Sunday, October 9, 2011

'Whenever I See Your Smiling Face I Have To Smile Myself..'

Brian; Jordan, Djibouti, UAE, Bahrain

  A smile can do so much,

 It's the most human and universal reaction to joy the world over.

A simple smile can drastically change things.

Smiles reach accross the generations..

..they can bridge, cultures, customs and symbols.

 A smile has the power to melt away differences between people,

...they reveal the humanity we all share,

...they bring us closer together

More than anything we're trying to bring people music that makes them smile.

..and in turn hearing theirs make us smile.

I think a smile is the essence of peace.

Splish Spash

After our first workshop at the youth center in Bahrain, we played an event at the PA officer's residence for US embassy personnel, alum and invited guests. We set up inder a canopy by the pool and I thought how nice it would be to take a dip.'it was beautiful outside and the setting was perfect for an event. We played out set and near the end Johnny called one of our favorite songs, Ain't no Sunshine. To end the tune, he usually jumps in the air or off the stage and when he lands, we hit the final note. Well that night the song ended in a way that we never expected. he signaled the final chord which we held and while we were waiting for his ending cue, he ran across the stage area towards the pool and dove in. Of course when he hit the water, we hit the final note.
Needles to say, I think everyone was amazed and we definitely made a splash at the party;)

The pool and a still soaking wet JR after jumping in the pool.

The next day was a rest day for the band and I got a chance to do some swimming of my own at the hotel pool.

By the next day we were ready to get back to work and play at the first English language teachers conference in Bahrain. It was sponsored by the US Embassy and included professional educators from all over the the island. They loved singing along with us in language and afterwards, we signed CDs and took pictures with some new friends.

It seems that even English teachers have dreams of being rock stars;)

The director of the event presented us with a beautiful award.

Hopefully he won't take it away after checking my grammar in the blog;)

That evening we got all our gear packed up and left to play at the beautiful Bahrain fort museum on the gulf. When we got closer, the traffic got very heavy and all the roads were closed leading to that area of town. Janan, our wonderful local national embassy liaison, decided to make some calls and it was decided that the concert should be cancelled. We were happy to find out that it would be rescheduled for the next night and when we got there the next evening, the setting and the weather were beautiful.

The stage with the old fort in the distance

The Portuguese had built the fort around 300 years ago

Because the concert had been rescheduled, we didn't have enough tint to do a scheduled masterclass at a local music store. We were happy that the music students were able to come to the concert and afterwards we were able to talk and jam with them.

We really made some connections last night and during our other events. We have already been sharing some fun times on Facebook. I was really moved by the sincerity of everyone's comments on the Johnny Rodgers Band Facebook page and when we were reading some of them this morning, I felt sad to leave our new friends behind. It is these connections and new friendships that make it all worthwhile for me. We are so blessed to be able to travel the world and present our music to these beautiful people in these wonderful places. Thank you to Brad, Shana, Janan and our drivers from the US Embassy. Also thank you to the Bahrain ministry of culture and it's liaison, Mubarak for hosting our stay and allowing us to share our music.