After meeting Monica on Friday night, I was really looking forward to meeting up with Theresa Figueroa Guerrero. We kept missing each other on various Tucson Jazz events, and when I saw she was going to attend the Jazz Benefit with Rick Braun and Euge Groove, I was elated. I had felt for Theresa, since she lost her wonderful husband Joe the day after Thanksgiving to a Heart Attack. She mourned openly on Facebook, and I just felt like giving her a Cyber-hug so many times. I shared with Theresa my lack of words when people go through loss such as hers, and she helped educate me on that matter. A lovely woman with a lovely soul. I told her “If someone strange tackles you, it will be me!”
I decided to forgo the pool for the salon and get a haircut. Joy joined me in the beautification process. After our Salon day, we jumped in the car and ran off to go to the Jewish Historical Museum in downtown Tucson, as Joy had an interest in it. The Museum that Joy works for currently has a Jewish History exhibit, and she thought it would be great to connect. After getting lost, and being totally frustrated with my phone GPS, I dropped Joy off to the museum, with only 20 minutes to spare until closing. As Joy was looking for an entrance she stopped in her tracks. The sign in the front of the Museum says “Closed for the month of July”! Aaaaarrrggghhh! We then find a bite to eat, after driving through University of Arizona’s hip part of town, and it’s time to rush back to the Resort!
Joy and I are high tailing it down the hallway to our rooms, and a woman comes right towards us, saying “Hey, I know you!” It’s Theresa!
I do hug her like a long-lost relative, and introduce her to Joy. I tell Theresa I will meet her in the bar for free Tequila shots before the doors open at 6:00 p.m. After getting ready, Joy agrees to forgo the shots and meet me at the venue, as it is a first come, first served type of seating for General Admission tickets. And I was NOT gonna let Joy be seated in the back, after the distance that she traveled!
I joined Theresa and her “Jazz Buddy” Debra in the bar. They are both so very cool! Theresa is a smart Aleck like me, so I knew we would get along well! We all talked about how excited we were to attend the Nick Colionne/Paul Taylor concert in August, and our experiences at past concerts. I was getting antsy, wanting to grab some seats at the concert, so I excused myself, and told them that I would hold seats for them. I hightailed it to what seemed to be a 3/4 mile walk to the Ballroom where the concert was being held. Joy came out with my ticket, and she and Monica were already seated! There was no space at our table, so I grabbed the table next to us, and held the front 2 seats for Debra and Theresa. When they arrived, I could see that WTH? look, but I told them that the consolation seats were just as good, we just couldn’t be together. Knowing how much I move around during concerts, as an afterthought, I’m sure that they were thrilled NOT to sit with me!
Euge opened up, and I’ll just show you my friends photos, instead of talking about how GREAT it was!
I had told Monica earlier that we were gonna count the number of times that Euge called out Joy’s name at this concert. Euge told that audience that the name of the song “Born to Groove” was Badonkadonk! The dance contest was on! Euge played my personal favorite, “Sneak a Peek”, so all was right in the world. After Euge left the stage, without mentioning Joy’s name, I was disappointed, but not defeated, as the night was young!
Rick Braun then took the stage….I told myself that I was going up to the dance floor when he played “Tijuana Dance”–but since it was his first song, I refrained. My finger conducting, however, was in full force!
Rick sang “My Funny Valentine”, MAN he has a nice voice! He got a standing ovation, and rightly so! Of course, he dedicated his chart-topper “Christiane” to his lovely wife, who was sitting at a table with the organizers and Bane Grove. And I told Monica to get ready ’cause I knew “Grazin’ in the Grass” was going to end the show. Euge came back up on stage and the whole band jammed! Monica, Joy and I were on the dance floor, then somehow, we were right in front of the stage dancing, along with Debra and Theresa! It was so much fun!! But why is it that I never think about the photo ops that follow?
We waited until the crowd dispersed, and noticed that there was no signing table, per se. Euge and Rick were just standing nearby and a mob of people surrounded them, taking photos and getting autographs. I advised that we get to the back of the lineup, so that we would have more time with them. We held back, then it was photo-op heaven!
But first, Euge tells Joy how he is disappointed that she did NOT come up during the “Badonkadonk” dance!! I look at Monica, and we laugh, knowing that’s as good as saying her name, he expected her to come up! We had to do a “New Facebook friends with Artists” photo, which I think came out fantastic!
We love the Artists!
I finally got to tell Rick face-to-face how much I loved “Tijuana Dance”, and how I also loved Herb Alpert, in which he replied “Me too!” I had Euge sign the “Sunday Morning” CD that I had just purchased, (I had previously purchased the mp3 of the collection the day it came out!) and asked him to put, “To Lory, my favorite fan who travels all over to see me in concert”, kidding. He started to write this, and says “That’s too much to put down!” At least he wrote the “To My Favorite Fan” part! We stop all of the photos, and Euge asks Joy if she will be going up to the lounge. I think after that question, her jet lag went away, and she said yes, she would be there!
A few moments later. we were all down in the lounge area nearest the restaurant, and we noticed Euge and Bane going outside on the patio. Knowing how Joy (and us!) wanted to speak with him, Monica went outside and asked them in to join us! What a treat that was. And Euge took the chair next to me. Yes, it was surreal and I was in the furthest spot in this large chair, probably in fear of saying something crazy! See, my foot is at the stem of the Champagne flute!
I insisted on paying for the Grove’s beverages, (after Euge’s refusal)–after all, what’s a couple of drinks after so much joy his music has brought me? It was the least I could do! Joy discussed her work with Smooth Jazz Conversations, and we discussed how much he missed home while he was away with Tina Turner’s tour. I scolded him for leaving us fans, too, during that time.
It was a pleasant ending to a great concert, evening and great new friends. We hugged everyone goodbye, and went our separate ways, knowing it would not be the last time all of our paths would meet.