VITAL Archives


    New Year’s Day Hangover Remedies

    By Bridget Brave, Tom Ganos, Ryan Findley, Noah Therrien and Amy Elliott This month in Eat This we featured a fresh, frilly New Year’s Eve menu from Dan Smith at McCormick’s and Schmick, perfect for entertaining and celebrating in style. But what do you eat on the morning (or more likely, afternoon) after? I asked VITAL Source Staffers, all of whom have plenty of experience, believe you me, with the dread Next Day. From easy microwave bacon to Nyquil and macaroni to what we have found to be the best Bloody in town (there is really nowhere I’d rather be on my worst mornings than Tom’s bar … or couch), we’ve got you covered. Be careful, have fun and feel better. – Amy Elliott Simple breakfast from Ryan Findley You’ll need … Frozen hashbrowns Cooking oil of your choice Bacon from the microwave Grapefruit juice from concentrate Bad movies, cartoons or TV shows on DVD 1. Start the hashbrowns. I like Ore-Ida, they’ve already got some seasoning on them, but not too much. Potatoes are starchy and filling and will soak up any leftover alcohol in your stomach while making you feel better. Heat oil in a skillet (you’ll need about a tablespoon – enough to fully coat the bottom of the pan). Dump the frozen potato pieces of goodness in and spread them out to a single layer. Leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, or until you start to see crunchy brown bits on the edges. 2. While the hashbrowns cook on the first side, make the grapefruit juice. I prefer grapefruit to orange because of the tartness – too much sugar will excerbate a hangover. Real grapefruit juice (and by that I mean the yellowy stuff, none of that Ruby Red) settles the stomach. I recommend Minute Maid frozen. Follow the directions on the can to prepare; all you’ll need is a pitcher and water, and a spoon to mix with. 3. Sprinkle the hashbrowns with salt and pepper and then flip them over. Again, leave them alone for at least 5 minutes, or until the crunchy brown bits are easily apparent at the edges. 4. While the hashbrowns cook on the other side, microwave some bacon.  Mostly because bacon is delicious, not for any medicinal purposes. If you have a microwave bacon cooker (a plastic tray with ridges to catch the grease and trap it away from the bacon while it cooks), use it. If not, a microwave-safe plate lined with paper towels will do. Start with two minutes on full power, and check the doneness.  Continue cooking in 30-second increments until the desired degree of crunchiness is achieved. 5. Transfer bacon to a plate, add the hashbrowns alongside when they’ve finished cooking, and pour yourself a nice tall glass of grapefruit juice. Sit in front of the television and watch bad movies at low volume while you eat. Bridget’s Easy as Shit Slow-Cooked Italian Beef From Bridget Brave The beauty of this is that […]

  • VITAL’s predictions for 2009

    By VITAL Source Staffers JON ANNE WILLOW – CO-PUBLISHER, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF No matter how hard Wall Street works to lure private investors back into the market, ordinary citizens will go back to saving the old fashioned way: stuffing cash in their mattresses. By June, Verlo will offer an all-new custom model, The Saver 3000, which will include a hidden chamber accessible only with a card and PIN number. Sure, they’ll be uncomfortable as hell to sleep on, but Verlo will sell scads of them to freaked-out Baby Boomers, not only securing their own financial future but providing hundreds of jobs right here in Wisconsin. The Obama Administration’s new motto will be “A windmill in every yard.” AMY ELLIOTT – MANAGING EDITOR In 2009, the stupid but prevalently held idea that “deaths happen in threes” will take on a whole new level of mystical garbage meaning when a trio of prominent world leaders – Kim Jong-Il, Fidel Castro and, in a “freak accident,” Vladimir Putin – kick the bucket. Somali pirates will take over Cuba, Moscow will be annexed by Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and North Korea will allow Kim Jong-Il to rule from the grave. Also meeting their demise in 2009: million-year-old and long-presumed-to-be-already-dead Structuralist philosopher Claude-Levi Strauss; actors Sidney Poitier and Peter O’Toole; former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca and the already mostly decayed Amy Winehouse. James Brown, on the other hand, will be crowned the Funk Messiah when he unceremoniously rises from the dead on Christmas day. BRIDGET BRAVE – PRODUCTION MANAGER After its victorious parlay into the national consciousness via the New York Times, the Journal-Sentinel’s “Wasted in Wisconsin” series will continue to spread, resulting in a five-part BBC series, MTV True Life Special (“I Drink in Wisconsin”), and several obscure Family Guy references.  Milwaukee will celebrate by doing a shot every time the city is mentioned by name. RYAN FINDLEY – ADMINISTRATOR/FINE ARTS EDITOR Gas will make a head-spinning ricochet back to astronomical prices. This ricochet will bring the boomerang back into style with a vengeance. And speaking of vengeance, God will hold off on striking us dead because, in electing Barack Obama, Americans have bought ourselves a few years with which to prove we’re not the awful human beings and wretched global citizens we appear to be. So, no plagues of locusts or rivers of blood or any of that stuff. Which is kind of a nice thought. ERIN LEE PETERSEN – CALENDAR EDITOR Unsatisfied with the Bronze Fonz’s lukewarm reception but still high on patina chemicals, VISIT Milwaukee will collect funds to bronze other pop culture icons loosely associated with Wisconsin. By year’s end, visitors to Milwaukee will be able to take souvenir pictures with Laverne & Shirley, the gang from That ‘70s Show and the entire cast of former TGIF fave Step by Step. The city’s main attraction, however, will be a life-sized depiction of that scene in Wayne’s World where Alice Cooper explains the Algonquin origins of Milwaukee to Wayne and Garth. Erin Lee Petersen […]

  • Crossover Appeal

    By Erin Wolf, DJ Hostettler and Amy Elliott Photos by Erin Landry No musician is an island, and in the music biz, it’s all about who you know, whether you’re a mainstream corporate unit-mover or a DIY street punk. Even the rare musician who does it all – writing, designing, photographing, recording, mixing, mastering, promoting, booking and fixing – needs to collaborate to stay fresh (and sane). And in Milwaukee, “it’s who you know” tends to take on an egalitarian, community-based context. You can have the songs, the chops and the style, but what do you do when you need band photos – and everyone needs to be in front of the camera? We caught up with four local musicians and the local artists, photographers, technicians and production teams that help them get the job done to discuss their working relationships and the friendships they’ve formed. We may not have built this city on rock and roll, but in the end, it’s all about the love. The mechanics of instrumental romance “I’ve screwed up my guitars plenty of times,” says Quinn Scharber, head of Milwaukee four-piece Quinn Scharber and The … “I can specifically recall winding my strings backwards on the tuning pegs multiple times in my younger days.” Quinn started playing on his brother’s cheap electric guitar, then got an acoustic, which he still uses, when he was sixteen. “I’m glad I started on electric, because all I really wanted to play at that time was ‘Whole Lotta Love’ by Led Zeppelin, and that song is pretty hard to rock on an acoustic guitar.” ‘Rocking’ a guitar can take its toll. Constant strummings, pickings, tunings, jolts, cable ins and outs, amp fry-age and normal bumps and bruises require maintenance and repairs. Scharber’s first experiences in instrument mechanics came up short. “I think the first time I had work done on my guitar was when I was in college and I needed the electronics replaced on it … They charged me a lot and I had to take it back in two times to get it done right,” he recalls. Scharber soon started to shop around, and found a trusty and skilled ‘guitar mechanic’ in Jeff Benske of Top Shelf Guitar Shop in Bay View. “I just stopped in there one day about five or six years ago with [bandmate] Thom Geibel when we were having a ‘let’s go check out some guitars’ day. I’ve pretty much been hanging around Jeff’s shop and pestering him with questions ever since.” Says Benske of his first impression of Scharber, “He started off buying the usual parts and then came in with some non-standard projects … some custom stuff,” he said. Quinn’s whip, a tricked-out Epiphone Casino, hasn’t changed over the years. “We’ve done the electronics in it, and it’s set up just the way he wants it.” Scharber appreciates the work that Benske has done with his Epiphone. “I take my guitars to Jeff because he’ll do it right the first time, […]

  • Chances are

    In America, life is dangerous. We hear ominous factoids all the time about the ways we’re in danger every time we eat, breathe, talk on our phones or walk down the street. In a very general way, we all have a sense that something bad could happen at any time. And it’s true! To illustrate, I’ve created a quick “Chance Chart” which is by no means complete but which gets the point across: Incident: Chance it will happen A man will develop cancer: 1 in 2 A woman will develop cancer: 1 in 3 A woman will be sexually assaulted: 1 in 4 A man will be sexually assaulted: 1 in 33 You’ll die from heart disease: 1 in 3 You’ll have a stroke: 1 in 6 You’ll be the victim of a serious crime: 1 in 20 You’ll lose a child this year: 1 in 5,000 Kind of puts things in perspective, don’t you think? All I’m saying is that there’s a lot out there to genuinely worry about, but I’ll make a gentleman’s bet with anyone that on a daily basis, we worry about a whole lot of stuff that’s a lot less important. Take, for example, our recent stress over what the rest of the world was going to think of us for throwing up a statue of Fonzie on the Riverwalk. It wouldn’t have been my choice, but then again I’m not the one who got my butt in gear and made an attention-garnering piece of public “art” happen. Love it or hate it, it brought in the national morning news shows and a handful of 20th century TV actors who wouldn’t have dropped in for breakfast otherwise. And in the end, how many New Yorkers are going to pass by Milwaukee for their summer vacation next year because our city has lame taste in bronze statues? The other day I was enjoying a cup of coffee at Anodyne and indulged myself in eavesdropping on two women who spent almost 15 minutes worrying (loudly, hence the indulgence) about what kind of First Lady Michelle Obama will make. According to them, Obama comes off as cold, bitter, even unpatriotic and racist. Seriously? Did either of them take the time to read her “controversial” Princeton thesis? And the “whitey” comment supposedly caught on video? Doesn’t exist. Here’s why some people really don’t like her: she’s Condoleezza Rice’s doppelganger, only younger and with better hair. And everybody – even Republicans – is scared of Condi, for more established reasons. But here’s my favorite. When VITAL published its August issue with Nikki McGuinnis’ contest-winning photograph of a little boy nestled on the shelf of an open refrigerator on the cover, we received a veritable blizzard of calls, emails and even real live letters on the subject. Some were positive, with remarks ranging from the issue’s general attractiveness to our “artistic daring.” Needless to say, there was also negative feedback. One, obviously written by an elderly woman, went so far as […]

  • Ready for the new

    By Amy Elliott, Introduction by Jon Anne Willow It’s often the case that when performing arts budgets are tight, new work by emerging artists finds its way to more stages more readily. It can be less expensive to license and easier to obtain, and it’s uncommon for a company to collaborate directly with the author, choreographer or composer. The results can be heady stuff, born of constrained circumstances but giving birth to artistic expression of great imagination. But, there is another reason an abundance of new work might be seen in one community in one season: the patrons are ready for it. It’s a promising mark of Milwaukee area audiences’ evolving tastes that so many well-established companies are eager to offer more never-before-seen programs. What follows is just a sampling – listed alphabetically by company – of the premieres awaiting adventurous lovers of theater, dance, music and art. Danceworks Have a Seat November 7 – 9, 2008 This eclectic evening of dance features choreography by Guest Artistic Director Janet Lilly, including “The Weight of Skin,” based on a poem by Milwaukee Poet Laureate Susan Firer. The show includes work by Isabelle Kralj choreographed for members of the Slovenia National Ballet, as well as a solo premier by New Delhi-based performer Navtej Johar. The Bra Project January 23 – February 1, 2009 Danceworks’ Resident Choreographer Kelly Anderson presents an irreverent evening of dance dedicated to the history, design, social influence and pop-culture significance of that bust-loving bane and blessing, the bra. A Guy Thing March 6 – 8, 2009 Ah, the male dancer: a rare bird indeed, and this performance celebrates them in all of their perplexing, complicated and handsome glory. See guest dancers from the Milwaukee Ballet, collaborations and partnerships between dancers, solo and group works. Choreographed by Ed Burgess and friends – all of them men. First Stage Children’s Theatre Gossamer September 19 – October 5 This landmark collaboration between Lois Lowry, First Stage Children’s Theatre and Portland’s Oregon Children’s Theatre is Lowry’s first attempt to adapt one of her novels for the stage – though audiences may remember Eric Coble’s 2006 adaptation of The Giver. The show premieres in Milwaukee this monthThe imaginative story follows a young dream-giver who helps a troubled child and a lonely woman overcome nightmares. Jeff Frank directs. The MacDowell Club For more information on the decorated past of one of Milwaukee’s most historic arts organizations, check out our feature on page 11 – after you avail yourself of this impressive season calendar. We’re especially excited for the April 19 performance of a song cycle by Paula Foley Tillen based on poems by Wisconsin’s first poet laureate, Ellen Kart. Farruca for Cello and Guitar By Peter Baine November 9 – Cardinal Stritch University Poem for Cello and Strings By Minh Tam Trinh December 14 – Cardinal Stritch University Song Cycle for Tenor and Piano By Paul Fowler January 25 – Cardinal Stritch University The Road to Emmaus for Voices and Organ By Hildegarde Fischer […]

  • Behind the curtain

    This month, to an even greater extent than usual, you can leaf through the pages of VITAL and find calendar listings, phone numbers, websites and profiles of the people that power the ships, as well as evidence, photographic and otherwise, of creative output. With a little imagination you can envision a setting: a proscenium stage, a row of footlights, dusty makeup rooms and wardrobes stuffed with spangled costumes. You might think about musical instruments or ballet shoes, or you might imagine the barely-controlled chaos of ticket offices and sales departments. But what else happens inside a performance company? And how wide of an audience do arts groups reach? What is their relevance or value to the wider world? The truth is, with public schools more strapped for cash than ever and cultural resources dwindling, arts organizations are sometimes a community’s most powerful force for education, outreach and enrichment resources. Members and affiliates of the United Performing Arts Fund alone touch over a million people every year, including more than 400,000 area children, according to UPAF Vice President of Community Relations and Marketing Linda Edelstein. Here, four major Milwaukee arts institutions share their most compelling initiatives for the coming season and the value they’ve brought to the city. Training and growth It’s a big year for the Milwaukee Ballet, whose acclaimed Ballet School is rated among the very best in the nation. In late August the School opened its largest branch at the Sendik’s Towne Centre in Brookfield, and this fall, the ink should be dry on the accreditation forms sent in to the National Association of Schools for Dance. If accredited, the Milwaukee Ballet School – established in 1975 – will be the only dance institution in the region that has met the NASD’s standards. But the Ballet’s outreach programming extends beyond sprung dance floors, lofty studios and kids in tutus. Their education programs alone reach over 20,000 kids a year through in-school performances, workshops and collaborations with other arts organizations. Merging training, performance, enrichment and the continuity that a successful arts education program requires, Relevé, an inner city youth dance program, provides ballet training to over 175 students at four MPS elementary schools: Allen-Field, Dover, Maple Tree and Vieau. Children start small with once-a-week, in-school ballet classes in 3rd grade and advance through 4th and 5th grade with training at the Milwaukee Ballet studios in the Peck Center. All of their dancewear is provided for free, and their study is enriched with free tickets to shows at the Ballet, in-school performances, meeting with company dancers and end-of-the-year recitals. “Relevé allows us to work with girls – and boys – who wouldn’t otherwise see these same kinds of opportunities,” says Alyson Vivar, Director of Education at the Ballet. “They really learn so much more than ballet – they learn discipline and self-confidence, and they have fun.” Training young people doesn’t have to stop with school kids. Art depends on fresh faces and the collision of new ideas with established practices […]

  • In Memory

    DJ Rock Dee

    Photo by Erin Landry We just received the heartbreaking news that DJ Rock Dee — 88.9 Radio Milwaukee on-air host, all-around DJ-about-town, consummate family man and hugely loving force in the community — died on Friday. He was 40 years old. Rock Dee was one of the first true personalities I met when I moved to Milwaukee. We worked together at Guitar Center in Brookfield, where I was the door girl, the first and last line of shrink defense. It was a job I’d done in Detroit for two years at one of the biggest Guitar Centers in the region, a hub for the city’s estimable population of hip-hop producers and performers. In Milwaukee, the store was small and patronized mostly by sweaty teenage shredders. I didn’t know anyone, and Brookfield was a haul. It was lonely, disillusioning and nowhere near as fun with a college degree and rent to pay as it was when I was an amorous 20-year-old. But from the get-go, Rock Dee, a diminutive bundle of dynamite, was explosively welcoming, greeting me every shift with a huge smile, a booming greeting and often a big hug. He called me “the pretty pitbull,” going out of his way to tell our coworkers that it was impossible to get anything past me. As a coworker he was helpful, patient, and warm; he was always moving, talking, selling, shouting, connecting with people, just brimming over with energy and positivity and soul. There was a wisdom and a confidence in everything he did, and his love of life, his zeal for it, was evident in every gesture, every holler, every reassuring grin. He was truly, more than anyone I have ever encountered, larger than life. It was a great joy over a year later to hear his voice in the morning on Radio Milwaukee, full of that same positivity and kinetic energy, more exciting than a giant cup of coffee. In VITAL’s October 2007 Music Issue, we ran a profile of Rock Dee in an article called “Know Your DJ.” When we asked him about his worst night as a DJ ever, he said, “God bless – none yet.” It sums up, I think, the grace and the gratefulness and the positive energy he lived by. It’s always painful to let people go, especially before their time, but it is a comfort to know that he lived large, he lived well and he brought so much joy and happiness to the lives of his family and friends and the countless listeners who listened to his radio show and saw him perform. He will be hugely missed. VS A benefit for Rock Dee’s family will be held at the Wherehouse, 818 S. Water St., on Sunday, August 17, from 1 pm to close. De La Buena, The Rusty P’s, Cache, Fever Marlene and dozens of DJs will perform. More information available at the 88.9 Radio Milwaukee Soundboard. This Wednesday, August 6, a memorial for Rock Dee will be held at Bradford […]

  • Heartbeat City

    Photos by Erin Landry “If you were standing in this spot 150 years ago, you might have been run over by a train.” On a cul-de-sac on the Hank Aaron State Trail – fish leaping in the Menomonee River below, the breeze carrying the scent of summer wildflowers – this interpretive sign is hard to swallow. Before its industrialization, the Menomonee Valley was a natural wild rice marsh, an almost inconceivable place to build industry. “It’s like building on oatmeal,” says Corey Zetts, Project Director for the Menomonee Valley Partners. The land was so swampy that the first rail tracks Byron Kilbourn laid sunk into the marsh overnight. But engineering and ingenuity persevered, and Kilbourn’s Milwaukee & Waukesha Railroad spent years filling the valley with earth and timber to firm up the ground. By the Civil War, the Milwaukee Road had turned the city into an agricultural and industrial powerhouse. In 1895, the Falk Corporation was established in the Valley after Herman Falk’s failing family brewery, built in the Valley in 1856, burned down. Together, Falk, the Milwaukee Road and the dozens of other breweries, stockyards, mills, packing plants and factories in the Menomonee Valley would become Milwaukee’s heart center for almost a hundred years, supplying thousands of jobs to a growing metropolis and bringing citizens from all sides of the city together in labor. But by the time sprawl and technology began to suck the wind out of the Valley’s sails after WWII, what was once a thriving channel of wilderness and wildlife was left polluted, smelly and blighted. There are stories in the Valley that exist beyond the industry triumphant/industry defeated dialectic. Natural history, of course, goes so far back as to render human history irrelevant. In Miller Park’s lot is a wall of 400 million-year-old rock – a Silurian reef, actually, dating from before the time the city was above water. And a huge part of the Valley’s story is a narrative largely omitted from our national history: the site of Miller Park was a gathering place for native tribes, who would meet during the rice harvest. At the top of that hill, the limbs of a tree are bent to point the way to the marsh. The word “Menomonee” means wild rice; when Potawatomi Bingo Casino, in 1991, chose the Menomonee Valley as the site of their development, they were choosing to return to the ancestral homeland. “The history is incredible,” says Melissa Cook, manager of the Hank Aaron State Trail, which cuts through the Valley like a vein. Her mother’s family lived on 39th and Michigan in Merrill Park; her relatives worked for Falk and the Milwaukee Road. The neighborhoods surrounding the Valley were built by investors in the railroad shops; today, they are some of the most diverse and densely populated districts in the state. The Menomonee Valley – “borrowed” from its native residents and the natural order – provided the backbone for Milwaukee’s livelihood. Now, after more than 20 years of vision, planning […]

  • Fire in the Disco

    Photos by Brian Jacobson + Eric Walton “Everyone calls me a magician. I don’t mind it so much, but – at least get it right.” If you’ve lived through a summer in Milwaukee and you’re not a total shut-in, you’ve probably seen Marcus Monroe – he’s hard to miss on his eight-foot unicycle, juggling knives taped to torches (the “knorch,” Marcus’ own invention) with a firecracker strapped to a helmet on his head. The extreme juggler and performance artist has been a fixture on the local festival circuit since he was a teenager. In 2004, Marcus moved to New York City to start his career as an entertainer and it’s been nothing but rock star success ever since – taking the stage at all hours of the night at NYC “playgrounds for billionaires,” opening for Cake and Talib Kweli, traveling the world with a knock-off Louis Vutton bag of juggling clubs and living with two other jugglers in a “fun house” apartment in the big city. But he’s more than just a certified phenom with a pretty face: the magnetic Marcus Monroe, a 23-year-old Milwaukee native, wants you to experience juggling like you have never experienced it before. He wants to make it fresh. He wants to make it hot. He wants to change it – forever. As a kid, Marcus “was kind of the goofy juggler,” he says. “But I wanted to appeal to a mass market. I wanted to start a new style of juggling … not the traditional sequined vest, crazy, ridiculous suits, colorful ties. I realized that there are no rules. I’m my own boss. I started dressing the way I would want to see a juggler dress. I wore what Justin Timberlake was wearing. I watched pop concerts to see what Usher was wearing and asked, how can this work on me? “I looked good. And the juggling was good.” JUGGLE FEVER When he was nine, Marcus saw one of his schoolmates juggle in a talent show – “just three balls, very poorly when I think about it,” he says. “But it was so inspiring to think about, someone that young … just a kid … juggling.” He spent that whole summer with his father learning the skill. “It took me so long, but my dad and I were so into it. I surrounded myself with everything juggling. I went to juggling clubs at UWM, started going to conventions, buying books on juggling, performing, videos – I didn’t care about school. I wanted to focus on juggling and performing.” His first performance – in overalls and a polka dot shirt, juggling to “Closer to Free” by the BoDeans on a boom box – was in fifth grade at the school talent show. Less than a year later, he was juggling at block parties, birthday parties, fairs and festivals. In high school he got a gig at Park Bar opening for bands, juggling fire, knives and glow-in-the-dark hoops. It attracted him a gathering of fans from […]

  • Summer days, summer nights with De La Buena

    By Amy Elliott and Amber Herzog De La Buena is: David Wake, Cecilio Negron Jr., Andy Noble, Julio Pabon, Aaron Gardner, Eric Jacobson, Mike Pauers, Jesse Sheehan, Holly Haebig, Elladia Regina James Wake (De La Baby). Not pictured: Jeremy Kuzniar, Jamie Breiwick. Ready for festival season? We sure are, especially because it inevitably means the return of De La Buena, one of Milwaukee’s most distinctive party bands. We sat down with band leader David Wake waaaaay back in February after they played a smashing set at the City of Milwaukee Birthday Party. We thought you might like to hear more about them now, though, since it’s sunny, hot, and everyone’s ready to salsa. Viva De La Buena! And read on … Ed. Describe the sound of De La Buena. In simple terms, De La Buena is a sophisticated dance band. First and foremost, we’re a Latin Jazz band, but we are no doubt influenced by the traditions of Salsa and Samba infused by the great bands of the 1960s and ’70s coming out of New York, Puerto Rico, Brazil and Cuba. We have a big sound that includes a four-to-five-piece horn section, Hammond organ, bass, and three percussionists (one of which is a kit drummer). The instrumentation we employ stretches beyond tradition and allows us the freedom to step into other realms of musical and artistic expression. Obviously, De La Buena is a large band full of musicians from eclectic backgrounds. Where do they come from, how did they come to De La Buena, and what do they bring the project? The band shares a very strong family bond and we’re family people who take their art and their craft seriously. Most of us inherited a deeply rooted love of Latin music from our families, and have the ability to stay true to that history and those traditions without becoming predictable. We love to have fun and make music, but we also want to put out music that has integrity and taste. What’s the appeal of the music you play – for you and for your fans? We bring something for both body and mind. People come to the shows to listen, and people come to the shows to dance. Folks really seem to love a big band with a big sound and they know that when they come to a De La Buena show, it will be a culturally diverse scene, especially in a town so infamous for its segregation. For the band, our appeal lies somewhere between tradition and innovation. We learn about and share the history of Latin music, but always leave room for innovation and new ideas. How has the band grown and changed over the past five years? We started as a trio. Adding a drummer, a tenor saxophonist, and a trumpet was another, more improvisational phase of the band—a period of discovery. Our songs consisted of much less organized ideas and grooves that we would use as launch pads for improvisational explorations. Our album, […]