Memories of San Miguel de Allende and Media Luna
Memories of San Miguel de Allende and Media Luna (Published in PV Mirror 4/1/21)
By Christie Seeley
While shooting music videos at Cuates y Cuetes in Puerto Vallarta one night, I heard someone say, "that's how she makes her living," obviously referring to me. Well, I am not paid cash for my activities, but there are perks. Besides having an excuse to follow my favorite musicians and learn more about their musical trajectory, I sometimes can enjoy exceptional experiences. For example, the outstanding Latin Fusion band Media Luna invited me to introduce them at their Full Moon Concert at Bella's Artes in San Miguel de Allende one weekend in 2019. Not only was this a fantastic opportunity to be backstage with these talented musicians I so admire and feel part of the great production, but I was also able to spend time enjoying the beautiful city and its friendly inhabitants.
Hundreds of those people were filling the auditorium on Friday night, March 15 of 2019. Media Luna invited some marvelous guests, including local professional trumpeter Andrew Peruzzini. Joining Caleb's lovely solo introduction to Joaquin Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez, he thrilled us with his trumpet playing as he descended the auditorium's aisle to the stage walking by an astonished audience. Peruzzini studied under the famous trumpeter and composer, Chuck Mangione who did a fine job. His performance was impressive. He joined the band on the stage as the group segued into the lively Caminos del Pan Bendito. He then contributed to several other pieces. The very talented Charly Peña of Guadalajara joined on the flute, soprano sax and gena (an indigenous wood instrument) and charming Guilio Urango from Colombia provided accordion and voice. The other talented members of the whole band of Media Luna for the season, Julio Rentería on bass and voice, his brother Armando on percussion, both from Queretaro, completed the group. Of course, the brothers Caleb and Jaír Cabrera's outstanding guitars and their cousin Gibran Monzalvo Cabrera were ever-present.
The band played a second sold-out show on Sunday in the beautiful patio of Paprika Restaurant. After graduating from street corners and smaller gigs, they played their first actual show years ago at this venue when starting in San Miguel. The owners of this lovely establishment, Jennifer and Eduardo, have been enthusiastic supporters of the group.
Jair introduced the crowd to their new music, telling the audience of their evolution from pure gypsy rumba to the exciting new music they are producing today. Showcasing their versatility and love for their Latín American culture, they added elements to the band that allowed them to create a Latín Fusion music exciting and rich. Pieces like the enchanting waltz from Oaxaca by Gerfardi Tamez Tierra Mestiza and the beautiful Colombian classic Fruta Fresca soared. Added to that was a remarkable departure into the jazz number written by American jazz icon Lee Ritenour, Bahia Funk, showing us no boundaries to what this band can do.
I look forward to the near future when we can again experience these spectacular shows that Media Luna knows how to present. The savvy people of San Miguel and Puerto Vallarta both recognize the tremendous talent of these young men. They will continue to spirit them along in their pursuit of spreading the joy of their creative and ever-evolving music as we move to a more open and encouraging post-pandemic world.