I was in Europe tonight in Buffalo, NY. I was in a room at the back of a busy bar that opened up to a warm, cozy and intimate gathering of clandestine folk listening and warming to gypsy style music: singing, dancing, accordion, drum, guitar. It was a gypsy jam.
Soon to follow, La Gata, a woman in her 80’s who sings lamenting Tango songs with one, performed a dramatic show with one sole accordion player. It was so magical. There I was, in Buffalo, NY, and I felt like I could have been ANYWHERE in Europe, most especially Italy someplace, like that little wine bar in Firenze that we went to with the folks from the hostel, getting buzzed on $3 bottles of Italian wine with no labels.
It felt like that.
Intimate, warm, other worldly.
And did La Gata put on a show. She put on a show alright equipped with a translator (she did not speak much English, or at least didn’t let that show during the concert). She wore a black top with silver sequins sparkling all over the place and a thin black sequined scarf around her neck. Her hair was golden, the color of straw. Her tanned skin was beautified by old age and her hands were shapely with strong, fake, clear nails with a French manicure. In the beginning of the show, she walked through the crowd greeting people, checking us out. She approached a young woman with a tan colored fidora and took it right off her head, wearing it for half the night. She asked for a cigarette to smoke during one act and ended the night, finalmente, with a dramatic vibrato, dropping her metal goblet on the floor with a smash, hands open, bent backwards eyes looking towards the sky.
Beautiful. Powerful. Fun.
I left feeling touched by something.
Two messages came through tonight: Patience, was what was the Godfather said and La Gata talked about “learn to live your life. Don’t wait. Live it now.”
I met my brother and a friend at BIstro Europa for a night cap and headed home.
Europe? Is there a theme here?