¡Feliz Cumpleaños! Sandy Perez!
My friend and teacher Sandy Perez recently had a birthday concert at Yerba Buena Gardens a few weeks ago on a beautiful sunny San Francisco afternoon on July 17th. On this day his continuously evolving line up of Sandy Perez Y Su Lande included his mother visiting from Cuba, Lazarro Galarago, John Santos and Jesus Dias and more.
Sandy is just so innovative. His stage set up included the usual congas, cajons, but he also had a beautiful bembe drum and an electric bass, not to mention a full and sweet sounding coro section of singers. That is what I love about Sandy's music, he is so willing to mix the traditional with the modern and indeed he is a master of both.
As this was Sandy's birthday I presented him with the gift of my favorite shekere. I am happy to say he was quite pleased with it. Actually just after I gave it to Sandy Perez, John Santos came over to check it out and proceeded to play it for the entire set! I was really happy to see my instrument played by one of the best musicians in the Bay Area and a multiple Grammy nominee.
I really liked that shekere and considered it one of my best, but the truth is, that shekere was just a little powerful for the smaller venues I play at, even though it had a beautiful sound. After hearing that shekere cut through the mic'd drums and the electic bass completely unamplified as played by John Santos, I knew my shekere had found it's new home.