It was a great and magical week-end of Cuban Salsa/Timba and dance for us in Toronto ! as well as at the other concerts in Montreal and Quebec city. We will soon be compiling all of the you tube videos /pictures reviews and clips of Saturday May the 24th night at the PUPY Y LOS QUE SON SON concert in Toronto as well as the week-end Cuban dance festival. I am not a professional journalist and it may not be appropriate for me to review my own show but here are some comments and ramblings anyway . I will also keep rereading this and add to it as I may forget to thank people ! Feel free to e mail me to say .. hey what about me…
I want to thank the team who help Juan Carlos and I this was an incredible gift to us : co producer and friend Michelle Triebsch of La Rumba event , my friend Ingrid Jurek and Antonin who spent hours making exquisite white flower arrangements and candles to beautify the Opera house Katherine who hosts Acrobat on Friday nights ; my brother Cedric Giraud ; My friend Heather Jessome and Miranda Harpell from world vision : Paulina Berru ; Catherine Irvine Davies ; Shauneen ; Joao and Ana Maria and Aline for great promoting skills , Athena owner of the Opera house , Billy Bryans and Robin Easton ; Noy ; Vladimir Aranda dance teacher and promoter for Six degrees with the beautiful Jensy ; to Orlando who helped us with security ; Jacinto Salcedo who designed the beautiful flyer and poster ; Paz Humana for helping us with so much ! John who photographed the show for me and Ingrid again who videotaped! A special thanks to DJ MELAO who travelled from Miami to be at all three events. He will be also putting together video and sound clips from all the three concerts on www.timba.com . His contribution to the world of Timba is invaluable .
A big thanks to the band PUPY Y LOS QUE SON SON . They were on and off seven different buses for 5 days travelled a total of
Thanks to the dance performers : Felix “Pupy” Insua ; six dancers from Mambo dream team ( Pawel Roland Raphael Daylin and two other beautiful girls whose names I do not know) choreographed by Dora thanks for your performance and support . A special thanks to my friend Albena de Assis from Afrolatino dance company who organized the Cuban dance festival week-end and performed on the night of the event with Teisha and Isaac; dancers from Michigan’s Energetic soul Duane Wrenn and Maribel Vasquez. They all basically put a choreography together with master dancer from NYC Felix “Pupy” Insua in about 15mn at a tech rehearsal and Duane and Albena had never danced together . Pupy (Cesar de la Mercedes Pedroso) was actually a little reticent about dancers performing on the stage along with the band playing so he asked for them to be at the ready on the side of the stage and wait until the last two numbers . I have to say that when I drove him to the airport to get to his Quebec city gig ; he said that he was so impressed with the dancing in Toronto and with how it went that he was considering including some dance in future shows for a couple of songs. He said Felix “Pupy” Insua was a genius in his opinion and complimented each dancer individually. He actually thought that dancer Pupy had brought them from New York.
We were very luck to have many people who travelled from the US to come and see the concert ; In fact from our count 30% of the audience travelled from the States especially Cubans from Rochester ; Buffalo ;Albany ; NYC and Miami . Eminent musicians were in the room Ernesto Fernandez came from Miami (Flutist) and performed with the band. Lisandro Arias pianist who was featured in the DAME LA MANO documentary tried to make it and was held up at the border. he made it to the Quebec city concert and played with the band there . Some musicians from Toronto came to show their support ; great percussionist and musical director Luis Obregoso came with a friend as did pianist David Virelles and drummer Frank Duran . Some came after their gigs at the end of the night such as Alberto Alberto , Jalidan .
The band played their first set after dance performances and we had to stop them so that intermission could be held. When they returned to the stage at 12.30 , they played non stop until almost 2 am. I think in total the band played close to 3 hours. This reflects incredible generosity on the part of the artist . The level of talent on this night and the happiness of everyone around us makes this worth it for us . We received no financial support or sponsorship for this concert or for the Cuban dance festival . This was a risk that many of us just decided to take because we love this music. Again we do have some media which supports us and were there on the night of the event : The Live music report ( Roger and Joyce) : Salsato ( Mike) ; Canasanta Gelico and Marie; Maria Elena Escobar from CKLN Ventana al Barrio ; CIRV Marcelo Addax and our MC Abdiel Hernandez ; Torontohispano.com Kelly and Rene.
I met a woman on the street outside of the Opera house on one of my many trips back to the parked car who said : ” I have lived on Queen street east all my life ; I have never seen so many beautiful women with short skirts …what is going on there tonight ? ” I said one of the best bands from Havana Cuba : PUPY Y LOS QUE SON SON ! Ache !