We caught them all!
I’m still recovering from the weekend, to explain why I’m publishing this just right now. The Expo Park is a big place to walk fast from side to side dozens of times to be on time for meetings and shows that we didn’t want to miss.
The festival was really well produced, the music was good even at the first stage, aka The Master Hall, the one that has graderies and a high ceiling with a lot of metal that usually is hell for sound, but even there sound worked well this year, specially for Marcus Miller who did an insanely fantastic show.
The only one downer I experienced was, sadly, the concert of Pat Metheny, though the place was really right for the concert and very well set up, the sound was poor and strange really, also the cameramen and the director of the cameras for the two screens by the stage were paying attention to anything else but the music, that was very annoying. And though Metheny played perfectly most of the audience didn’t get any feeling from him, it could have been that the sound needed more volume, but I did feel the same from all his musicians except from Chris Potter, his sax player. Metheny showed all his guitars including that crazy one with thirty six strings, he played even a couple of old tunes too, but it was a concert without vibes. Well, even the best have bad nights.
The rest of the festival was really fantastic, music was good all weekend at the Expo Park and at JZ Club. During Saturday and Sunday Layabozi was set by JZ producers to meet some of the best artists playing the festival and to have ten minutes interviews with them. Ox took the photos, you will get them soon, and I talked with the guys.
The top moment of the interview process was meeting Cui Jian at JZ Club on Saturday night, after talking about him very much during that day, with Jojo Mayer, and with some of my friends. I was dissapointed we didn’t get him on the appointments that JZ gave us, so when I turned to give space to the person behind me in the little middle room before the rooftop of JZ Club I immediately turned to groupie mode to get him for an interview. It was a very fun situation, I was trying to get some time to interview him, and he got me a couple of drinks and took me to hang with him and his friends while the Soul Rebels were playing. I “lobbied” this interview for over four hours, it was a very fun process. Cui Jian was taken by his manager and went out, he told me clearly that he was coming back, but after one hour waiting for him I gave up. Then he surprised me, he came back, so once he was there I just didn’t let him say no. It was after 2am, and we were beyond tipsy by then.
We got very very lucky this weekend. We also got to interview Helen Feng from Nova Heart, even she wasn’t in our schedule she was super kind to spend time with us, and we had a really nice talk with her.
The interview to Bootsy was funny, I asked many musicians for ideas for questions to ask him, finally we didn’t get Bootsy himself but we got part of his crew, his wife, and two of his long time friends and music partners Razor Sharp and Frankie Kash Waddy, they told us some fun stories, and they had a lot to tell so we hang with them longer than what we were allowed to.
Jojo Mayer was interesting to talk with, I wish we would have had more time with him, but he had to go right after talking with us to jam with Cui Jian, anyway we got some interesting comments from him too.
Coco Zhao is always a nice hang really, no matter what you talk with him it’s always great because he is fun and naughty, and his voice is always nice to hear. Sadly he was ultra busy and we couldn’t get the time for photos with him, he was really so busy that this year was the first time I don’t hang with him during the festival.
Laura Fygi was the first of this series, and neither Ox or me knew a lot about her, I just heard her singing only a couple of times before, we had a nice conversation with her, very insightful just to be less than ten minutes, it actually worked out so well that I wasn’t worried anymore that we only had ten minutes with each artist. S
Enough now. Here they are.