A Eulogy, Forgiveness and Congas

Poncho Sanchez-A Living Legend

By M. Reyna
Published on LatinoLA: January 15, 2007

A Eulogy,  Forgiveness and Congas

Just got back from a trip to Arizona, where for the first time I was asked to deliver a Eulogy for a special woman - My Sister Lupe - who passed away during the holidays.

That same week the man that raped and abused me at the age of fourteen asked me to forgive him, after all these years. I had already forgiven him but to hear those words brought complete closure. And it must have felt good to forgive himself.

The following week I went to Do??a Tomasita's 90th Birthday party. I got to see some of my childhood friends and neighbors whom I have not seen in years..all grown up...my how people change. Do??a Tomasita looked so happy with all her children, grandchildren, great grand children. Family and friends all came to honor and wish her a Happy birthday!

A lot happened these past few weeks. Its going to take me a while to process all of this.

This past week I was so sick I couldn't even talk..I spent four days in bed.

On Thursday I received a call from a promoter I met at the WAR concert. He said "Hola, Maria how would you like to display some of your Arte this Friday at a Poncho Sanchez Concert" I could barely talk. My car is in the shop..that's a real short notice.

I replied "Let me call you back." How am I going to do this...A show is just what I need to get out of this sad place.

I count my lucky stars everyday...One of my little Angels came through!

Really what would I do without my three Angelito's.

My Mija drove from San Pedro to Naranjaville picked my two boys, me and the paintings up...took me to my destination and watched the kids for me...then picked me up at 2:00 a.m. I know I did something right when I look at my daughter.

I got to the RHYTHM Lounge in the heart of Downtown Long Beach...met the owners..set up the show.

It was interesting to see the inner workings of a club how they prepare for a Show.

The Musicians start to show up..warm up..sound check..lights. The staff: Owners, security, the bartenders and waitresses. The Art on the walls.

The people start lining up outside...its exciting.

Wow, Poncho's band, then Poncho Sanchez shows up. The man walked right in front of me and I didn't even know it was him. He looked really good.

The Band starts to play..Poncho gets on stage..the crowd goes crazy.

This was a standing room only concert and now I know why. The man is a Living Legend...A Grammy Award Winner...He works those hands on the Congas like nobody can.

People were dancing in the aisles, in front of the stage...in the line to the bathroom.

It's impossible not to feel the rhythm...the beat..the music. Its like being in a trance...I got to take photographs of the whole event.

What an amazing evening...with a Music Legend.

Poncho Sanchez is the youngest of eleven children. Born in Texas into a large Mexican -American Family. Poncho taught himself to play the guitar, flute, drums, and timbales. El Congero and vocalist played with local bands, in 1975 he joined Cal Tjader's band until Tjader's death in 1982. From there Poncho Sanchez formed his own band and has been recoding for Concord Picante.

In 1999 Poncho Sanchez received a Grammy Award! and is one of the most influential Latin Jazz bands in the World.

Poncho Sanchez next show will be Feb 1, 2007 - The Hop Reunion Party- 5201 Clark Ave. Lakewood Ca. 90712

Club info: 562 630-2229 VIP info: 310 460-8168

Don't miss this one! I just might go see him again.

Happy New Year, Everyone!

Nine original paintings from the "I Have Died Many Times" exhibit will be on display at the RHYTHM Lounge in Downtown Long Beach. Jan 12 through Jan 27, 2007, 245 Pine Avenue. Long Beach, CA 90802. Phone: 562 435-4288 (second floor next to AMC Theater)

About M. Reyna:
M. Reyna: Varied Artist-Painter, Photographer, Poet, Storyteller.

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