Sunday, August 09, 2015

Back in the Day

I live a rather quixotic existence.  A little more different than most.

Tonight was one of my more quixotic nights.  It all started when I recruited Ahmad for American Music Abroad.  I listened to Ahmad back in the day, to make a bad pun.

When I was in grad school, I remember being at my cousins' place in Hermosa Beach, and opening the LA Times to a story about Ahmad going to Stanford to focus on social activism.

Years later, as I was recruiting for AMA, I found him online and I sent him a tweet.  We connected, but he didn't end up applying because it was late in the app season.  When I moved over to Next Level, I sent him an invite anew.

So Ahmad is here in Tanzania because I remembered him, and wanted to work with him.  And there are some funny and strange stories for the rest of the group, and why they are here as well, but I won't digress in this instance.

The short of it is that I have some crazy, wonderfully-talented multi-instrumentalists with Teao of Audiopharmacy and Yako440 of SoulInscribed, both of AMA past and future.

And on my pre-tour, I found out that a sibling cultural diplomacy program, called Center Stage had chosen an artist from Tanzania--to have them do the converse of what I do: send a Tanzanian back to Middle America.  Tanganyika, meet Nebraska.

So before they got sent off, I connected my artists with Musafiri Zawose and his group.

And they jammed.

Tanzanian go-go (not the same as DC) mixed with hip hop.

These musical talents jammed like no other--it was one of the best collab sessions I have seen and heard on the NL program, and I had a personal concert.

Sitting in the lone chair in the middle of the stage, sipping a cold Safari and smiling at my handiwork connecting. It was a Happy Paul.  My own quixotic concert in an art space with a giant white elephant, and a hyena and vulture picking over the carcass of a dead buffalo.

And the night ended with Ahmad performing Back in the Day.

Back in the day

when I was young
I'm not a kid anymore
But some days
I sit and wish I was
a kid again

And Paul says:
I remember way back when. 
Back in the Day 
Back in the Day.

 Yes, I had my own personal chorus and I was beaming from ear-to-ear as I sang the chorus I knew from 2 decades prior.

But the epilogue is that I knew Ahmad even before that.  From You Gotta Be.  And I remembered it better than he did.

Cause you gotta be.

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