Tito Puente Jr
I had the pleasure of playing with Tito Puente Jr at the Atlanta Jazz Festival last night. Leading up to the gig, I was really excited, then not excited at all, and then we got on stage and it was exciting again.
Very cool…just the sound of two trumpets (Karl Liberatore and Paul Garrett), trombone (Eric Alexander), tenor sax (Will Scruggs), and me playing full blast mambos for an hour and a half was incredible. Tito brought his rhythm section guys, and they were naturally awesome (and the keyboardist had a piano AND a suitcase rhodes…nice!).
At one point, we stopped so they could introduce the band, and the music director handed ME the microphone to introduce the horn section. I HATE TALKING ON THE MIC!!!!! I was so petrified that I have no recollection of what I said. It was horrifying, and it took me almost two songs to recover from the adrenaline. I was informed by my son this morning that I was on the video screen while I was speaking, which makes it doubly embarrassing.
Karl and Eric took a few rippin' solos, and we all got to come up front and take a solo. I also got to take a flute solo on Oye Como Va, which was pretty neat.
We had a blast! It was great playing with old and new friends.