's the only hiccup this weekend.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Apparently it's a big deal that we're in this.

We're also in some Ukrainian Diaspora news site, that's funny (and cool, of course).

People are calling Ilya every 15 minutes or less to get info, etc.

Anya, our assistant, is helping us constantly.

I'm doing a full day's work, and still I managed to get my hair done, buy a few last-minute things (like options of clothes for Ilya cuz apparently he likes nothing in Kiev) before I leave and still I have to work more now when I finish doing Dislocados work.

And people keep calling and wanting us.

This is amazing... I'm getting really excited, we're starting to realize our dream within this project...

And a few TV channels already want interviews with us.

"We're gonna make it after alllll..."

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Opening band for Jimmy Bosch concert!

Here I'm having problems with the order of pictures again... forgive me, guys.

Anyway, we have an exciting announcement! We finalized the opening band for our concert with Jimmy Bosch on January 23, 2010! I'm super excited because they were my first choice: I wanted a group of musicians that are also trying to promote international live music, and quite frankly, I was just unsure that we'd be able to get them because they're quite good to be *just* an opening band for us. But, we wanted this concert to be of the highest caliber, and so I'm really excited for our audience that they'll be able to see these guys at the event!

The band is called PARADUSH, a pair of souls, as they tell me, but it also sounds like a Portuguese word kind of if you say it, which is appropriate because they play a lot of music based on Brazilian rhythms as well as in Portuguese, but from what I understand, they also sing in English, Ukrainian, etc, so it's a really nice mix of everything.

I'll post some more official information when I get it from them, but I wanted to just say how excited I am!

Also newly announced to be working with us is Adrian Garcia! He will be the MC of the concert, and I'm super excited, because he unites all these cultures on a daily basis - himself being Cuban-Ukrainian. Adrian also has his own music career which you can check out on his website, so we're extra excited to have him support us like this.

6 days 'til JB concert... insane...

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Cheers to our sponsors!

What's On Kyiv came through and printed a full page article about Ilya, the band, and the event, along with our event poster on another page.

Thanks to Neil and Tatiyana from What's On - the article and photo look great, and I hear we're already getting calls inquiring about the event! Success!

Man, wouldn't it be cooooool if we sold out? Tres cool...

Check out the online version here (even though it's prettier in print). ;)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Ironic experience with Jimmy Bosch

So, it's Bosch T-9 and I'm getting closer and closer to *****ing my pants. ;) In all seriousness, we're quite excited. In fact, before anything crazy happens, I tend to get very calm, and that's kind of where I'm at now.

In fact, I was so much the "calm before the storm" that when I called JB yesterday to finalize the last plans, I was trying to not be hyper and I think I put him to sleep... haha.

But there was one ridiculous part of the conversation. Jimmy, as the great man that he is, wanted to let me know that people already know about us. Now, the more times I tell the story, the more it could be like the fishing story, where you keep exaggerating the size of the fish you caught, but I'm pretty sure this is how it went:
JB: "By the way, did you know that you guys are well known?"
KP: "Really, what do you mean?"
JB: "When I was in Cali, Colombia, I said that I was going to Ukraine and people were asking me if I was going to play with Dislocados. So, they know you down there. They even have your music."

Now, when I was re-telling this to Ilya, the irony suddenly dawned on me. JIMMY BOSCH was telling ME, Karolina, that DISLOCADOS is well known.

Jimmy Bosch.

It reminded me of this Seinfeld scene (minus the anger and the dumping, but my enthusiasm for the irony was pretty much similar to Elaine's here):

Gotta love JB. I'll try to keep up with the blog a bit more if I can for the days leading up to the concert cuz I think it'll be interesting to keep track of this ridiculous experience. I already told my facebook friends, the next stop for me is dancing on Mars in my underwear.