Island Time Oasis Begins
There hasn’t been a ton of sun this summer in the Northwest… so far…
But I am trying to provide the perfect solution!
Tomorrow we start “Island Time Oasis” at the sophisticated and elegant Willows Lodge, just across the street from Chateau Ste. Michelle winery in Woodinville, WA.
Our goal is to take our listeners away on a mid-week Caribbean escape. We’ll do this every week through August and we’re hoping that people will come out enjoy the elegance and beauty of Seattle’s wine country with fine wine, great food, and the lovely earthy sounds of the wooden marimba mixed with the tropical, ethereal sounds of the steel drum. I will be playing steel pan and other percussion and lending my vocal stylings to the music. The multi-talented Christian Krehbiel will be featured on marimba, steel pan, and percussion. The East Side’s very own well-known drummer, marimba player, and drum teacher, Frank Heye will round out the trio. Some very special musical guests will also join us throughout the summer.
We’re also offering something called the Pan Leggo Passport (get 5 stamps on your passport by going to 5 Pan Leggo shows and get a free CD, a steel drum lesson, a dance lesson, or other prizes). It’s the same concept as your stamp card at the local coffee shop, only better!
Seattle to the Caribbean Show-Beginnings
As I’ve discussed in previous posts, I am working on a new show for cruise ship theaters, performing arts centers, and other venues. Click here to see a very short video of me trying out some very rough show ideas and making lots of mistakes in Nassau, Bahamas aboard the MS Statendam (a Holland America Line cruise ship). Enjoy this little glimpse into the messy process of a new show being born. Someday soon you'll be able to come out and see the completed show!
I’ve had some interesting gigs so far this summer, as usual. For one thing, the weather was not cooperating well in May and June! I had two events on my birthday. Both were outdoors, the first outdoor events of the season in the Northwest. Well, it poured rain. This makes my life quite a bit more difficult as I have to work very hard to keep the equipment dry and dry off what gets wet as soon as possible. That part was a challenge, not to mention some unbelievable traffic in Bellevue that made it challenging getting from the first gig to the second. Nevertheless, we had people at both events out dancing in the rain, conga-lining in the rain, etc. etc. At one point I really wanted to do one of my trademark parades, but it had just started pouring rain. I looked at my band and they were gung ho to get out and have a shower-what a great band! We paraded around in the rain and my pan filled up with water. These are very delicate instruments and I normally try to keep them away from water, but I decided to go for it. However, as it started to get enough water to cover a few of the notes it radically changed the pitch on those notes (made them horribly flat). I thought “I’ve done it now, I’ve ruined my drum.” Luckily when I emptied the water out the drum was back to normal.
I had a very funny experience in downtown Seattle at the end of June. I had a gig scheduled at a private bachalorette party. I called the day before to check on logistics to find that there were man potential issues. I recommended having me set up in one spot near where the bulk of the guests would be. The client thought I should be up above their heads though on a small balcony. There were many potential problems with this idea, one being that she might get a noise complaint. Nevertheless I said I’d play up there if she really wanted. So, I did end up playing on this small balcony. Basically what this meant was that I was playing perched on the side of a 6 story building in downtown Seattle. The sound was echoing throughout the high-rises. The sunset was georgious. People began coming out of their high-rise condos all around and dancing on the roofs and balconies. On the street people were stopping on the street corners and gathering in little bunches and applauding and yelling up to me between the songs. It was perfect! She came up at the end of my set and asked me to play for another hour. I then strapped on my steel pan to do a little parading around as I often do, even in small parties. As I came down the stairs playing my pan (not an easy task) I saw some guys dressed as police men entering the apartment. I kept thinking, “hey, you should stop playing now in case they are here because of a noise complaint.” Finally I did stop. All the ladies at the bachelorette party though were thrilled. You see, the lady throwing the party had planned only good clean fun and had assured me that there would be no male strippers there. But now, much to her guests’ relief, here were the strippers… “oh wait, you really are police men?” This was one of the funniest things I’d ever seen. The police trying to speak to the apartment owner and explain to her about the noise complaint and all of her guests crowded around the police snapping pictures and hooting. At the end they asked the 2 police to at least pose for a picture with everyone. The police said that too much was probably going to end up on Facebook as it is and they politely took their leave. Several of the ladies commented to me about how cute the police were after the police left. Too funny to make this up.
Here are a few more funny anecdotes from last summer:
One-We had an Archbishop playing the shaker with my duo at one event.
Two-I had a show at 3rd place books the other day. I was trying to explain to the audience what my band name means: Pan=steel drum, Leggo=in Trinidad means have a good time, party. One kid kept standing right up front next to the stage though. Finally he asked in front of the entire audience when we were going to be playing with the Legos? I had to disappoint him... I fear that Leggo has a hard time competing with Lego in childrens' minds.