Time Out Bar & Grill, Concord, CA
After such a great result at last month’s Nightlife, I was eager to bring the kulintang to even more new places. The Time Out Bar & Grill in Concord is just such a place. The last time I brought kulintang to a Concord dive bar, an audience member very loudly exclaimed, “Let’s turn on the juke box!” in the middle of an exciting Binalig that I was playing. Granted, my beats were not as big as they are lately, so I kept an open mind for this new audience. I sure am glad I did, because the audience was really open to it, so open to it that they were jumping up and down with their drinks in the air! Lots of great conversations followed, and a few Concord-ites outed themselves to me as Filipinos; and no, they had never seen kulintang before that moment. Mission accomplished.
Pistahan at Yerba Buena Gardens, San Francisco, CA
It’s that time of year! Pistahan reclaims its title as one of the largest Filipino festivals in the Bay Area! The parade had never been so large. I would post pictures of the parade but I was a little busy playing kulintang music accompanied by big-calibre performers such as Lendl San Jose, Kristine Sinajon, and Melissa Martinez. With Melissa, an experienced kulintang music and dance performer, as the informal dance instructor, we had an impromptu community dance that saw indigenous Filipino dance movements coming from excited Filipinos and non-Filipinos who came to claim their seats early. There was definitely some magic in the air.
Nick’s Lounge in Berkeley, CA
Here is a picture where I am once again joined by Filipino-musician-extraordinaire Lendl San Jose. This particular dive bar is Nick’s Lounge in Berkeley, where a group of Filipino film enthusiasts gathered at the invitation from actress Esperanza Catubig in support of her new independent film (where Catubig also get’s a Producer’s credit) called Nico’s Sampaguita. The film, about a Filipino-American family set against the jazz music backdrop set in the Fillmore district of San Francisco. There is a lot of excitement around this project; so much that an unexpected guest arrived: fellow kulintang player Judith Ferrer! She did not expect to see a kulintang at the event, and I certainly did not expect another kulintang player to come in and drop two beautiful kulintang songs from memory. Ang galing!