Friday, February 11, 2011

Una Noche de Paris y la proxima a Arabia


El Sabor Latino (I couldn't get the four players behind the front seven)

Poster advertising The grand tropical festival of love for the first time in Xela, I bet it was a ball.

Xela is a hopping town, the second largest city in Guatemala, it's full of young guatemaltecos and foreign students from Europe and North America. There are dozens of bars, nightclubs, and restaurants competing for your quetzales.

Wednesday night we went to The Royal Paris (say pah-reees) where we had a delicious dinner followed by the beautiful trova stylings of Fernando Juarez. Senor Juarez has a rich romantic voice and equally impressive spanish guitar technique. Accompanied by a bongo player and a percussionist he had us hooked after the first note or two.

Thursday we wandered around el centro after dinner looking for a dance club that the kids had taken me to on my last visit. We were unsuccessful but gave in to one of the ever present touts who encourage you to choose their venue with pleas of "pase adelante". El Arabe is 1/2 a block off the square and has an interior decorated with minarets and middle eastern wall hangings. Music "InVivo" was provided by a hot eleven piece outfit called "El Sabor Latino".
Two horns, keyboards, three percussionists, bass guitar, and five singers-dancers-mc's out front.
High energy does not to begin to describe it.  The crowd were salsaing their fanny's off and we had front row seats to take it all in for the price of a few brewskis. We arrived a few minutes before the band started and were approached by two Gallo Girls
to take a chance at picking a key and opening a prize box onstage. My first try was a bust, but as we happened to be drinking the proper brand they discretely told me "try this key, senor" and SURPRISE, it worked! Lots of laughs and a new Gallo T-shirt to add to Pam's wardrobe.

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