I spent the month of March on tour in Mexico and it was absolutely wonderful.
I started out in the beautiful colonial city of Guanajuato and was honored
to be invited to perform with the early music group “Los Tiempos
Pasados” in a concert for the governors of all the states of Mexico.
The concert took place in a beautiful setting in the garden of a luxurious
hotel. I played dulcimer and the musicians in the group coached me on
the fly through all the changes in the music. The governors loved it (they
kept sending up shots of some rather fine tequila to the stage) and the
group wound up being booked for five more concerts in various states around
Next up was my own concert at the Museo Iconografico (also in Guanajuato)
which is a museum dedicated to art works based on the theme of Don Quijote.
They host a year-round concert series in their sculpture-filled atrium.
It turned out to be one of the most enjoyable concerts I’ve ever given.
The leader of Los Tiempos Pasados, Armando Lopez Valdivia, joined me on
several numbers playing on eight of the instruments from his collection
of over one-hundred and twenty. The audience was quiet, focused and very
attentive and the combination of a beautiful setting, a great guest musician
and a supportive audience made it an experience to remember.
The Zihuatanejo International Guitar Festival turned out to be another
unforgettable event. The festival is a fund raiser for arts education
programs for under priveledged kids in the Zihuatanejo area. It brought
together twenty-four guitarists from Mexico, Canada, Great Britain and
all parts of the United States to give a series of more than thirty concerts
in venues all over the town. I was greatly inspired by hearing so many
fantastic players from so many genres of music. I gave three concerts,
the first in a ritzy restaurant with a breathtaking view overlooking Zihuatanejo
bay. The audience was mostly well-to-do americans that had to drop a hefty
donation to the cause to attend the event but, I must say, they were very
well-behaved. The second show was in a restaurant/bar that was much more
casual and attended by folks that really wanted to hear guitar music.
A dozen guitarist each played 25 minute sets, making for a long but constantly
intriguing concert. My third and final set was in the closing concert
in the “zocalo” or town center (it’s actually right on the beach).
They set up a large stage with a giant video screen like in a rock show
to give close-ups of the guitarist’s fingers. Someone estimated the attendance
at 2,000. That’s hard to judge but there sure were a lot of folks there,
almost all Mexican locals. I left Zihua tired but inspired by all the
fine players that I got to meet, listen to and jam with. You can see more
photos at the Zihuafest website photo
|Playing some dulcimer during my set at El Pueblitoduring Zihuafest.||Same show – Jamming with (from left) Michael Lewis, Ricardo Sweatt Rodriguez, me, Brook and Neil C. Young|