Thursday we flew from Albuquerque to San Diego. Overweight and oversize charges came to $50. We arrived in San Diego and met with representatives of the Hispano-American Guitar Festival who had brought vans to transport our gear to Tijuana. We checked into the hotel around 4PM. On Friday we saw the Cultural Center, which is beautiful, and had soundcheck, followed by lunch at the Euro Cafe, which was arranged by the promoter. We were told that our show had sold out in just four days.
While Jon and I had dinner at the hotel, the Cuban guitarist Ahmed Dickinson, who had performed in Tecate on Thursday, arrived at a table near us and pulled out a guitar to play several pieces for the folks at his table. We had a most enjoyable dinner listening to fabulous guitar playing. I feel that latin composers have breathed so much new life into the guitar during the last century. Just as Gabriel Garcia Marquez and others created the new latin novel, composers like Heitor Villa-Lobos, Astor Piazzola, Leo Brower and many others created a new and modern, yet unapologetically romantic style of guitar composition. I feel that these latin american composers have created the best music for guitar.
I was really looking forward to performing that night as the soundcheck showed me that the hall sounded beautiful and the equipment was adequate. But we had not played together in about a month and since I wanted to present an especially good performance I let myself get nervous right before the show and it took a while to let the adrenaline subside. I had that feeling of adrenaline in my system. It makes the fingers more unsure and inhibits the flow… But, as the adrenaline subsided I enjoyed the music more and more and the enthusiasm of the audience carried us.
A fabulous festival… I only wish I could have gone to Tijuana earlier to catch the guitarists Dusan Bogdanovic from Yugoslavia and American Eliot Fisk, who played a few days before we arrived. I highly recommend this festival for fans of the guitar.
Update to above post from a year ago: Senor Ahmed Dickinson lives and studies music in London at present and we have exchanged a few emails.