I had the joy last night of seeing a live performance at the bar downstairs. Teré (short for Terésa) works days at El Sanedrín waiting tables, tending bar, and making people feel at home. Three nights a week, she sings at a club outside of town — a club too far for us to easily visit without a car. So, we were elated when she told us that she would be performing right here in our building on Halloween night.
Teré is one of those people who brightens any day just by being in it. We see her and get to visit with her every morning when we go downstairs for café con leche and breakfast #2. The first time we met her, she warmly welcomed us as neighbors and gave us both “Spanish kisses.” She speaks little English, just some pat phrases she has picked up over time. But her pronunciation is impeccable. It must be her musical ear. I arrived downstairs around midnight and Teré, dolled up like a mod Bride of Frankenstein, was already mid-song. What a voice!
|WHETHER SINGING SWEETLY OR BELTING IT OUT, PHENOMENAL TALENT.|
Between numbers, Teré actually introduced her friend “Mee-TCHELL” to the audience. During her 10-minute break between sets, she grabbed me and asked if I wanted to head next door to Dos de Mayo so she could get a quick snack. Unfortunately, Dos de Mayo was closing up for the night. No food for Teré but, as a consolation prize, all the guys behind the bar sang to us.
|SLOW ON THE DRAW WITH MY CAMERA,
I MISSED CATCHING THE DOS DE MAYO QUARTET IN FULL SONG.
After her break, Teré sang a bunch more songs in English, phonetically — some that I knew, some that I did not. She also sang several songs in Spanish that were a huge hit with the audience. She even sang one song in Portuguese, also phonetically. The music, the spontaneous rhythmic clapping (Flamenco style) carried me away. I, who don’t dance, was actually swaying like a Spaniard at times. (From what I’ve seen, Spaniards — well, Sevillanos — know how to move.) Her delivery was so powerful, whether she was belting or singing a ballad, that I was moved even when I didn’t understand all that was being sung. I had tears in my eyes by the end of “Killing Me Softly.” Move over, Roberta Flack!
The small bar was filled with admirers, some clearly knew what they were
in for. Others were — like me — blown away. I wish she had a CD. I
wish she had a video on YouTube. I wish she would sing to me every
morning while I’m drinking my coffee.
|THE STAR THIS AFTERNOON. BACK BEHIND THE BAR.|