“Is it not strange that sheep’s guts should hale souls out of men’s bodies?”

–Benedict

Whisked away to the mountains of Jarabacoa, I was treated to a brief concert this past Sunday evening. Molly-Ann Pereira, sister and old friend of mine, is a professional violinist and she and her student held a private Fiddler on The Hilltop program for all lovers of… well, music.

The audience was a mixture of music lovers, proud parents and fellow musicians from all corners of the island. The backdrop was the private home of a former Washington, D.C. official and his million-dollar mansion in an area known as Los Pomos.

Said barrio in Jarabacoa is better described as a series of hilltops, spiked with villas and mansions from ex-presidents and bank directors and the likes. Even Bobby DeNiro is said to own something up here, although I put those rumors down to the fact that he has been shooting his newest film close by (M. Damon, and A. Jolie in the good company of B. Pitt recently wrapped their scenes in Santiago). In short, it was style and art in best company, as well as the most amazing rainbow since the Flood.

A series of minuets by Bach initiated the program, much to the pleasure of blushing parents, who proceeded in applauding every squeak, squeker, squeaken that came from the stage, even if said song was not yet completed.

We progressed towards solos by Brahms and Boccherini that deserved the applause they received and worked our way through Bach minuets, only to be interrupted by the lady of the house who rushed to the aid of one or both of her viciously cute Taco Bell dogs that had tumbled off a stair while engaged in a brutal yapping contest — in response to Bach I should think.

I hoped to experience an evening sans Batchata, but no dice. Molly-Ann delighted the present audience with a classical cover of a much-hated (by me anyway) Batchata song. But I must admit that in her hands even this dreaded music sounded close to magnificent.

The highlight in my humble opinion (then again, I may be partial) was the presentation of the upcoming, break-out artist Toni, who delighted us in a very Jewel-like fashion with her newest single. Being American she nevertheless managed to present her song in excellent Spanish and accompanied only by the audience’s heartbeat and her guitar.

The evening completed with wine, roasted chicken and home-brewed ginger schnapps and Yours Truly shooting his mouth off and generally annoying everyone with his Zoolander imitation… you know, the usual.

But, hey, how many times do I get to return to my home-town? This was a first in a while, and regret it I do not.
PS: The next day I crashed (I don’t attend) a wedding in Santiago. I managed to shoot a few VERY lovely pictures of our good friend Natasha — however she threaded with disembowelment and eternal banishment from her blog should I ever dare to publish them. Despite the fact that I am gutless, I will comply. As my buddy Jeremy once said: “Hot women! They are all Cylons!”

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