An amazing musical evening with the devil himself

June 11, 2006

The
following post contains no politics and the only relation to this blog is probably
Venezuela
and perhaps a tenuous connection to a different type of Devil, a much nicer one
at that.

Last night
I had a wonderful experience, probably the word wonderful is surely inaquedate,
everything was so spectacular that it was a memorable experience that will be
with me for the rest of my life.

Imagine
being at a beautiful concert
Hall
, designed by the person who is probably the
best arquitect
ever to come out of Venezuela. Then throw in a
classical symphony orchestra,
one of the best in Venezuela,
backing the best
Venezuelan salsa singer/performer/entertainer/showman
, the man I consider to be
one of the most universal Venezuelans there is. Then add to this as a bonus, the
lead singer of one
of Venezuela’s most famous and timeless salsa orchestras, a
man I thought was dead, but is close to ninety and can remarkably still sing with
the same sweet light tenor voice and move people both emotionally and
physically, the same way he has been doing it since 1936. Throw in one of Venezuela’s best known modern composers
of popular music on piano for a few pieces and a legendary music educator
that can sing and you get and extraordinary night of music, rhythm and fun.

Yes it was
truly incredible and it is indeed hard to describe how Oscar D’Leon, the “Devil of Salsa”
sang, danced entertained and performed at the Aula Magna of Universidad Central
de Venezuela, backed by the Orquesta Sinfonica Municipal de Caracas and with
Rafa Galindo. Aldemaro Romero and Elisa Sotelo as special guests. A full
classical orchestra together with his group sounded absolutely awesome, playing
all those salsa songs that have made D’Leon so famous all over the world. Galindo’s
Bolero’s and a whole set of songs dedicated to Caracas just made the whole thing incredibly whole and emotional.

D’Leon
challenged
the members of the orchestra both individually and as a group, making
them
dance as they played and showcasing their talents by having them play
solos
that revealed both their abilities and versatilities. Just try to
imagine close
to one hundred musicians playing salsa wit D’Leon singingool to see all
these musicians in formal clothes moving at the rhytm of the salsa as
they played their instruments. (The only low point
was that D’Leon’s voice was aomewhat overwhelmed by the music and they
did not balance it, even if Galindo’s voice came through without any
problem)

D’Leon was
his usual fantastic performer, interacting with the public, making the public
sing (“Profesor Ri Rua” was incredible), clap, cheer and more than once the
halls were crowded by people dancing to the songs and music that all
Venezuelans at some point in their life have danced to. (Everyone there certainly knew the words)

Terrific,
spectacular, wonderful and memorable evening with a world class spectacle,
brought to you by extremely talented Venezuelans. What a delight! Remarkably,
it was a one time performance for a show that I think should run for months.

Oh yes! I
forgot, all of this for Bs. 22,000 (US$ 10 at the official exchange rate), but actually priceless

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