Sunday, November 1, 2009

Halloween Eve at the Coffee Bar

Halloween Eve was a Friday, so that means that we spent it at the coffee bar. It was a really great night. They held a costume party, but the only people that dressed up were my mother and her friend Tommy.
So they won the prize, which was a free cruise to the Bahamas! However they don't think that they can go, so my friend and I might get to go instead!

However the employees did dress up. There were the owners, Nita and Dan:

The barmaid:

And the guys that help out:

First up from the performers (at least "first" after I arrived) was a regular (the guy on the right, but I don't know his name) and a young kid that I'd never seen before. The kid was a pretty good player, and doubly-cute and shy-- which is a bonus!

A little while later, we were treated to a performance by a newcomer, Aiyb Dieng.
Well at least he's a newcomer to the coffee bar! He's been in the music industry for quite awhile!

Aiyb was born and raised in Senegal, West Africa. He's lived in my area for about 11 years (I found out from him that he lives nearby me), and before that he spent 10 years in France, where he learned to speak French better than his native language. He's worked with the likes of Bob Marley, Mick Jagger, Herbie Hancock and Yoko Ono, but seems to have worked the most with Bill Laswell.

Aiyb is quite talented with the congos, but he plays many things. He started out his performance with what looked kind of like a giant tambourine and some tubing. Somehow he played this tubing like a flute. It was really beautiful.

Then he followed up with an interesting instrument that looked like a bow with a wire string. I don't know what it was, but it made for an interesting performance.

Then he finished up with his specialty, which is the congos.

This quick clip is the ending of his performance, where he speaks in his native language.

He was really impressive. Later on my mother spoke with him, and came back to tell me that he was going to come over to speak with me. He did come over and introduce himself, and was very nice and polite. He told me he'd worked with Bob Marley in the last city he did before he died, and that he'd worked with Herbie Hancock. I told him of my friend from Ghana and asked where that was in relation to Senegal. "That's my neighbor!" he exclaimed. I later learned that he'd been wanting to meet me, since he'd seen me at the coffee bar weeks before. Well smother me in gravy and call me mashed potatoes! Of course, once I got home I had to Google him and see what I could turn up. Imagine my surprise to find him on Wikipedia and videos on YouTube! Aiyb said that he spends most of the year traveling around the world playing music. I can see that he was serious! There are videos of him playing all over the world!

This is Aiyb and others performing in Frankfurt in 2002.

Here's him in Tokyo.

Frankfurt 2000.

Warsaw 1998.

Paris 2004

We really hope that Aiyb comes to the coffee bar again this Friday, and that he may perform again. We really enjoyed meeting him. There is something about him that really stirs your soul-- or at least it stirred mine.

Then we got to listen to Keith, who is an absolutely amazing guitarist. He does percussion on the guitar while he plays, and creates some really unique sounds. When he plays, the place usually goes silent, and every guitarist in the bar will be fixated on him. He just blows their minds!

Later in the evening we had another regular performer, but I forget his name.

After the coffee bar, a friend and I went for pie and coffee, and we wound up talking until 5:30 AM. It was a really great night!


Kathy said...

What an interesting post. How wonderful it is to have the opportunity to meet someone like Aiyb. An encounter like that has the effect of making one keenly aware that there are many people amongst us that have somehow managed to lead almost mystical lives without letting otherwise mundane settings limit them. I love how you are constantly recognizing these special people... it's no wonder that by result, you are extremely gifted at making connections and friends accordingly.