[Dixielandjazz] The Red Sea Jazz Festival-2007

Bob Romans cellblk7 at comcast.net
Wed Sep 27 22:12:42 PDT 2006

Hi Listmates...
My .02 worth, a month after the fact!
The trip to play at the Red Sea Jazz Festival with Tom Wiggins band was a real eye opener! If our acceptance in Israel is any indication of the rest of the countries in that part of the world, then it's obvious they are hungry for a type of music that is fun, happy, exciting, and danceable, and not just cerebral...these kids in Israel let us know after evey performance that they longed for more music like we gave them...I've never seen such joy in the faces of fans, letting us know they wanted more...all we could do was tell them to get on the Internet and search for early, hot, New Orleans Jazz!  After our performances, sometimes they were 3 or 4 deep wanting to talk to us, shake our hands, get autographs, and say thank you! They always asked us where they could hear more jazz like this! They, my friends are STARVING for OKOM! 
After our sets were over, on our walk to our bus, we would look into the other venues and the sound was nothing like the rip-roaring sound we put out! There was no fire and passion! I looked in and saw people sitting in their plastic chairs like zombies! I swear they were pretending to enjoy the music because it was a happening! It was the place to be!  No tapping toes! Remember the story of the Emperor's Clothes? At those venues it seemed like they were pretending to know and understand the music because it was a happening!  When we played, everyone in the whole place had their hands in the air screaming! 

Paul Grant, the lead trumpet player was great! He had just finished playing in a musical-- "A Tribute To Louis Armstrong", in Philadelphia, where he played Satchmo's most famous solos off stage  while the main actor mimed his playing in front of the audience...an eight week run, somedays playing a matinee plus an evening performance! 

Buddy Apfel, on tuba, was on fire! John Wilder on piano was tearing up the keys, and the two drummers, our fearless leader Tom Wiggins and James Levi, the regular drummer in Tom's St. Gabriel's Celestial Brass Band, were hot! The crowd went NUTZ!! There were security people there keeping the fans off the stage, (darn it! :~) Got to hand it to Steve Barbone, who did excellent work on clarinet and the mike, plus vocals!

The Ambassadors of New Orleans Jazz were on Israeli TV for three days! Walking through the terminal at Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv on the way home, we had people come up to tell us that they had seen us on TV!! WOW! What an ego trip that was! Now I'm back to reality in Lodi...
It was fun and a memorable experiance working with those fantastic musicians in "The Ambassadores Of New Orleans Jazz"  which is what we were called there!
BTW! The RED SEA isn't red...it's turquoise...
Wiggins really put his money where his mouth is!!!
Warmest regards,
Bob Romans,
1617 Lakeshore Drive,
Lodi, Calif., 95242
PH 209-747-1148

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