Home > MY TOUR WORLD > Dominican Republic, Pablito Drum and the love of MuZikA…

Dominican Republic, Pablito Drum and the love of MuZikA…

So this past December I had the privilege to go to the Dominican Republic to do some promotion for my EP that was released recently. It was an amazing experience! It was mostly lots of work and little play! Being down there, I had the most amazing opportunity to work with my great friend Pablito Drum (Pablo Pena). He, like me, is a Berklee College of Music Alumni. Pablito is very well known in the music scene around the world! He won the Michelle Camillo scholarship for his  drumming. His story is facinating! A story of much courage and determination!

Check out some of Pablito’s stuff at : http://www.PablitoDrum.com

One morning I had an interview early in the morning (7;45am to be exact and I was residing 2hrs away from the capital) with the Dominican Republic’s most popular morning radio show El Mananero Con Boli.

That morning Pablo had to do something in the capital as well and offered to drive with me and his chauffeur. Little did I know that Pablito had something very special planned. I had no clue. After my interview with no energy left in me, we proceeded to meet two wonderful women that are TV personnel for the country (sisters Judith Leclerc and Carmen LeClerc), also friends of Pablito. I told him, I don’t know how I’m going to function. I had 3 days of no sleep and the night before I finished filming my video at 2 in the morning. He kept on stating, just watch, you’ll see. Right away meeting Judith and Carmen they infused a ray of exuberant light and energy! So fun! I have never in my life met such positive women in DR!

Pablito brought his drums in the back of the vehicle. To then set it up to play with a less fortunate child in the capital, Santo Domingo for Dia de Los Reyes (The Day of Kings). As we approached the barrio my eyes began to water. I saw the people walking barefoot and the buildings were run down. It was Dia de Los Reyes, literally a couple of days right after Christmas. Judith and Carmen were stating how the father of this child has sacrificed so much for his family, walking miles to take his son to lessons. I obviously missed the first half of the story due to my lack of energy and sleepiness. I wondered, whats exactly gonna go down? As we arrived and exited the vehicle, we began walking toward this house, that appeared from the outside, something of that like a shack. Eye opening.

Pablito started setting up his drumset. Me, Judith and Carmen met the mother and father of Weislander. Weislander (10yrs) is a kid that Pablito has been mentoring since he was 6. Weislander also won a scholarship from one of the national banks in the DR to go to a Bilingual school. The first thing he said to me when he met me was “Hi I’m Weislander”. So CUTE! I was so impressed! I started speaking to him and english and we laughed and joked around. Somethings he didn’t understand, he would just stare at me and say, “Ok”…. So funny! His parents were the sweetest people EVER! Then I understood that the man they had told me of that sacrificed so much was this child’s father! They offered us a passion fruit juice (my FAVE). Little did I know, later on when we got in the car, Judith informed me, that it was the only thing they had in their fridge that day. CRAZY!! Thanks GOD Judith gave them a little blessing before we left. The parents and the people from the barrio took photos with us, it was so nice! As Weislander began to play I was SO impressed!!

I was even more impressed at how I was with such BIG (hearted) people that day! I saw how Pablito was sweating from the scorching heat, playing drums with Weislander, teaching him drum patterns to work on and just jamming. He was super genuine. He didn’t just do it to look cool or because he was obligated, but because he really wanted and cared! He could’ve stayed home that morning and slept in. He could’ve not woken up at 5am to pick me up and head out to the capital to then play drums with a kid. It was also so admirable to see how Judith was filming captures, all to put this experience in her upcoming show. 

Judith LeClerc is the ONLY Dominican television communicator in the country that does positive programing. Her show is titled “Mil Historias” (“A Thousand Stories”). She currently works as a correspondent for Telemundo as well in “Al Rojo Vivo” and stated that after so many years of promoting bad and negative news she became tired, fed up and depressed. She, to this day has no financial backing for her show and produces every segment with her own financial means. THAT IS WORTH BEING ADMIRED! Yet, she has one the Dominican Republics most acclaimed awards (El Casandra) equivalent of Oscars/Emmys and Grammys for her stories and work. She is nominated again this year.

As we are all listening to them play we couldn’t help but break for these people. Everyone in the barrio came out to listen. EVERYONE. Many of them just stared. Not many danced. Not many laughed. They just stared and gazed. They were so poor. We were playing with the children and Judith broke out into tears. She had to run in the house. I began to cry. I couldn’t hold it in anymore. I wanted to so badly go to my closet and bring all of the clothing and things I had to bring to these people. I wanted so badly to go to the nearest store to bring every little kid some christmas toys.

The parents spoke to us with such humbleness and integrity. They had their sundays best on that day. The house had a tiny tiny tiny living room with 2 little heat stoves and a room in the back with a bunk bed where the 3 kids and the couple slept. She proudly walked us in to show us the house with so much pride and .we. lost. it. The pride she had of her house. How she treated us. It was EYE Opening.

We have so much here in America. It’s incalculable. And yes, it’s true, there are also many people that live better than many americans in the Dominican Republic, but the division of the poor and the rich is so evidently a byproduct of the corruption in the political system (if it is indeed one, that is). It was eye opening for me. I had seen this before. But to see what the love of music can bring and do in the DR was epic. To see that there are amazing people and hearts out there in the DR, that was epic. To be reminded that, yes, I do have A LOT, was…really…just…epic. I don’t want to forget that. I don’t want to turn a blind eye like many do. I don’t want to pretend like that doesn’t exist.

It’s amazing how many people exhibit such christ like actions. It has nothing to do with religion, but action. It’s a lifestyle.

Categories: MY TOUR WORLD
  1. February 14, 2012 at 1:06 pm

    I was crying while I was reading this,,, you really got the message, I am very happy to read this and send you many blessings from my heart!!!! You are an amazing person…

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