Return to Bolivia
I performed at the Dolby Theatre in LA last night in the band with Ana Barbara. It was a huge production involving a mariachi group, a banda group, the pop band (us), back-up singers, a horn section, choreographed dancers, tons of fancy lighting effects, two projectors, a center-stage elevator, and a lot of crossed fingers. It was pretty remarkable to be part of that production at the Dolby. I performed with double keyboards plus laptop running Ableton, with a Korg NanoKontrol2 and a Novation Launchpad to change keyboard presets and playback some pre-recorded elements. This new setup I'm using seems to work so much better than my previous setup. Now, if a tour comes up, I don't need to worry about bringing my keyboards, nor about arranging to have a specific keyboard waiting for me at the venue. All I need now is to bring my laptop with everything saved in Ableton, and bring my two controllers. Any two keyboards provided to me (with MIDI ins and outs) will be sufficient to run my rig. Traveling to perform with this band will be so much easier now.

Speaking of...

We'll be performing again in Bolivia later this month with Ana Barbara. Our gig is on Saturday the 26th, and we'll be cutting it close with our itinerary. Most likely, we'll be flying over Friday and Saturday (its a very long flight), and arriving a few hours before the concert. Our departing flight will be the day after. These sorts of gigs tend to be somewhat rushed, which usually means very little opportunity to actually spend time in the foreign country where we're playing. All we can really plan on is doing our best, as always, in hopes that we'll secure a longer lasting tour, and perhaps get a chance to really visit some new places.

I think the best part is working with really great musicians. Everyone on the team has an impressive musical background, is hardworking, and easy to get along with. When I first started playing with the group, I didn't really think much about how important it would be to get along with bandmates. But when you are doing an international performance (for example), that involves meeting at an airport at 6 am, flying several hours to another airport, layover another several hours, a couple more connecting flights, eating every meal together, landing in a new country, getting setup in your hotel rooms, riding in a van together, rehearsing together for multiple days in a row, the band becomes something of a family. It is a huge relief to be working with such easygoing, kind-hearted bandmates, all of whom are super talented.