Music Matters 2016, July 12th
Sitting in front of a large and savory scoop of freshly spiced crab meat, lying on a bed of a perfectly ripe avocado, underneath it another blanket of arugula which is tossed in a rare dressing with sweet and sour pepper flakes along with tiny zests of orange and light honey mustard.
Ouf! I’m in heaven.
This the taste of my Ouf! moment after two months of touring with Globalfest and the Creole carnival. And after so many MacDonald coffees and Subway sandwich dinners along the way, often times the only sustenance within reach.
I am now sitting in an empty restaurant, the whole place to myself, a chef at my mercy. It is 3 Pm precisely. I revel in my crab salad. I am tired, but I feel as light as a feather. Unwinding, rewinding, my brain still cannot grasp all that we had done. As Christian Vela (our stage manager) said so well: "we made history!"
Saturday April 16th, Zellerbach Hall, was the last show for the Creole Carnival tour, which started on February 16th 2016. I must thank all my fans, friends and family who have been tolerating my lack of communication... I have needed the silence in order to embrace this moment in its totality. I am so full of gratitute to everyone who kept me in their daily payers...
From the point of view of this stellar moment, how could I possibly say that touring in our big bus is not the coolest, most amazing adventure? 30 dates across America. Brazil, Jamaica and Haiti together on one stage, a continuous festive bacchanal! I had contemplated taking up guitar lessons, growing my dreads, I even fantasized to have all theses men around me carry me onstage stage on a throne bed, like Cleopatra... :)
I planned on wearing all kinds outfits for which my fans would need to forgive me... After all isn't it what Carnival stands for in all our 3 countries?
I proposed to my peers to really take on the bachannal concept, but this bill did not quite go through...LOL!
In the beginning, the three groups respected each other but politely avoided getting closer. We had a rough and shaky start with a Washington DC cancellation date. The lack of goodwill around us was a shame, and it contrasted immensely with the efforts invested in putting this tour together.
With our respective embassies promoting the show this could only have been a winner...
But with Lupe our driver and George Cruz at the helm, our caravan left DC with better expectations, determined to leave the bitterness behind. Then came Vermont; The Winter Garden in Toronto, Rochester, Newberry, Tallahasse and so on. The groove picked up, there were some real highs, and more intimacy between the bands. High fives and jams around dinner time, beautiful smiles, and I dared once again, suggesting a collaboration for the finale between Haiti and Brazil: One of my songs - Histoire d'Eau – which has a strong Bossa Nova influence. We waited long enough, with no pretense and no pressure. and the audience totally embarced it. We were all ecstatic. Small victory for a lady in this Big Man’s world, don’t you think?
The demanding regime of 5 shows in a row with no breathing in between was both amazingly unforgettable and unbearable. Sleepless nights in the bus zigzaging through the mountains, praying to see the morning light. Dragging the bags to yet another hotel, knowing we will have to drag them back out the in the morning, like a constant rollercoaster. Touring at some point began to feel like a trap, a glossy advertisement for hell, a prison by the sea. I once stated to my mom over the phone: "If i don't finish this tour, this tour will finish me."
Being the only women among 13 men is quite an experience too. You are invisible in all the visibility, alienated until the music starts again. Some days my heart ached with loneliness, and the meaning of the words homesick overpowered me. But when I got lucky enough be in the preferred seat next to our driver all my rage and frustration melted away! Mother nature lay before my eyes, and the breathtaking beauty of this landscape made my heart race. Discovering theses places I never imagine existed... so close by, so grand. I was afraid to fall asleep and miss out on something big: the mountains of Colorado on Easter Sunday... I fell in love, head over heels, with Santa Fe...The art, the culture, the spices, the colors! All this vibrancy in high frequency ...
The warmth of the people in Davis California, the crowd at the University so spontaneous, daring and curious. This is where someone ask me: "Do you want me to warm up your muffin?". I melted as though he was asking me to marry him. This was one of the most heartwarming audiences I ever sang to. Along the way our Global Carnival became something else; not a typical carnival, but a powerful gathering , a cultural rendez-vous, an hopeful and joyful space where the world, on all its complexity and diversity, can meet and discover how similar we all are. I will keep with me the moments before soundcheck when we are all searching for goodies in the new green room like children on Christmas day; the audience laughing at every show, the anticipation for more stories, the humourous lines we knew would always work; running along the theater to the CD signing table; the diversity of the crowd greeting us for their cds signing; George Cruze overwhelmed with the demand the empty boxes, all CDS the sold out ...
All theses facts confirming that MUSIC STILL MATTERS! Despite the harshness and imperfections of the road, Globalfest is a revolution and I am proud for having been one of the soldiers. With our Creole Carnival we stood strong in our uniqueness, Globalfest was our movement for the live to STAY ALIVE, a corner where we dared to stand closer to each other, and to laugh louder; where the heart grow lovingly bigger with compassion and acceptance. I am left with amazing feelings, sensations, memories. But also, very determined to not to pile up the dates across the calendar, but rather, to make every single one of them count.