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

Saturday, May 27, 2017

How it started... my obsession with Oaxaca

I am in El Norte and one of my tasks is to assess the Oaxacan art I've amassed over the years.  It is fun work, but much of it is boxed up, so it is turning out to be a big job.  It makes me recall why I got so hooked on the place to begin with.  I remember reading that if I ever went to Oaxaca I could meet the "Picasso of woodcarvers, Manuel Jimenez."  I thought that sounded like a cool thing and so... I did.  He was an wonderful character and I ended up buying a few pieces from him and his sons over the years.  This buzzard perches in my kitchen.
Maestro Jimenez passed in 2005, but his sons, Angélico and Isaías, continue to carve in Arrazola.
After a few years of collecting carvings, I starting commissioning pieces and, as a musician, it made sense to have the carvers make music stands.  It was a ten year project and I have over sixty of them and not only are they unique, they are also some of the best examples of their creativity and genius.  Here are a couple by Agustín Cruz Tinoco.

There is a funny story behind these.  They took a while to make and part of the  deal was that I would trade some musical instruments for his sons.  I was a music teacher so I knew what brands to get, the best, and eventually headed down with a valve trombone and a clarinet for the boys.  So when I showed up, Dad was not there and the boys were not sure what to do.  However, when the saw and played the instruments, it was all over.  "He'll kill us, but let's do it."  It was a blast watching them play. The clarinetist was really good and their smiles were so big they could barely play!

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