It’s Wednesday night. I’m listening my friend Clay Leander’s Latin Jazz Mecca radio show on the Web. Clay just returned to his California home after a long visit to South Florida, and tonight’s show features music he collected during his trip. I can’t tear myself away from the computer, so I might as well take my first stab at this blog. My pal Maria de los Angeles says that maybe Twitter is my blog. But sometimes 140 characters no son suficiente.
It’s somehow fitting that I’m listening to Clay’s relaxed voice as I write this first entry. I only recently met Clay “in real life” but as we hung out it seemed like we’ve known each other for years. I guess we have; we’ve been socializing on the Internet since the mid 1990s, originally on a newsgroup (remember those?) called rec.music.afro-latin. We had some fun asynchronous discussions with other Latin music fans and musicians about Son, Salsa, la clave, and other topics. Even the legendary Willie Colón was on there sometimes! That’s when I first discovered some of the possibilities this kind of communication offers.
I don’t really have lofty expectations of this blog. I guess I’ll just write what’s on my mind. Listening to Clay play cuts from great bands like Suenalo!, Negroni’s Trio, Conjunto Progreso, and Walpataca (featuring Walfredo de los Reyes, Paquito Hechavarria, my dear friend Tany Gil and the late, great Cachao) I’m reminded of what an amazing music community we’re blessed with in South Florida. And as Clay spins a few PALO! songs, I feel honored to be part of Miami’s musical fabric.
And I’m honored you’re checking out the first installment of the chronicle of a guy who has an Afro-Cuban funk band called PALO! Who is Steve Roitstein? You probably already know I’m a musician, producer and songwriter. I also teach Music Business at Miami Dade College. I have a couple of crazy dogs. I love Cuban food, Cuban coffee and culture. I may share a thought or rant now and then. Maybe I’ll put up some stuff about PALO! – lyrics, bios, etc. If there’s anything you want to see here, let me know. Until next time, I’ll see you on Twitter and Facebook!