Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

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Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:22 pm

I hope to have some photos of my gig this week with Carlos Santana/Michael Shrieve(original drummer) and his band Spellbinder...Paoli Mejias and I are holding down the rhythm section and today is our first rehearsal with Michael in preparation for this weeks gig with Carlos....I had first got a quick 'audition' in Germany in 1971 for the Santana band, to replace Chepito if he didnt show for the gig as it was reported he was sick and nobody knew where he was...so I introduced myself to John Villanueva(stage manager) at that time and told him who i was and why i was there..I was also hanging out with the band in Green room with Coke Escovedo, Michael, Carabello. and Dave Brown...after the band was set up i was called out to the stage where Carlos and Carabello checked out my playing on congas and Carlos said to me 'if Chepito doesn't show, 'your on!....well as fate would have it just as the band was going to take the stage as I waited in the wings, ..Chepito showed up walked unto the stage and I was left in the wings for the whole concert with John....well here I am at the age of 64 and I got a chance this time to really play along side Carlos Santana....keep dreaming guys, they can come true!....
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby RitmoBoricua » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:35 pm

Fantastic JC. I bet you are going to have lots of fun with Santana,
best of luck to you.
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:23 pm

Rehearsal went great yesterday with Michael Shrieves band Spellbinder as Paoli and me switched up between timbales and congas for this once in a lifetime gig with Carlos Santana...we have another full rehearsal with "The Man" on Wednesday...the gig is a $10,ooo dollar a plate fundraiser with the wealthiest of people here in Seattle, which one of them is Paul Allen(whose house we are rehearsing in this Wednesday)...Pics to come... :D
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby bongosnotbombs » Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:12 pm

Way to go Johnny. I've actually played with Chepito a couple of time at the rumbas and at one of his birthday parties awhile back.
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby ABAKUA » Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:30 am

Congratulations JC! I knew it would only be a matter of time before you and Paoli started mixing it up seeing as he is now based in Seattle.
Great work landing that gig! Very happy for you hermano.
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby pavloconga » Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:35 am

Congratulations Johnny!
A great gig to get and one to remember for all your days.
Best of luck.
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Tue Dec 04, 2012 5:23 pm

THANKS GUYS!....yea Im excited for sure.. BTW Paoli doesnt live here, but his wife Sara is from Seattle, so they come here often to see her parents. Paoli still lives in Puerto Rico...none of the original members except for Michael Shrieve is on this gig Thursday, and Chepito from what I understand now lives in Miami...to be continued!....
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby bongosnotbombs » Tue Dec 04, 2012 8:22 pm

Are you talking about Chepito Areas? I see him all over San Francisco, I thought he lives here?
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby Derbeno » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:58 pm

Yes indeed!

"José "Chepito" Areas (July 25, 1946 in León, Nicaragua) is a Nicaraguan percussionist. He was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1998 as a percussionist for Santana, which he was from 1969-1980.[1] In 1997 he performed on the album Abraxas Pool with other former members of Santana."
Echale candela, p'afinar los cueros
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby onile » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:35 pm

Yeah, Jose "Chepito" Areas, he was killer in his prime, and continues to do what he does best to this date!

.......however, check out this interview, he is funny/emotional/strange as hell (unfortunately, for those who don't speak, or understand Spanish, you won't enjoy it much, yes.....it's in Spanish)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R-4Iuv0c6dY
Que Nsambi les acutare pa' siempre!
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:14 pm

Chepito was in a car accident back in the 80's and actually lost his memory for almost 3 years and he hasn't been the same since actually...last i heard he was living in Miami to be close to his son...
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby bongosnotbombs » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:23 pm

Yes Chepito is a great guy, I assumed he lived here because I see him fairly frequenlty, he visits the rumbas and plays bell and he invited me to his birthday party. I remember one time I was jamming with him on a sunny day by the water and he looked me in the eye and told me "You're a good player!", which of course made my day.

You guys are right though, he does have some problems with his memory, and he's a little eccentric, but he can still play and is a great guy.

Anyways Johnny have fun with your gig with Santana. Looking forward to seeing the pictures.
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:20 am

Here is Paoli and me tonight at rehearsal...lots of people were there as well tonight (as we were in the building studio of Paul Allen(multi millionaire/basically owns Seattle)..including Carlos's wife Cindy Blackman and Oriante the female guitarist that played with Michael Jackson i got a bit of video of them jammin...
DSCN0706.JPG

here are the horns for the gig ...we were all in booths for tonights rehearsal with ear monitors..
DSCN0703.JPG


It was strange and even Michael Shrieve said it..to Carlos..he said it's strange playing your music and see you sitting watching us play it...but Carlos did join us as well as Oriante(she rips on guitar)...
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Re: Carlos Santana Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby willie55 » Thu Dec 06, 2012 4:14 pm

This is great inside look at what most of us will never see, keep up the Post/Log of your time with Carlos and the rest of the band, through rehersals and the Final event. some questions for you.
What congas will you be using? are you rehearsing hours the same or different times? will there be a recording of the event? Thanks for posting
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Re: Carlos Santana, Me and Paoli Mejias

Postby JohnnyConga » Thu Dec 06, 2012 7:21 pm

Rehearsal yesterday turned into 5 hours..with Carlos sitting in ..BUT unfortunately u cant turn a band into a Santana cover band in 2 rehearsals..without going into detail, Carlos wasnt happy with the singer, and he wanted more fire from the percussion.Oh boy! I told him afterwards .ok u want fire,explosions?...u got it..he said 'pa'lante! I said Si pa'lante shook his hand and said Tks!..so as it turned out the band is not up to what Carlos is accustom to(how could it be in 2 rehearsals???)...also there have been many changes in what we are going to play. I woke up with an email telling me we are not going to do 4 of the Santana tunes and will only now do Everybody's Everything, Toussaint l' overture,maybe Oye como va and maybe Jingo...I can see it turning into a 'blues fest' tonight,versus heavy Latin Rock...that's the thing about 'showbiz' u never know what is gonna happen..u just have to be flexible,patient and professional...damn! after all that practice time to! I will have photos as me and Paoli are set up right behind Carlos and Oriante on stage.....so I know Carlos will be in our faces waiting for the fire!...when he gives me that nod..THE SHIT IS ON!!!!....PA'LANTE!!!!!!!!!!
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