Chico Mundo

by elizabeth | February 25th, 2010

Elizabeth and Jonathan Feb 2010

In the states, we say it’s a small world. In Quito, it’s a chico mundo.

And indeed it is! It seems that everyone here knows everyone, at the very least. And most of the time they are also cousins.

Tuesday night, Jesse and I went to La Liebre, which is a former video store turned cafe where there is a jazz jam session. The players were great – Carlos (drums), Cayo (bass), and Ramiro (guitar) were generous and invited us up to join them for several songs. There were also great musicians of all ages – from high school to college music professors!

The shock for me was finding an old friend from New York – singer Cathy Elliott – in the bar! Apparently, she came to Quito to teach a few years ago and stayed! It was a chico mundo moment to see her so far from Queens College!

Jam session at La Liebre

Wednesday night, we joined Cesar, Cristhian, and Stef to play as a brass quintet for an art exhibition in a fancy hotel in the historic district. We piled into a pickup truck with seven people and many instruments, and headed down there, driven by a dapper man with salt and pepper hair and glasses (see below). Later we found out that the woman who listened so attentively to our music was his wife, and a painter herself. And of course HER mother was the MC of the event, an incredibly warm and gracious petite woman with enormous sunglasses, speaking many languages and generally being glamorous. And that woman knows the director of the dance program Jesse’s girlfriend is interested in checking out when she arrives here… OF COURSE! Chico mundo.

Brass Quintet Practicing

At The Art Exhibition

Classes at “El Brass” are going well. Wednesday we had more private lessons with middle-school-aged young folks, and then groups of small children just learning music. They are so cute! One girl, Patricia, who is about 5 years old, could not stop giggling when we played a “musical chairs” type game. She loves music and being with other kids here. Many of these children, including her, are very very poor. It is a fantastic thing that they can come to the Fundacion to learn about music, and more importantly to gain confidence in themselves.

Between Classes at El Brass

Lining Up the Little Ones

Elizabeth with little kids in Quito

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elizabeth! is a vocalist, trombonist, and songwriter working in NYC and Los Angeles. Originally from Vermont, she studied neuroscience at Harvard before moving to NYC to play, tour, and record with jazz musicians, indie rockers, pop stars and more. Her new album of original jazzy pop tunes was just released on Canopy Jazz!

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