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1st rehearsal in Cuba

September 2.

1st rehearsal today with my Cuban band. Very excited!!!!

Taxi picked up all musicians and instruments and delivered to studio.
It turns out the woman in charge of EGREM studio had made sure the main studio was available for our
rehearsal instead of the smaller room with the honky tonk piano. I think it was suggested that I tip her for this, as with all things Cuban the goal posts move occasionally.

So the main recording room was available for us all week.

Rehearsal went from 11-3.30pmish. All things considered it went very well. I’m especially glad that I booked a 2nd day of rehearsal as we covered 5 1/2 of the 8 tunes I want to record. Some tunes took a little extra time due to language barriers.

All the cuban musicians can read sheet music except The great Changuito, who plays entirely by ear (good reason to have a demo CD for listening).

There was a lot of joking around between the Cubans (not so much wasting time, but more connecting). It created a good vibe. Changuito seems to be quite the comedian.

The 2 pianists are great. Alejandro Falcon has amazing technical facility and is definitely a Thelonious Monk fan. Younger Jorge Aragon Brito is also a force to be reckoned with, and played great considering he was sight reading his 3 allocated charts.

I had catered for 8 people for lunch after this.

Jacinto is forever keeping tabs on things, making sure I’m happy and the Cubans are not wasting time.

I need a nap.

Shall do it all again tomorrow at 10am.

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