Los Angeles, August 2018 Oscar D´Leon, Gustavo Dudamel, LA Philharmonic

What a legend Oscar D´León, El Sonero del Mundo, is! I was so excited when I found out I would be playing with him in Los Angeles at the Hollywood Bowl, and was absolutely determined to get him onto Sarah’s Music. People told me I had no chance, that he would be too busy etc, but I didn’t give up and thanks to his manager, Oslan Osorio, I ended up being able to interview him the day before the first rehearsal. It´s funny – I was more nervous interviewing him than any of the “classical” music celebrities, I was a real fangirl!

The next day at the Hollywood Bowl we turned up for rehearsal and Oscar was already rehearsing with his band. No chance of a normal A from the oboe to tune up to – the sweet sounds of salsa were blasting out over the empty Hollywood Bowl! I loved being part of this concert – playing in some of Oscar´s iconic songs which have been arranged especially for him, his band and symphony orchestra. When Oscar wanted all the orchestra to get up and dance, noone moved. The conductor, Gustavo Dudamel, knowing that I love to dance salsa, looked over at me and gestured for me to go and dance. But I was an extra player in the LA Phil that day and was suddenly way too shy to get up and go to the front of the orchestra to dance with Oscar. But Nickolai Kurganov, a violinist in the LA Phil, saved the day – and MADE my day! I had heard he was a fantastic dancer so when he looked over and gestured that I should come dance with him, we found a cosy spot behind the violas and started to dance. I forgot there were 17,000 people watching and was simply in seventh heaven – dancing salsa with a great dancer to my favourite music sung live by one of my heroes. An unforgettable night, gracias Oscar – sabrosooo!