Co-ordinated Independence

Keep a steady rhythm with one hand, improvise with the other. . .

Candido y Caliente members of Caliente audience where there's a wheel there's a way


Crime Scene - Miller Theatre
Miller Outdoor Theatre in Herman Park – July 6th 2014 for “Noche Caliente”


Candido Camero, 93, inventor of “coordinated independence” on the Congas

A show by Candido is the Holy Grail for every Conga player on the planet

Candido brought Congas into the emerging Jazz revolution of the 40s and 50s

When the standard was a single conga, Candido brought three and changed the conga from backup instrument to lead

Jose Antonio Diaz is in his 29th year as Director of Bands at MacArthur High School in the Aldine ISD

The MacArthur High Jazz program may be the best in the country

Diaz is a heroic figure in Texas and the nation for his contributions to jazz

He conducted Caliente (his students) and Candido with energy and grace and love

This was the 13th Annual Noche Caliente at Miller Outdoor Theatre…sponsored by Diaz Music Institute which is Jose’s vehicle for bringing young people into the world of jazz

The kids were amazing…and so was Candido

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44 Light Years From Home

You’ll never have friends like the ones when you were 12 but the music when you were sixteen always brings you back home…

44 years after “Blows Against The Empire” Jefferson Starship brought us all back home…for two hours.

Have you seen the stars tonite Paul Kantner David Freiberg Jeffereson Starship today largest crowd ever Old and New One generation got old one generation got soul One generation got old Farewell chatting eavesdropping sleeping stealing Miller Outdoor Theatre

Ride the music
Ride the music . . .


Paul Kantner invented the concept of a free concert in the park as a business strategy right after he founded Jefferson Airplane in 1965

Dumbfounded, the City of San Francisco asked him if he intended to make money…he said, “Yes—but not today”

Fast forward to today…corporate sponsors line-up to pay bands like Jefferson Starship a lot of money to perform free concerts at places like Miller Theatre

The profound success of “free” was not lost on Kantner and his re-telling of the story was done with grace and humility

Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead, Santana, and other bands used the free concert model to achieve immediate widespread consumer-awareness right in the middle of the MadMen era

Today, the “free” model is used by everyone from business consultants to social Web sites to Yoga Schools

For 5 years starting in 1965, Jefferson Airplane, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Quicksilver, and The Grateful Dead invented, refined, and popularized Americana 1.0

In July 1969, Americans walked on the moon, Woodstock put on a free concert for 500,000 people, and overnight airplanes and free concerts became passe

In 1970, following their failure to end the war, bizarre love triangles, and close encounters with alien drugs, members from each of these bands collapsed into Kanter’s project called “Jefferson Starship”

The project’s first album, “Blows Against The Empire,” represented  the big give-up on ending the War and expressed the need to get far far away by hijacking a Starship

It was the first  and only Americana Concept-Album

Forgotten now is the strange fact that throughout the last half of the “turbulent” 60s, most of the music these Americana bands wrote were standard folk-rock and old-fashioned love songs

By 1970, folk-rock and old-fashioned love songs were being seriously challenged by apocalyptic themes

“Wooden Ships” was written by Paul Kantner and Steven Stills and is the ultimate anthem of the shift to apocalyptic thinking in 1970

But “Wooden Ships” ends on the ultimate hopeful theme—peace between enemies

The songs last night were performed better than ever and that says something about the nature of the songwriting

Americana 1.0 had all the elements of great songs: haunting easy-to-remember melodies, unique harvest harmonies, and the soft driving rhythms of a stagecoach rolling across the plains

Paul Kantner is 73, David Freiberg is 75

Their voices were shocking for the strength, depth, and volume

David Freiberg broke several illegal wine glasses on the Hill last night

Kantner has surrounded himself and his longtime band mate with the best musicians they have ever played with

Kantner’s and Freiberg’s humility and generosity were wonderful in the ways they both promoted and highlighted their backup musicians…that was so great to see

That afternoon Miller Theatre was subjected to Woodstock-ian rain

In total defiance, the largest crowd we’ve ever seen showed-up that night

When the music was over hundreds of people hung-around, mingled, reminisced and pilfered potato chips from sleeping spouses

The night air was thick with peace ‘n love


abandoned food truck transmogrification 1 for sale

And right across the street . . .

transmogrification 2 old house new neighborhood for rent

“The Good”


Kohler Street in The Heights is a neighborhood in transition

The stone company is gone…Guitar Center is moving-in

The old rusty steel plant houses a shiny new Wal Mart

Solar-powered patio homes shove-aside airy bungalows 

Few signs of the Ancien Regime remain

But transmogrification cuts both ways

The Tao Of Motorcycling


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