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You never know

National Theater
Last Tuesday I was out with Wags and noticed a long line of people at the National Theater. We’d been told the scheduled concert had been canceled, but obviously, something was going on - I’d never seen a line like this. So, back to apartment for a quick change of clothes and I’m off to see what’s happening. The line was gone, but lots of people were still arriving and I didn’t see any ticket takers (another freebie) so in I go. Turns out the canceled concert was indeed going to happen.

Yomira John in concert

The headliner was Yomira John an Afro-Panamanian, born in Panama City, who obviously has quite a local following and, from what I have pieced together from the internet, is a major attraction in the Central, South America and Caribbean music scene. She is a very talented vocalist, with a wide range of musical styles.

Here is a quick recap of the two hour concert (no intermission), as best as I can remember: She started with a new age thing (I think), the birds chirping, wind blowing and other sounds her band conjured up, then was joined by a accordion player as she did a couple of Panamanian folk songs - complete with dancers. She disappeared for a few minutes (costume change) while her violin player did a solo piece. Then she’s back, doing a couple of Jazz/Blues numbers. Short pause, then a white haired gentlemen (she’s doing another costume change) runs on stage to thunderous applause and cheers, singing the Banana Boat Song. He had the place “jumpin”. She returns, now with a mariachi band, then a rap singer - there was also a harmonica player in there somewhere, I long ago lost track. Her closing number was in French, while she walked through the audience carrying a small child.

Yomira John at the National Theater Banana Boat Man

I hadn’t seen a concert this varied since my JazzCharlotte days when our music producer would put all kinds of odd combinations together - but they always worked. In Panama’s National Theater on Tuesday night Señora John always kept the audience guessing what might be coming next and it was a great concert. You never know when something will turn out to be special. Take care.

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