Thursday, February 14, 2008

Valentine with Doc Severinsen

Actually last night wasn't officially Valentine's Day but we celebrated a day early at Bella Italia and listened to the most incredible music....not just for San Miguel but for ANYWHERE. But let me back up just a little to tell this story.

We have been listening to Gil and Cartas perform in San Miguel for several years and we have always thought that they were just amazing musicians. A friend of ours loved them too and decided that they needed recognition in the USA. All of us who live here know that Doc Severinsen has retired to San Miguel and he has played a benefit or two. We would see him sometimes with his wife at the fish taco place or on the street but Ned and I who had watched him every night on the Johnny Carson show never considered doing more than shaking his hand and telling him how much we liked his music. Not our friend. She decided that Doc would be the one who could help Gil and Cartas make connections in the USA. So she knocked on his door and told him about Gil and Cartas and urged him to go hear them. He did and now as they say the rest is history. Doc has formed a new group with Gil and Cartas called El Ritmo de la Vida and he plays with them almost every week at Bella Italia.

Doc may be 80 years old, but he still plays that horn like he was 40. Last night we heard an amazing evening of Jazz. I wish I could play a CD of the music for you but the best I can do is direct you to their contact in the USA and copy you on a some of their PR on Doc and the group.

Since moving to Mexico at the end of 2006, Doc has kept a busy performance schedule and made new discoveries in two very talent musicians from Mexico. Together with these gentlemen, Doc has crafted an innovative and exciting program. EL RITMO DE LA VIDA is, of course, ‘the rhythm of life', a very apt description of Gil Gutierrez and Pedro Cartas and their music. According to Doc, "I came to Mexico with retirement on my mind, but when I heard them play I knew that I would be playing with them for some time to come. Latino music, along with the blues, has always been among my favorites, and Gil and Pedro do it along with a European style that I love and so do our audiences."

Today, Doc has not lost his flair for outrageous fashions and witty banter. Yet, he is highly regarded as one of the most technically proficient trumpeters. Doc has the best stage presence of anyone out there. He can blow a horn like few others...he is a high note virtuoso, a genuinely funny man, and always a fashion fiend.

At any rate it was a wonderful evening with my Honey (AKA Ned) and Doc.


Todd said...

Wow, Doc Severinsen!

We love him.
Had no idea what an increadable talent he was till we saw him with the Vancouver symphony orchestra.

Absolutely blew us away.
Not only could he play pretty much everything on the stage, he was the consummate entertainer, telling stories in such a way as it seemed you were just sitting in your living room having a chat with him.

We will be hitting the road from Patzcauro in March to see if we can see him play!

Thanks for letting us know!!


Billie said...

Todd, Definitely try to hear the group while you are in SMA. The venue is intimate and the music is fabulous. But don't forget you will need reservations in order to save a table and sometimes they are booked several days in advance.

wayne said...

Is it just me, or could Honey aka Ned be Doc's brother? The resemblence is uncanny.

Billie said...

Wayne, I think it is those white mustaches that make them look brotherly.

Mark McLemore said...

I met Doc today in Montgomery, Alabama, of all places. He visited our school because he needed a place to practice between visits to his wife's art teacher's exhibit.

He told us this story, and gave us some super advice. It makes me wish I still played the trumpet--who knows? I might just pick it back up.