Monday, February 20, 2012

The Pitter-Patter of Bump 'N' Grind :
Bongo Fury Returns To Harvelle's (Long Beach)

Dateline : February 17 2012. Long Beach, CA

The return of Bongo Fury - Walter Davis' afro-cuban-latin-jazz-burlesque night  - a huge draw in Santa Monica a couple of years ago now back into production at the Harvelle's in Long Beach. It's been well documented in this blog that BF is responsible for the very inception of my relationship with Harvelle's, Walter and Carolina; the reason I perform poetry is due in part to the encouragement of Walter.

Carolina Cerisola (right->) has inspired many photos, a poem or two, and her spirit and life outlook have kept me lifted. She is very wise, a true internationalist and someone whose moves I follow (figuratively and literally). With her business partner Sascha Escandon, they have created The Floor, and this Friday (Feb 24) they kick-off Friday Kind Of Love - at Harvelle's Long Beach; an exciting new night where the groove is set to sweet sweet soul.

Although her heart and home is Buenos Aires, Argentina, Carolina is a fixture in Hollywood, she's a heroine to some and inspires others she doesn't even know. When people speak of her without her present it is always with reverie and joy. I see the look on people's faces when she dances; they smile. They forget everything else. They're mesmerized and elated by her every movement. She makes people happy by dancing.

It was great to see Bongo Fury again. Walter's group - which reunites drummer Asa and percussionist Timbali also features Shadarius Shields on bass - laid down the tribal wickedness, and brought out the afro/latin/cuban vibe without kitsch. Dancer Zepha (<-left) took to the new room like a fish to water - if a fish had hips - and worked the room like she'd been there a million times before. This simple combo of cool jazzy live music with ridiculously talented dancers is a winner every time! (The show also features DJ Paper spinning club hits, hip-hop, oldies, soul and eclectica.)

There are lots of burlesque shows in town. 
There are a couple of great ones - shows I try to never miss, but Bongo Fury has a special place in my heart and no matter where or when it happens, I'm there!

Thanks -  the BF crew (Walter, Asa, Tim, Shadarius, Carolina & Zepha), DJ Paper, Ryan, Doug, Dana and David. Happy Birthday Cevin!!

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