Monday, October 11, 2010


What a spread
impromptu jam session
We have been very lucky in our life to have unexpected experiences. This weekend, we had a big diversion from our feelings about the loss of our sweet pup. It was the Richmond Folk Festival event. Three days of music! For us, the event actually started the previous weekend. Because of an e-mail I received through an organization  to which I belong (RPEC) I was able to connect the Iranian music group, Shanbehzadeh Ensemble, to a host family. They were coming a week earlier and needed a place to stay until their festival lodgings became available. We had a small dinner for them at our house a week ago Sunday. We invited our Persian friends to join us and everyone brought wonderful food to share.

We didn't think they'd play music while at our house, but Habib spotted my husband's kunga drums and tuned them up. Then Naveed, our son's friend started to improvise on the piano and Naghib joined him. There was clapping and dancing and even some joke telling by Saeid. We had so much fun that we became instant groupies.

At the Folk Festival,  first night
This weekend, we went to three of the performances given by Shanbehzadeh Ensemble. The audiences loved them. They'll be playing at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC tomorrow and we may just follow them up there. Groupies!

On Saturday evening we went to hear La Exelencia, a salsa dura group. It was sooo hot but we danced anyway. What energy. On Sunday, the festival closed at 6 p.m. so we got there early to hear more. We heard Otrov, a band that played Croatian music on tambouritza. They were really good and the crowd loved them. In the near distance a young woman was dancing with a hula hoop, looking very much like she was doing belly dancing to the music of the group.
the audience

New Yellow Hat
The James River
After Otrov, we moved over to the stage to hear Shanbehzadeh again. It was sooo sunny and hot at that point that I went in search of a hat (having forgotten to bring one from home) and found a bright yellow one for only $10.  We found a shady spot along the river behind the stage where we could still hear the music. A nice peaceful view.
listening to rockabilly
We then made our way to the next stage area to hear a Rockabilly band, Deke Dickerson & The Ecco-tonics with Daryl Davis. They rocked it. People would explode with applause. We found a couple of seats in the shade where we could hear, though not see, the band.

La Exelencia

Golden sunset
La Exelencia played in this same tent, the dance pavilion, so when one group ended we just moved inside to dance salsa. The floor was not as crowded as it was on Saturday night so we had room to move around but it was still very hot. We had met up with some friends, which made it even more fun. We all danced!

A tall friend of ours kindly held up my camera to capture this photo of the band. What fun. What a terrific diversion. We headed home as the sun was setting, a golden sunset, the end of a really wonderful weekend.

I think this is the longest post I've ever done. I hope you enjoyed the Richmond Folk Festival! If Shanbehzadeh comes to your city, try to see them. You won't be sorry you did.   Today,  my calves hurt from dancing salsa in clogs (not recommended) and I'm still feeling the loss of our pup, but happy that we heard lively music and made some new friends.

1 comment:

phonelady said...

Yep your loss will be hanging around for a while , I hope that it eases soon . Im glad you enjoyed your wknd . take care and have a great week.