I’m heading down to Guanajuato, Mexico for a concert on August 7th at 7:00 pm in the ‘Museo Iconografico de Don Quixote’. It’s a great space to play in with marvelous acoustics. The museum is an old converted hacienda and they put a glass roof over the courtyard, which is where the concerts take place. I hope to have a guest appearance by my friend Armando Lopez Valdivia who plays an incredible variety of early music instruments. When I played at the museum 2 years ago he joined me for the second half of the concert playing replicas of several ancient instruments in my pieces. We also performed a couple of Medieval tunes that were really fun to play with such a master of early music. The art department at the museum has made a great poster for the show. In Spanish speaking countries they always drop the last of 3 names so in Latin America I’m Michael Kent… no Smith. Click here to see a jpeg of the poster – I hope they saved a copy for me!

After the show in Guanajuato I will be heading to the town of Paracho in Michoacan where 3/4 of the town earns their living in the guitar building/selling trade. It’s a small village in the mountains and is quite traditional but there are a handful of excellent builders and I want to try their instruments. I also have some orders to scope out a mandolin for my brother and a guitarrón (the big mariachi bass) for my bassist friend Jack McAuliffe. Hopefully I’ll find good instruments at excellent prices for them.

Then it’s on to Xalapa (or Jalapa), the home of the jalapeño pepper in the state of Vera Cruz. It’s also home to the best symphony in Mexico as well as a large music school that creates quite a local music/art scene from what I hear. It’s also supposed to be a very beautiful city so I decided this is one place better go and check out.

I was remiss in not warning you in advance of the reunion of the classic Pong Unit (the mach 2 version of the band with Steve Hashimoto – bass, Carter Luke – keyboards, Heath Chappell – drums and me on guitar) at the Green Mill Poetry Slam last Sunday. That version of the band hadn’t played together in 10 years and it was like we had hardly skipped a beat. There were a couple of dicey moments in the more complex arrangements but the feel of the band hadn’t lost anything. Next time we play the Mill, I promise I’ll announce it in advance. It’s worth checking out.

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