|The heavy curtain which faces us is slowly raised. Chucho all in white sits at the piano. A spotlight flashes in the brass of the horn section. Swathed in swirling smoke the rhythm section is poised for action. A sign from Chucho and the music starts.
We are to witness a masterfully orchestrated spectacle from the quiet a cappella singing of Sexto Sentido to the raging fire of Mayra Caridad's voice. The energy will ebb and flow as various guests come and go.
The young powerhouse vibraphonist Tamara Castañeda will delight us. Four Cuban flute virtuosos will share the stage. A trumpet duel will be won by Basilio Márquez with his circular breath. Mayra Caridad Valdés will sing and put us under her spell. Pushed into the spotlight, Nick "Brownman" Ali will put horn to mouth and blare his soul. A primal and unrelenting rhythm will drive Chucho to join in dance.
We are up, out of our seats smiling and dancing. Mayra Caridad is presented with a bouquet of roses. Then the curtain is lowered. And it's over.
I will never forget that night.