AIRTO'S STORIES  
 
Musical Childhood Stories
5000 Hippies Dancing
How I Record
With The Kodo Drummers
My Wonderful Tour of Brazil
Europe 2003 Part 1
Europe 2003 Part 2
Brazilian Honor
Egypt
Meeting Miles Davis
Working with Miles
Isle Of Wight
Jaco Pastorius
Toots Thielemans
Russia
 

Europe 2003 Part 1

Right now I am staying at my sister's house in Curitiba, Brazil. The group and I had just spent three weeks performing in London, England at Ronnie Scott's and it was great! It was sold out almost every night. We played 2 sets a night, the 1st at 11pm and the 2nd started at 1am in the morning. So as you can guess we never went to bed before four or five O'clock in the morning. 

We have many wonderful friends who live in London and all of them came to visit us at the gigs. It was just beautiful!
On one of these nights Paul McCartney came to see us. It was kind of a funny moment. I was sitting in the dressing room when all of a sudden the door opens and this guy with a dark beard comes in. I was petrified. He was drinking a dark beer, and he said "Hello!" and "How are you?" and was really nice. While everyone was just staring and sort of stunned to see it was Paul McCartney. This was during the break and he stayed and hung out talking with us for a little bit and then he went back to his seat. It was nice to see him again, he always comes to say hello.

Ronnie Scott's has been a favorite gig of mine for years. I just love it. We have probably been playing there for almost twenty years. It is usually packed with the people who have heard us there before. Some people come every single night that we are there. We played 36 shows while we were there this time. So by the time we were done and left to go do the rest of our tour in Europe, the band was really tight and sounding good.We finished our last gig at Ronnie's at about 2:30am and got to bed at around 6am Saturday night and on Sunday we had to get up at 10am to go to the airport.

From London we flew to Rome, Italy where we had to go straight to the sound check and do the gig that night. We were busy like that for the next five or six days. We played all over Italy then we were in Switzerland and Germany. On the way to Belgrade the airline lost all my percussion, so when I got to Belgrade I did not have it. I ended up doing a solo with some little percussion things that people had brought with them. I don't remember exactly what I did, but I think it was good because after my 15 minute solo playing with "nothing" everyone was standing up cheering.

Belgrade Yugoslavia was great! The concert was beautiful! The concert hall was beautiful! It was sold out. 
Every thing was great on this tour! We just weren't sleeping. We were on busses and planes, always traveling. I guess I did pretty well. The younger guys in the band, who are about 25 years younger than me, were really tired. I was tired too! But my energy was very positive. I felt great! Also the audiences on this tour were fantastic. Especially in Belgrade, the people there were wonderful. 

After Belgrade the band went home and I had to go on to Greece, where I was recording with a guitar player named Andreas Georgiou.

The problem now is that I still did not have my percussion. I did not want to call the people I was recording with and say I did not have it, because then they might say not to come without it. Luckily I meet two women in Belgrade who worked for the Brazilian Embassy and who said that they would find the percussion and send it on to me in Athens. I told them that it was impossible, that I had been working on it for three days and nobody could find it. They insisted that they could do it and one of them even came from my home town Curitiba. So I went to Greece and when I got to the studio the next day my percussion was there! It had been sitting in Vienna the whole time.