The here and now... and what and why

Complacency is a trap. At least that’s what I was thinking when I up and left the comfort of a Yankee prep school gig, where I taught music, amongst other things, for 28 years. There was also that life long career as a composer, musician and artist.

First, it was a year in St. Thomas, USVI, working as a reporter and shooting photography and then, a year in San Agustin Etla, Oaxaca, Mexico.
Time passed.
More time passed and a year back in the Athens of America followed by a hasty return to Oaxaca where it is all happening.
A couple of years in San Sebastian Etla and now, just down the road in San Pablo Etla. Life is good.

Click on an image to see it larger.
For additional photography please visit my flickr page.
You can find my music on Jango (World & latin - Worldbeat) and at iTunes and most online stores.
¡Soy consciente de todas las tradiciones del Internet!
If you are coming to Oaxaca, please contact me for tours or advice.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
The view from Corazon del Pueblo

The hereafter re me

My photo
Oaxaca, Oaxaca, Mexico
Musician, photographer, videographer, reporter, ex-officio teacher, now attempting to be a world traveler

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

"Baby, you can drive my car...."

Driving in Oaxaca can be a real trip and, on a daily basis, I see things that make me think, daily meditations.... like this.  My thoughts while following the ubiquitous Porta-potty... "Brakes don't fail me now" or "This is a perfect metaphor for so many things" or "This traffic stinks." or well, you get the idea. And check this out.  I'm not sure what this piece of machinery is, but I think I need one.
It looks like it is some sort of a large capacity grinder, but I can't figure the upper part which looks like a roaster.
The full bags look like they might have cacao or coffee inside.  Maybe chiles?
Well, what is it?  "Anyone? Anyone?... Bueller?

Sunday, August 12, 2018

All I said was....

"I'm looking for a little pot...."
¡Viva San Marcos!

Saturday, August 4, 2018

One Special Place - Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec

Santa Maria Tlahuitoltepec is a special place for numerous reasons.  Located in the Sierra Norte part of the state, the village is famous for its remarkable fashion sense and embroidery and......
Their trajes with their classic embroidery are easily recognizable.  The work is all hand done using sewing machines and always color coordinated.  Also, they have a different style of wearing the rebozo on the head.
One of the other aspects for which the village, is renown, and my favorite, is its musicians.  I've heard that almost 90% of the inhabitants plays a musical instrument and it certainly shows in the level of musicianship.  Every youth musical ensemble I've heard has been exemplary.  They can really play!
And what could be better than Oaxacan haute couture and really talented kids performing before hundreds of thousands of people?  Note the notes on the sleeves.
It was pretty special as they  performed in the second and final guelaguetza desfile or parade.
I love that each musician's instrument was embroidered on their uniform's back.
What a look!  I want one!
So cool! And I wasn't the only one taking it all in.
Viva Santa Maria Tlahuitoltpec!

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Guelaguetza in Etla

On the last Monday of July, they were dancing all over the state as many villages present their own versions of the guelaguetza with all the dances, but in more intimate settings than the official version in the auditorio. 
The Villa de Etla has been doing it for a few years and, this year, they had not only a morning edition, but also an afternoon performance. 
A covered stage was erected on the newly restored plaza in front of the market where about a thousand people gathered to watch all the dances and to be invited to join in as well.
As in many of these local guelaguetzas, in Etla, most all of the dances were performed by a folkloric group with some very fine dancers, like this young man.  His enthusiasm was contagious.
Many of the classic looks were on display.
A boda or wedding was a part of this Zapotec performance.
And they danced...
Good to see, once again, so many young people involved.
And in the audience, as well.
And lots of wonderful dancing by a talented group of dancers.
In several dances, part of the action is a mock bull fight in which one dancer taunts the other with a red cloth.
What follows is often hilarious, as the bulls, in this case, the women, proceeded to hip check and trip the men until they are knocked off their feet and, sometimes, knocked entirely off the stage.
And so ends this year's guelaguetzas, always intense and tiring, but I'm already looking forward to next year.  Be there or Be Square... but book early.  This year the hotel occupancy was said to be 99%!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Dancin' in the Streets - The Second Desfile

Under bright skies and in front of huge crowds, the dancers who will be performing in tomorrow's final official guelaguetza, paraded and danced their way down the parade route yesterday.
Here's the delegation from Tlacolula.  Yes, the baskets spell out "Viva Tlacolula, Oaxaca."  Incidentally, those baskets can weight up to 8-10 kilos and the women dance like they weigh nothing.
Everyone's energy felt even a bit higher than last week, but maybe that was just me.
The guelaguetza is one of the highlights of the year and this year, things have been well organized and it's a good thing, because the city is more crowded than I've ever seen it.
As in many things oaxaqueño, it's a visual treat, as one is completely surrounded by music, dance and color.
Some very interesting banners this year.
This one made a tableau unto itself.
And so interesting to see other groups of plumas dancers after spending so much time with those in Teotitlan del Valle.  La Malinche...
And a subalterno...
Moctezuma in training...
Each delegation brought a wave of energy...
As they strutted their stuff....
Here's lookin' at you, kid... and gracias for the wonderful time!
More to come.....

Friday, July 27, 2018

Dancin' in the streets - The first desfile

As we get ready for tomorrow's second and final desfile or parade of all the delegations of dancers for next Monday's official guelaguetza, it's time to post a few more shots from last week's.  First, let me just say, it's a photographer's dream....
It is always such a wonderful experience, filled with music, light, color and happiness. 
It's Oaxaca at its best. 
The dancers of 60th Anniversary of the Flor de Piña.
So many wonderful looks and outfits from all over the state.
Love the little guy's look in the middle.  And so many young people participating.....
All getting a taste of the big time and, no doubt, hooked for life, keeping these traditions alive.
And everyone is ready to be photographed.
This gentleman and even the turkey struck a pose, note the herbs and cigarettes.
So it's all on again for tomorrow.  Be there of be square!