Friday, December 07, 2012

The Denver of Central Asia

Following the post-concert sh-tshow, the next morning was rough.  At breakfast, everyone looked a lil green.  But the show must go on, so we piled into the van and drove through Almaty.  The majestic mountains in the distance made the city look like Denver, and the glass skyline reflected the mountains.  With the Tien Shan Mountain range to our east, we drove on to the Almaty Jazz School just out of town. 

At the Almaty Jazz School, we regained our strength over some coffee and tea and we were treated to a lovely jazz performance with from the only Jazz school in Central Asia.  The school was a stirring reminder of how Jazz won the Cold War.  The kids played a slew of Jazz numbers, then the Dellas gave a masterclass on bluegrass.  The music students loved the show.  During the Q&A, an adorable little blond boy of about 7 years or so told them how beautiful they were.  I told him he could be my assistant and role with the band.  He declined.  Afterwards, the Dellas split off and gave mini-masterclasses on their respective instruments.

After lunch, we had a session at the American Corner Almaty, which was in a nice library.  I decided to nap in the van.  I missed perhaps our most favorite character on the road.  There was an old Russian gentleman clad in a plaid shirt with jeans who liked to make his opinion known. 

“I have intense desire …

After the show, we headed on to the airport and on to Astana, Kazakhstan’s frozen capital.  Astana is among the coldest capitals in the world.  It usually ranks around the number two coldest capital in the world, after Mongolia’s Ulan Batar.  Last year, it was coldest. 

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