Thursday, August 30, 2012

Learning From a Bad Experience...

The bad experience that I am about to share with you happened to me last Saturday. I was at the Sheraton Hotel getting ready to perform with my salsa band, when I had a strange feeling. I knew that after getting dressed and having my makeup ready, I had to grab my purse and get on the stage, but I didn’t. Instead, I looked at it and thought: “No, come on, we are at the Sheraton! Besides, where can I put it? It will look awful on the stage”.

Sadly, I decided to ignore that feeling, I went on stage and enjoyed our performance. At the end of the show, I went back to the “green room” (that’s what a room backstage for performers is called) to grab my purse, but it was not there. I looked everywhere before I could think that someone had taken it. I checked the green room, the stage, behind the stage, the bag of cables, and nothing. I knew deep inside that my purse was gone, and it was probably better for me to start thinking about having to make those annoying phone calls to cancel my bank cards and get a new driver’s license.

Purses are something I have always had an issue with. I tend to forget to switch things from one purse to the other, or there are times when it's difficult, for a female musician like me, to find the right place to leave it while performing, and this can be a nightmare. I have no idea how many colleagues out there have similar issues to mine, but I would like to share my experience with you and say, DO NOT leave your purses out of sight, always bring them to the stage with you. This is the lesson I learned the hard way this past weekend. If you have any other tips on how to avoid this from happening to us women, please feel free to share it here!

My view from the stage that night.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Patty's Utopia Is Among the 2012 HispanoBloggers Awards Nominees!

This post is to share my excitement after learning that Patty’s Utopia is on the list of the 2012 HispanoBloggers Awards Nominees

Thank you everyone for your nominations and for taking the time to read my posts! 

To learn more about Hispano Bloggers click here.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Have You Heard The Phrase: Do Good While Having Fun?

If you have heard it, then you already know what I’m talking about but if you haven’t, allow me to give you a quick example. For several years, our beloved Mariners have had an especial night called: "Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night", where a part of the proceeds go to a nonprofit Latino organization. Thus the title of this post: we are doing something good by supporting a nonprofit organization, while having fun at one of our favorite sports: Beisbol!  

This year, the Latino Community Fund of Washington State is the lucky nonprofit receiving the support from these proceeds. Probably many of you already know how much I adore this organization for all the support it gives to the Latino Community, so here goes my plea to you. On September 8, 2012 at 6:00 PM, I would love to see many of you, my friends, at Safeco Field in Seattle to help me support this organization!

For more information or to buy tickets go to: "Salute to Latin American Beisbol Night." 

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Can My Business Help My Community? You Bet!

One of the things I am very passionate about, besides music, is getting involved in my community especially when it comes to the subject of education. When the company was founded, I did it with the dream of working on projects that could support my community.  After a lot of work and persistence, we have been able to do it, although it hasn’t been easy.

Because I am a business owner, there are moments when I panic, specially when not many projects come our way, but before taking any job just for the financial remuneration, I would rather starve… well maybe not starve literally, but you get the idea of how important it is for me to stay true to my values.

One of the current projects I’m very happy about is being part of video production team for an elementary school. The principal of this school noticed that every time they sent the school's policies and rules to the students’ homes, most parents would not read them, and those papers would end up most likely in the trash can. One day during a parents' meeting a video was played and the principal noticed that everyone was paid close attention to it. That’s when the idea of having a professional video narrating a day at his elementary school, came to this principal's mind.

When I was told about this idea I got very excited but then I was also asked to produce the video and the excitement became an incredible joy! I couldn’t contain my emotion. I almost immediately said: "YES!” 

Right away I started thinking about the benefits the Latino parents would also have from this idea. There are many Latino parents who are learning the English language, but the school terminology can be difficult to understand if you are not familiar with it. This video would give these parents a visual idea of how their children’s school works. They will learn from where to drop off/pick up their kids, to the explanation of rules/guidelines during recess

I am very excited and I can hardly wait to see the final results. In the mean time, I’d like to share with you a little preview of this fun, and rewarding project.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Latin Nightlife Keeps Growing And With It, The Number of Latin Bands!

I always try to support my fellow artists in Seattle as much as possible, especially when they are musicians and even more when is Latin music.

I recently was invited to the presentation of a new Latin band in the Seattle area named “Buena Vibra” (Good Vibe). The band leader, Steve Guasch, is a well known musician in the Latin music scenario and the owner of the first Latin record label in the Pacific northwest called "Salsaneo Records."

Their sound is fresh due to the use of a vibraphone instead of the typical brasses. I had played with the pianist and bass player before so I knew how they sound, but I still needed to hear the rest of the musicians and that made me pay extra attention.

 The singer/conga player sang original pregones (verses), which is to me a must when singing salsa music, since that's pretty much what makes a good sonero (improviser), apart from singing in tune of course. The timbal player kept the beat and the percussion section well together, very important when playing Latin music. The vibraphone player had a nice sound and his improvisations were filled with nice melodies.

My big surprise was when Steve Guasch dedicated one of my favorite salsa songs of all times to me, "Todos Vuelven" (Everybody Comes Back), lyrics by Cesar Miró and music arrangement by Rubén Blades. It’s important to mention that Rubén’s arrangements are known for their complexity. At the end, I was very pleased to hear how well they performed it and to feel the good vibe that their name proclaims.

As a musician, all I have left to say is, “Buena Vibra” is a Latin band that I encourage you to support!

From left to right: Fred Hoadley (pianist), Joe de Jesus (singer/congas), Steve Guasch (bongos/campana), Scott Ketron (vibraphone). On the back: Jeff Norwood (bass), Samuel Alamillo (Timbal).  

Scott Ketron improvising. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

"Connecting With Your Fans" a Network Event for Artists

As a company, we have partnered with numerous companies for several projects, one that we have been partners with for some time now is My Seattle Night Out/Seattle Wave Radio. 

Seattle Wave Radio is an online radio with a great variety of music channels. These channels go from Hip-Hop to Latin music. That’s where we come in. We are in charge of the Latino channel and our job is to find the Latin bands in the Seattle area who want to promote their music on the online radio.

One of the reasons that made us jump in this partnership was the idea of helping the local music industry. Seattle Wave Radio has been doing an amazing job at that by offering network events for musicians, where a panel of professionals in the industry share their experiences and knowledge with artists who are either starting or want to have more information on how to use all the tools out there and become successful.

The event this past Monday was named “Connecting With Your Fans," where the panelists talked about better ways to use Google+ pages, and how to take advantage of the “hangouts," a feature that allows the artists to live stream their concerts, or events. On the panel, sharing their expertise were: Adam Wozney (Google Field Marketing Representative), Tess Milligan (Seattle Field Marketing Lead), and Thomas Starks (Musician/composer).

Stay tuned for the next networking event! 

From left to right: Tess Milligan, Adam Wozney, and Thomas Starks.

The man behind the "Hangouts," Nicholas Beach. 
The Hangouts were displayed on all the screens! 

Answering the crowd's questions.

Thomas Starks 

Tweeting away!