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Summer days in the desert are best spent indoors, leaving the house only for the most necessary errands. Summer nights, on the other hand, are the times to come out from under cover and enjoy. So when a friend of mine sent me a message about Saturday's open mic night at a local bookstore, I was all for it!
We all know how a book can draw us in to another world; a different time and place. Another form of art that does the same thing is music. It has always amazed me to watch an audience transfixed by a solitary flute, or voice, that can move it to tears by its beauty.
I felt that tunnel vision, single-focus sense come over me as I listened to the featured artist last night. The sounds of the coffee shop machinery in the background slowly faded away as I let the clear strings of the guitar breeze me away.
The artist was Gabriel Ayala, a member of the Yaqui people of southern Arizona who is making a career performing classical music. He earned a Master's Degree in Music Performance from the University of Arizona, and has been nominated for a Grammy. He is an amazing artist. In the intimate setting you could really see up close how his fingers fly over his instrument, sometimes gently , other times with great power. What an honor it was to hear him play!
He completely won me over and I look forward to listening to him again at an even more fitting concert setting. My personal CD collection does not typically contain classical guitar selections, but I have a new appreciation for it which is currently blossoming as I listen to Gabriel Ayala's "Portraits" right now.
Check out the bookstores near you. These events are free and give members of the community an opportunity to perform, and enjoy a relaxing evening of books and music.
And I encourage you to listen to Gabriel's sweet, sweet music, too!