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Gomango Invasion: News

Penguin Picks Radio Features - July 12, 2005

Something strange must me seeping into the drinking water way out west in San Diego. No one's sure if it's animal, vegetable, mineral, or chemical, is a world-class bassist, totally burning on both acoustic and electric bass.

Beyond that, all bets are off. Glen Fisher claims to be a close personal friend of an entity called Gomango, whom he describes as a "very old and wise soul from the tropics." After and initial introduction to Gomango and the Gomango people at a beach party in 1979, Glen maintains that he then began a period of "intense training under the tutelage of the was about vibe -- a constant state of happiness through music. All music... Gomango does not understand the 'category thing' in music."

Ahem, and no matter. Regardless of what you call it, you'll find Glen Fisher's mp3 tracks filed under Latin Jazz, Brazilian, Jazz Vocals, Bebop, even Jump Blues. Together with his band Con Alma ("with soul" in Spanish) he's taking the Gomango Gospel to listeners everywhere. You'll find an incredible, palpable, groove-conciousness to his work that never lets up. Having spent a songwriting sabbatical in Rio De Janeiro, Fisher's musical roots reflect a deep love for Jobim, Luis Miguel, and Tania Maria, not to mention Tito Puente, Joe Zawinul, and Oscar Peterson.

And what does he sound like? Glen Fisher and Con Alma are very much a part of the World Music revolution. (Gomango nudges me here to suggest "Earth Music" instead.) The musicianship is consistently tremendous, the energy infectious, the grooves hypnotic. This stuff feels good. And it's worth noting that all these cuts were "live in the studio" first takes -- not an overdub to be found anywhere. It's a gigantic leap backwards, the Gomango gestalt demands it, and it really works. With soul.
-Harry White

Fish's Update - March 21, 2005

Greetings mainlanders,
Fish here just to let you know what's up.
I've led some incredible music programs at Fletcher Hills, Carson, and about half of the 40 schools that we visit with our Blues In The Schools program. I am now recruiting and training 40 or so musical soldiers that will eventually help Gomango take over the city(Today San Diego ...tommorrow the world!)

Paradise Point Resort loves Gomango:
I will be at the Barefoot Bar all summer (every Sun 1-5 with the 7 piece Gomango Invasion (Barbara Jamerson, John Rekevics, Carlos Vasquez, Steve Smith, Mark Lopez, Jose Secola) and every other Sat 1-5 at the pool for the outrageously wet fest known as Gomango's Pool Party Playground.
Featuring the Gomango Trio (Steve Smith, Carlos Vasquez, Fish)

The First Friday Club is Back in May, and is sponsored by the Peninsula Community Planning Board's Arts Committee chaired by your's truly. I am coming up on one year as an elected member of the P-Board (...make my board the p-board, I wants to get funked up...) which is fun as heck, with lotsa controversial bickering, just the way I like it.
I love my new Arts Committe because every body on it can either jam
on an instrument or they run a venue in the hood.
More on this soon...

Quail Botanical Gardens has enlisted me as an artistic consultant for their 4 summer concerts. They take place every other Sunday 6-8pm starting July 10th and happen to feature my band Con Alma on July 24th.

I have designed a show for the C.H.I.R.P fund raiser extravaganza at the Viejas ampitheater on April 30th.
It's called Ladies Sing The Blues and features Barbara Jamerson, Cynthia Hammond and Sue Palmer with Dijha Marie. They are
backed by an all-star line- up including guitarist Billy Thompson, Larry Logan on keys, Dave Scott as MC and on trombone, Bruce Cameron and John Rekevics on horns, Carlos Vasquez (my musical father) on drums,
and me on bass and phone calls.

I just did the theme song for a big TV show but I'm not saying what until I get the check. So stay tuned.

BLUSD Letter - 2005

Dear Sir/Madam:

This letter is an introduction for Mr. Glen Fisher who is serving as Performance Coordinator for you Blues In The Schools (BITS) program. He is also an active BLUSD member volunteer who has helped evolve the BITS presentations, and one of our great BITS Band Members.

BITS is a program fostered by the national organization, The Blues Foundation headquartered in Memphis. They run the annual International Blues Competition (IBC), the Keeping the Blues Alive Awards (KBA), and the Handy Awards. They do not administer a BITS program themselves, but last year was involved with sponsors, including PBS, in developing an extensive program of lessons and workshops for use at High School level. Blues Lovers United of San Diego (BLUSD) -- our local not-for-profit membership organization, is an affiliate of The Blues Foundation.

Here in San Diego we are taking the lead in developing a BITS program for primary school students, now for the first time sponsored by curriculum materials that meet California state educational standards.

BLUSD, in conjunction with Harmonium Children's Services and its 6to6 after-school programs, has sponsored BITS in San Diego elementary and middle schools for a few years, fulfilling for thousands of children the goal of exposure to live blues performances.

Over the last year BLUSD has evolved the presentations. We developed a Presentation Guide in order to increase continuity and factual accuracy among the performances. We are more organized and inclusive and have expanded the BITS artist pool from ten or twelve in any given year to a current roster of forty musicians. This year we are proud to be adding curriculum material to our program in the form of a Lesson Plan focused on teaching the children the etiquette of attending a live musical performance. We have also produced a fun, leave-behind activity sheet to support the lesson.

There are so many benefits to children participating in music programs, and so many challenges to our schools in offering them, that a professional presentation to children of any musical genre would serve. However, BLUSD's particular love is for the blues, and since it is a uniquely American musical art form, and the foundation of most all popular American music, we feel that the blues is the best place to start.

Would you consider sponsoring our program for this school year just getting under way? Harmonium, BLUSD's generous members, and a few PTA and school administration groups have provided all the funding to date, and we are ready to expand.

We are currently scheduled to perform thirty BITS presentations for about 3,000 students during this 2004-2005 school year. We will approach San Diego County PTA organizations to solicit their support and offer more performances. We know that some of the schools can't afford even the meager donations we have historically requested in order to supply transportation expense for our artists.

If you will be so generous, here are some of the ways we would like to use the sponsorship dollars we seek:

- Subsidize additional BITS presentations
- Create Banners/backdrops for the BITS Band identifying our organization, the program and its sponsors
- Create a BITS Poster for the year's program, identifying all participating schools, artists and sponsors
- Produce a small promotional gift for each child participant
- Increase the Artist honorariums beyond gas money in order to help support support San Diego's musicians and therefore the health of our blues community, and to raise the level of professionalism, and ensure continuity and overall quality of the program
- Offer modest Grants for development of curriculum material
- Acquire percussion instruments for the students' use during the performances (particularly in the popular "Beats & Rhythms" section)
- Produce a CD of BITS music
- Develop and produce other presentation and display materials
- Produce a fund raising concert

Kindly lend Glen your ear, and don't hesitate to phone me at my home office (I'm a volunteer worker, too -- this is a labor of love) at 760-634-3664.

This is a good thing. Thank you for considering...

Your friend in the blues,
Rand De Mattei, President

Jazz at Lincoln Center - June 30, 2002

Dear Glen:

I am pleased to learn of your incredible support of jazz education in the Point Loma Schools, and Jazz at Lincoln Center is humbly grateful for your partnership with us in bringing the Jazz for Young People Curriculum to its elementary and middle schools.

I had the distinct pleasure to meet with music and education leaders on June 17, 2002 at the San Diego City Schools headquarters. We had the even greater pleasure of meeting you there and further discussing a partnership with the Point Loma Schools.

The Jazz for Young People Curriculum, produced by Jazz at Lincoln Center is a revolutionary aide in teaching young people about jazz - its history, important figures, and perhaps most importantly, its relevance to our American identity through cross-disciplinary connections. It is the first comprehensive teaching resource ever created to involve our young people in learning about the uniquely American art form of jazz.

Jazz at Lincoln Center is crusading to have jazz included as a part of our elementary and middle school curriculum - in general music and/or in other subject areas. Your leadership in the Point Loma Schools is a national model. We look forward to working with your as you lead US in the creative and powerful implementation of this curriculum in your schools. We have yet to find a music educator as committed and successful in making sure that young people learn about jazz. Thank you so much.

Please let us know what we can do to further your success in jazz education in Point Loma.

Best wishes, and with great thanks,

Wynton Marsalis
Artistic Director

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