We had the good fortune of connecting with Adolfo Herrera and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Adolfo, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
My balance has changed many times in many ways through my whole life. As a passionate person, unbalance used to reign. Used to be the rule. When it was about music, then EVERYTHING was about it. when it was a new love, then that was it. Only with time I learned to balance between art and love and passion and the rest of the life. Now, I think achieving balance is THE main goal. A life that is full comes from being able to share yourself between all the areas that relate to you within the aspect of love and passion, combined with the fulfilment of the majority of your neccessities in the spiritual and material fields.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I’ve been a musician for 30 years now. The art that I believe in is the one that comunicates emotions and thougths. 8 years ago I started a project that combined music improvisation with literature and video. Texts were made specially for the ocasion based on themes that I wanted to explore. Loneliness, light, death, love and human nature, among others. With the texts recorded, musicians listened and reacted to subject and essay through their instruments in one improvisation. Everything recorded live and on video. The whole project is called “IRREPETIBLE” (unrepeatable in spanish). Only one of the pieces has been released (Loneliness) because of budget, but the rest is awaiting patienly. This 2021 I’m working on a educational flamenco portal and an exercise franchise for which I’m making music, composing, producing and recording. The name of the company is FlameKvibes, but I’m not yet authorized to talk about it in detail. From the drums perspective I have had the chance of participate in a lot of different musical situations. I have recorded in more than 70 albums, 4 of them nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards. I have been able to play with a Symphony Orchestra (Orquesta Simon Bolivar in Venezuela and now the Miami Symphony Orchestra in Miami) I have played from big band to jazz Trios, Quartets and Quintets. I have played a lot of Veneuelan traditional music. I have been in Ska, Reggae and Punk bands as well as Progressive Rock. I have been able to combine jazz and rock with Afro-Venezuelan Rhythms, I have developed a unique style playing Venezuelan Merengue (Merengue Venezolano). So you could say that I’m very versatile not only playing but understandiing different concepts and approaches and that is what makes me unique. None of this has been easy, in fact it has been REALLY DIFFICULT to get here, and it has made me happy for a long time. Overcoming the challenges in every situation required a lot of fast analisys and quick response. High adaptability. Some times, the existing unbalance was the catalyst that helped to solve some of the problems and challenges along the way, because they requiered a lot of dedication and some time, even a single-minded approach. However, I can see now that is the big picture what brings the balance. Details are the pieces that actually are used to BALANCE the big picture, and it has taken most of my career to realize that. Everything I did, I did from true passion, with the ingenuity of that who is only feeling and not thinkin very much. Now, I have startet to balance things out and hope to continue on the path of the artist.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Being Venezuelan, Miami brings a lot of what my best friends would expect and need! In no order I will take them to visit the Viscaya Gardens, and the Tropical Park and Haulover Park also, as well as the Everglades. The beach at South Pointe as well as Fort. Lauderdale and its boulevard and Las Olas BLVD too!. Between those excursion days I would take them to Wynwood and the Design District, as well as the Frost and Perez Art Museums. But I would also take them to the Miami History Museum so they could understand the diversity of Miami, the Americans, the Cubans, the Haitians and the Native Americans, melting in, as well as now the Venezuelans, Colombians, Peruvians, Ecuadorians, Brazilians, Argentineans, Eastern Europeans and Russians amog other nationalities that have built their new home in a piece of Miami. I would take them to eat Venezuelan Arepas in Doral’s “El Saman” and “El Gran Pollo”, Colombian in “El Mayoral” down in Kendall as well as some superb Peruvian Ceviche at “Aromas del Peru” and “Tambo” (Also in Kendall), the great tradition of argentinean “asado” in Little Haiti’s own “Fioritos” but also on the bigger and more commecial “The Knife” all you can eat buffet as well as some Brazilian Churrascaria in “Texas de Brazil”. The great Indian Buffet Ashoka in Fontaineblue as well as the great Thai Rock-A-Bankok. I’ll also take them on the American Classic “The Cheese Cake Factory” and the 106 Burguer Joint as wel as KUSH in Wynwood. Also, breakfast in Havanna Harrys down in Coral Gables (Cuban/American cuisine) as wel as the classics “La Carreta” and “Versalles” in Little Havana, where we would look for the greatest hand rolled cigars. I would have them vibing on a “mini jazz club scene” going from “Le Chat NOir” to “The Corner” and then to “La Gniappe”. When serious party necesities arrive I’ll have them go to SPACE or the World Famous ELEVEN Club, as well. And then of course, we could crash in some private party in Brickell surrounded by the most elegant and exclusive people. Finally, of course, I’ll have them walking in Lincoln Rd. and Ocean Dr. to have their “Miami Pictures” taken with a great cuban “colada” and some stop at the New World Symphony or the Colony Theater. To me, Miami is just endless. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have gotten this far thanks to soooooooo many people, that I could write a book about that (and maybe I should!) However I’m going to start dedicating my shoutout to my wife Kharla and my son Santiago and my daughter Eva. They have been and inspiration not only from the classical and muse-related point of view but from the stamina and committment to move forward. My family, Dad, Mom and sister. All my friends and all the close friends who allowed me to move forward in the US by giving me love, advice and some times their own house! Cesar Munoz, Jose Luis De La Paz, Siudy Garrido, Anita Loynaz, Vanessa Cerallo, Diego Paredes, Hugo Fuguet, Yara Saez, Jose Angel Balzan & Family, Rafael Velasquez & Family, Douglas Gomez & Family, Natalia Novela & Family, Tyronne Vera & Family, German Landaeta & Family, Vladimir Quintero & Family, Victor Montezuma, Aquiles Baez, Gustavo Nogueira, Daniela Rosi, Victor Melillo & Family, To all my school friends and coleagues from college. Last but not least, the people working with the brand that I love and represent: Jerry Zacarias from the Latin Percussion Family, Greg Crane from Yamaha US and Roberto Cedeno from Yamaha Latin America, Mehmet Tamedger & Family and Bulent Akbay from Istanbul Mehmet.
Yelp: Adolfo H. H.
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