Ramon Mirabet and Riekestra Performance

4 mins read

Ramon Mirabet, an artist from Spain, held his concert at The Guild Theater in downtown Menlo Park and was opened by the marvelous Reikestra, the Riekes Center band. This concert started at 7:00 p.m. and ended around 10:30 p.m. Multiple people lined up at the door and talked with friends while enjoying drinks in front of the stage, excitedly waiting for the Riekestra to begin.

The stage opened with “Signed Seal,” sung by Kate Chernykh. As the crowd cheered on Chernykh for her lively performance, the rest of the band was filled with backup vocals, bass, trumpet, saxophone, piano, and many more talents. As the song ended and more songs were played, Grammy Award winning artist and instructor of the Riekestra, Geoff McCann, sang “Come Together.” With the room full of positive energy and awe of the band’s performance, they had a lovely closing song sung by Roxie Baggott, “We Are Family,” to represent the band’s strong bond that’s like a family. 

After the Riekestra finished their performance, a few of the band members had a few words to say about when they joined the band. Guitarist Kash Hodges said, “I joined this program about a year ago when I was a sophomore. I played some guitar–not as seriously as now–and I wasn’t in as many bands. I just jumped right into the Riekestra, practiced a bunch, and went to Spain.”

Drummer Soren Hawkins said, “I first got involved with the Riekes Center back in eighth grade, over six years ago! Time flies. They gather a bunch of musicians together, group them up, and you get to learn songs. For example, I’m a drum player, and I don’t know any bass players, so they’ll match you up with a good little group. Every Saturday we go to the Riekes Center, hangout, learn songs, and play together.” 

Bass player Alia Tu said, “I also joined in 2019, and I was taking bass lessons at the Riekes Center for a couple of years. My bass teacher told me to check out the info-meeting. I saw the current Riekestra performing, and I thought they were super cool. I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’ve been invited to join this, this is so cool! I don’t know if I’m good enough.’” 

Drummer Evan Kirmse said, “Do it! There’s nothing wrong with it. You have all the abilities that you need, you are human, so go do your thing.” 

Many of the band players have been in the Riekestra for a while and have learned many things throughout their years at the program. They have noticed how being part of this band has helped them grow as a person. Hodges said, “The amount of confidence in my playing and my stage readiness have increased tenfold. It was unbelievable how much more confident I felt. And immediately after joining, I met a lot of new people and I was able to play with a lot of players. I think the Riekes Center is important for networking and for learning.”

Hawkins said, “I have a lot to thank the Riekes Center for. One thing to really take away is the appreciation and the gratitude. For every show, the whole band groups together and we give one gratitude and then have our closing circles and give everyone an appreciation. That opens honest communication between the band. I think it makes for better playing, and if you take that for the rest of your life, it’s just phenomenal.”

Bennett Roth-Newell, an instructor, pianist, and vocalist, had some words of advice to aspiring musicians. He said, “Whether someone wants to go into music, anything artistic, you name it, it starts with belief in yourself, a strong sense of pride and courage and just overall high spirit and a high outlook of yourself. At times it can be tough, especially in an artistic sense, because trying to silence the inner critic is a challenge, but if you have belief in yourself, then you have nothing else but the road in front of you. That belief will be infectious to anyone who encounters you.”

McCann said, “Don’t stop. We all suck at first. I feel like too many young people get discouraged because they don’t sound as good as they want to right away, but that’s just not how it works. If you’re really artistically driven, your taste will be better than your skill, and you need to work until you sound as good as you feel like you should. You just need to keep on doing it!” 

Ramon Mirabet is a Spanish singer and songwriter. His style is mainly Latin pop and he has been producing songs since 2013, but first learned to sing and compose from his parents, who are also artists. His first song, “Happy Days”, came out in 2013 and three years later he released his first album, Home Is Where the Heart Is

Mirabet’s concert had such lovely vibes, and he sang with his whole heart for many songs. A highlight was when he taught the audience “Magic” from his album Begin Again, where different parts of the crowd sang different parts of the song. Mirabet also performed an encore below the stage, among the audience, which made his last few songs feel magical. It was a precious experience for the audience to all be together singing along with him. 

In the end, the Riekestra and Mirabet’s band went on stage at the same time to give their final song together, “Home Is Where The Heart Is,” from Mirabet’s first album.

After everyone was celebrating another great performance, Mirabet had some words to share about his experience with the Riekestra. He said, “Mi parte favorita es cuando cantamos todos juntos, porque somos de diferentes partes del mundo pero la música de repente nos une. Es como un lenguaje universal. La gente se conecta, se entiende.” 

My favorite part is when we’re all together, because we’re from different parts of the world but all of a sudden, music unites us. It’s like a universal language. The people connect, they understand each other.” 

Mirabet sang “Black Bird” in honor of Gary Riekes, and had even more to say about him. He said, “El hecho de que esté aquí, gracias a que tuvimos un sueño con Gary y con Guy, cuando se crea algo de algo tan bonito es lo que más ilusión me hace. Pues se crea todo con un pensamiento de alguien y se vuelve en un milagro.” 

The fact that we’re here, thanks to the dream we had with Gary and Guy, when something so beautiful is created, that is what makes me the most excited. Everything is created with someone’s thought, and it turns into a miracle.”

Karen is a junior at M-A. This is her first year in journalism. She hopes to write narratives about her own life and connect them with other students from M-A. In her free time, she likes to write poetry, spend time with her cat, Joy, and family and friends.

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