Quick diversion: name three places where you can find absolutely anything.
1) Arlo Guthrie's Alice's Restaurant,
2) a Paris department store called Les Grands Magasins de la Samaritaine (now closed) - the clip has a great sound track of Cole Porter's "I love Paris in the Springtime"
3) the London Jazz scene.
Yes, I often get that feeling - if I haven't (yet) found an amazing improvising Lithuanian nose-flute player in, say, Arnos Grove yet, it's because I haven't looked properly.
But I have found a genuine Cuban percussionist with the most amazingly exotic name, JOSE MARTELL MORGAN, universally known as Chino. He's from Cardenas, a sea-port in the Matancas province on the North coast of Cuba. He tells me he misses the beach. Chino became a percussion addict in Cuba in his teens and has lived in the UK since 1998.
Chino is to be found bongo-ing it and conga-ing it in bands all over the place, like Gillespiana, and a salsa band called Heads South, where he shares percussive duties with good friend drummer Buster Birch. Fronting the band with his scorching Arturo Sandoval trumpet sound is the ever-versatile Steve Waterman. Running the band is pianist John Harriman.
Good times guaranteed.
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Heads South launches its debut CD Record Flight at the Pheasantry in Kings Road on Friday October 1st.