The last of Antigua + the 1st Alux Nahual concert!

Trip Start Apr 10, 2006
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Guatemala  ,
Saturday, May 27, 2006

pics are on..

I got back to Antigua on Sunday morning and spent the day catching up on internet and admin ;-( boring but I did go out in the evening to a really cool place called Riki's Bar - they had a jazz duo playing so I was very happy to chill at the bar with a nice glass of vino tinto ;-) and my choice of venue proved to be most fortuitous... Why? Because I landed up chatting to a great guy called Lenin, who happens to be a musician - drummer and percussionist - who has been playing for 20 years or so and is part of some great bands and knows lots of musos and other interesting people and, as well as having become a good friend in the week that I spent with him, is a great contact to have made. He was really interested in my project because it involves using musos and artists from different countries, collaboration etc - he is part of a group called the Papaya Orchestra, made of musicians from all over Central America, and their music is so interesting - they use all kinds of different instruments including a percussive ceramic "drum" that is based on a pre-Colombian type of instrument (which Lenin basically re-invented together with a ceramic artist) and their music is influenced by all of their cultures- anyway so the result of our meeting was that Lenin invited me to stay at his place for the week so that he could introduce me to some people and we could share music (I played him some Brenda fassie and freshly ground - he loved it! My selection of SA music is unfortunately quite limited!!) and so that I could also go to the concert that his band was having on the Friday night.... So I agreed and changed my ticket to Cuba etc and went off to stay at his place 2 days later. Definitely an excellent decision! We had a great week - I met some really great people - excellent musos - and just had fantastic times - going to band rehearsals, jam sessions in a smoky restaurant with some of the best Guatemalan musicians, experiencing amazing hospitality and generosity from everyone I met, meeting the talented artist, Carlos, who makes the ceramic "drums" and spending time in the Grand Theatre while Lenin missioned all the preparations for the concert. Eventually Friday arrived and it was concert time - I hadn't quite realized that Alux Nahual, the band, are in fact the most famous rock band in guatemala, as well as all of Central America, and have been for the last 20 years! They have released 9 albums, won awards etc etc - so needless to say, the concert was amazing! Probably about 1500 people - lots of shouting fans - Alvaro, the lead singer, is very charismatic! The music was great and I had an absolute ball - right in the front row with some other friends of Lenin's - what an experience! The concert was actually a reunion concert - they have not played for about 5 years but are doing a reunion tour all across central America to raise funds to reconstruct schools that were destroyed last year by the hurricane that swept across Guatemala.

And so ended my time in guatemala - I had an amazing time with such incredible experiences of so many different kinds and I'd definitely recommend it to other travelers.
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