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What is your sabbatical project?
The idea for my year long project coalesced over time as I began to reconnect on Facebook with former colleagues – both Mexican and American – with whom I worked in Mexico City orchestras in the 1980s. Through their updates on my Newsfeed, I began to collect little fragments of their lives and careers here (I say ‘here’ because I’m currently in Mexico) and pictures began to emerge of the vibrant orchestra scene in which they have worked continually, but that I left thirty-one years ago when I began with the Utah Symphony.
At the same time, I began to realize more fully just how insular our orchestra industries, on both sides of our border, are with one another. Sadly, this is equally so with musicians, administrators and artist managers. And despite the Internet increasing the pace of our planet’s shrinkage, if anything this insularity has gotten worse, not better, in the years since I left Mexico.
To add to this, there has always remained a general lack of awareness by many people in the USA as to the vast richness of Mexican culture: its history, its performing AND creative arts, not to mention its many cuisines about which most of we Gringos know surprisingly little.
So, I decided to attempt to make a few tiny dents into this insularity by publishing a blog for my friends and colleagues, one which explores various aspects of Mexican culture (and of some cultures in South America), and hopefully with articles, interviews and stories that entertain as much as they edify.
Where will you be traveling?
In addition to Mexico City, our intention is to visit Puebla, Guadalajara, Monterrey, Queretaro, San Luis Potosí, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mérida, Zacatecas, Aguascalientes, and Oaxaca. We will base out of only a handful of these cities while traveling to others for brief stays while we attend orchestra concerts, photograph concert halls, perhaps take in a museum or interview a local performing artist, all while checking out what and where the locals eat.
And in South America, we hope to visit – and do the same things in – Bogota, Medellin, Lima, Montevideo, Santiago and Buenos Aires.
Where can I learn more about Mexico?
One of our best resources for checking out Mexico and South America has been through YouTube. These include professional travel videos (like those found on the Expedia Channel), as well as those done by full-time nomads & traveling foodies, as well as from the growing genre of drone videography artists.
Below are some YouTube channels we check in with regularly, and from which we have learned a ton!!!
- Irving Reyes
- Mexico Cities
- Maxico México
- True Mexico
- Kinetic Kennons
- First World Traveler
- Mark Wiens
- Tangerine Travels
- The New Travel
And for those who subscribe to Netflix, Season two of the great foodie series, “Somebody Feed Phil” has two outstanding, mouth watering episodes filmed in places on our itinerary: México City and Buenos Aires. Highly recommendable, especially for this post-Bourdain world we all now have to live in.