No doubts it was one of the most memorable moments of my life. Unexpected, surprisingly amazing music & dance experience in the Panamanian jungle. Click "play" and let me tell the story...
I joined the community of 150+ folks in the Panamanian jungle on 28th of December 2015. By "jungle" I mean the famous Kalu Yala valley two hours drive from Panama City. If you don't know it yet, you'd better check it out coz you might be missing something important in your life!
We spent three amazing days and nights having fun, learning at workshops, connecting, brainstorming, hiking and swimming. Something unforgettable and worth experiencing again... and again... and again!
I performed the gig on the second night at the river until 3:00 a.m. One of these situations DJs around the globe dream about. Funky and deep tunes took over the riverside. The night went extremely friendly, gentle and positive.
A few hours earlier some weird guys, calling themselves "Daybreaker", asked me to perform the morning session. Being experienced with movement meditation practices, including Ecstatic Dance, 5Rhythms or The Get Down, I couldn't say "no". Sincerely, I wanted to shout "yes" but I put my emotions on hold so Radha, Matthew, Eli and Dean would not know I was fucking excited about this opportunity. Even though it meant I would sleep only 4 hours after finishing the night session. Sharing music never enough for me!
I woke up full of optimism ready to challenge myself again. Went to the riverside, set up the sound system, ready to go with first beats at the time promised. For the next 40 minutes I was enjoying the morning jungle and my loneliness - nobody arrived! Somebody came to me to say we are having breakfast first. Well, this is what happens when you get overexcited. Too beautiful to be real, right?!
I was hungry and the food was extraordinary, so I was happy to join the table. While eating and chatting with some new friends I forgot we were still planning to do the morning session. I was called again to put my music on. Folks had their bellies full of organic, locally grown flavors and were ready to dance.
I went back to the riverside, searched for another mood fitting the momentum and put myself in a relax mode, not expecting too much to happen. Suddenly, the leader of the group run to me to ask if I was ready. Of course, I was. I always am!
50+ folks invaded the beach. My eyes lit up, the music started soaking from the speakers. I knew this is a special occasion that requires an unusual approach. Thus, I started with afro-Cuban beats, provoking the audience to hold on their excitement and cat moves. For me, it was about the nature, the jungle, significantly different experience when comparing to city.
We traveled through afrobeat, deephouse, funk, samba, batucada and other genres over the next 45 minutes. Something we all are not so much used to listen to at dance parties. I was playing with emotions, provoking rare body movements, experimenting with diversity of sounds. Things that I love as a DJ - to be "el loco" who's taking people on an unforgettable journey.
Things went more than great. We all ended up dancing in the river, singing, smiling, swimming and resting. Fulfilled, happy, balanced, connected. I had tears in my eyes but I jumped into the river so folks wouldn't distinguish tears from water. Clever me!
Over the next couple of days I received amazing feedbacks from people who enjoyed both the night and the Daybreaker sessions. "Composer of feelings" was my favorite. Some other were:
"I thought there were five DJs playing but it was just you blending together all these genres."
"You made us feel in the present."
"You look so happy when you DJ."
"Fastest 4 hours of my life."
And maybe the most important from my lovely host Jimmy Stice: "I know nothing about DJing but I can perfectly read people's feelings. And I could see how much you were aligning with people's energy, reading their emotions."
Daybreaker, Kalu Yala and Sound Traveler are happy to share this unusual session with you, something different from what we exposed to at regular parties. A journey for those who like to leave their comfort zone and experience diversity. Feel invited!
P.S. This is happening again this year! Entering new year in an extraordinary manner you won't find anywhere else!
See THIS LINK.