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Late Summer Update

Hey, all! The next big event in my musical world is returning to another mainstage slot at the second annual Arte Vive Fesival, scheduled for the weekend of September 28 & 29. The festival attracted a great and enthusiastic crowd last year and promises some exciting new additions this season, including a concert by the great Costa Rican pianist and composer Manuel Obregon, as well as a scaled down revival of the Limon Legends all-star calyspso band. (Check out some of the great music these folks are making at www.papayamusic.com.) This summer my performances have been almost entirely acoustic shows, highlighted by my weekly duo gigs at the Loco with percussionist/vocalist Carter VanHouten. Continuing to reel in horror between musical relief fests at the goings on in the Bush League's Reign of Terror(ism - yeah, other people call it that when we inflict it on them, too, George!) the two of us shared another double birthday celebration Sunday evening (we were born just 2 days and 10 years apart) with 2 smoking sets, joined by special guests Junior Alvarez, the Bluefields, Nicaragua calypso king, on bass and Jamaican jammer Jeff Et on percussion. When a summer cold put a damper on my vocalizing ability for a few weeks, (and yes probably too much badnews reading at truthout.org and commondreams.org - recommended neverthesless) I worked up some more instrumental arrangements for acoustic guitar. The songs I’ve chosen are a mix of some from the Brazillian and blue jazz catalogues and an assortment of “new standards” –folk and pop classics ranging from Dylan and the Beatles to Nora Jones that make surprisingly great vehicles for improvisation. These new additions have quickly become favorites in our Jazz Caribe repertoire, which I’m hoping to get recorded within the next year. In the meantime, I’ve also had enough extra time at home this summer to finish up and rehearse some new original songs that have come together over the past year, so they’ll be making there way into my set lists for my upcoming solo shows at Bread and Chocolate next Saturday and the new Mate Latte in Playa Chiquita in early September. And of course onto my upcoming mostly acoustic CD, which is now in the works as well. (Previews are not far away from getting to this website’s listening page.) Speaking of the venues, I must mention my tremendous gratitude to Carter, Pamela and Stash at El Loco Natural for a nearly solid year and a half of weekly gigs, consistently and uniquely delicious consumables, and best of all, their warm comradery. It’s no wonder the place is one of the most popular restaurants in town among tourists and residents alike. We will miss them and the music we make there when they move out of their current location in a few weeks, which will close the venue through November. However, the party is sure to resume when they reopen in December in their new location on the southeast side of town. I also want to thank Tom for his continued support of live original acoustic music at Bread and Chocolate, the most nostalgically North American-style café in Puerto Viejo, providing delicious all natural breakfast and lunch fare (including their amazing house-baked whole grain bagels and incredible local organic chocolate treats) to the rice’n’beans weary ecotourist and local ex-pat communities, who continue to pack the place every weekend. And, most recently to Heather and Cache, our new friends and neighbors, who are providing me with another acoustic music venue and a great place to eat and hang out with amigos - their new Mate Latte café near our home in Playa Chiquita. Beautifully furnished and decorated with Cache’s gorgeous wood furniture work and Heather’s impeccable sense of style, the look of the place encourages great expectations and then delivers in the form of traditional espresso beverages (made from local fair trade organic coffee) and their cutting-edge mate equivalents, along with delicious and very creative all-natural entrees, snacks, and treats. And I do think even lifelong Seattleites will be impressed with their buzz beverage lineup! My first show their will be at their gala opening party on September 8. Hope you can make it!:) Meanwhile, stay sane and please stay ACTIVE. Your voice matters and may make the difference! Peace, Jim

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