Our M-F concerts here are being programmed by the Instituto Estatal de Cultura y las Artes and we have a driver who will be with us all week , transporting us and helping with concert setup, etc. Monday morning we met our driver, Luis Alberto, and picked up the weighted keyboard from Maureen's friend, which we needed because at least one or two of the concerts we are slated to give are in towns without a piano. Once we were all loaded up we headed out from San Miguel de Allende towards Atarjea, the most rural of our destinations up in the Sierra Madre.
The evening concert was to be in La Tapona, a smaller pueblo that was actually along the road to Atarjea. We drove all the way to Atarjea first, about an hour past La Tapona on an extremely bumpy and windy gravel road (free massage, anyone?). After we checked in there, secured our accommodations for the night and had lunch, we returned to La Tapona for the concert.
Since it is a small pueblo there is no piano so we set up (using the keyboard) in a covered public space that also doubles as a basketball court. The backdrop for our improvised stage was a spectacular view of the mountains.
The townspeople flocked out en masse--it very well may have been the whole entire town. Certainly over 100 people. And although the setting was such that people could have come and gone without much notice, everyone really stayed and listened to the whole concert and seemed to enjoy it very much!
Our presenters try to include at least one or two community engagement concerts such as this for each tour they set up, so that rural communities have a chance to experience cultural events often only available in bigger cities. All three of us really enjoy sharing music in this way as well.
After the concert we had a bite to eat and then drove back along our favorite stretch of road to Atarjea for the night.
The pueblo of Atarjea sits in a tight valley, such that when we stepped out the door of our hotel, the mountains jutted up steeply on both sides. Really picturesque and wonderful!