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Measuring a Musician’s Success

gamboa book & cdBy Jim Parisi

To become a commercial success, a musician needs to have talent. But in the formula for success, a little luck and timing have to be factored into the equation. Still, there have been many very talented troubadours who have been in the right place at the right time and did not catch the train to fame. Usually, it’s because they overslept or “spaced out” and forgot all about it. And herein lays the key to fame and fortune: good management. Of all the musicians I have met, the successful ones have a dependable manager, usually a spouse or family member, taking them by the hand to catch the plane to Boston for a gig or to the dining table because it is time for lunch. Musicians live in a different dimension than the rest of us and that is one of the reasons we love them: they have a unique perspective and are able to articulate it, through poignant lyrics, blazing guitar riffs and amazing drum flurries that touch our souls.

Jaime Peligro Books and Music

In Costa Rica, Jaime Gamboa is a successful musician. He is one of the founders and the major songwriter of Malpais, one of this country’s most popular groups, with many other talented and successful musicians, including his brother Fidel and pianist Manuel Obrgon, one of the founders of Papaya Music, a major music label in Costa Rica. Jaime has also been one of the driving forces behind “Al Pie del Balcon”, an album of Guanacastecan serenades and “Tierra Seca”, an album of “modern folklore” from Guanacaste, performed by members of Malpais, Odilon Jaurez, and Jaime’s uncle and mentor, Max Goldemberg. Sr. Gamboa has also written books for young readers, books of poetry and participates in La Orquesta Esporadico. Whew! The word “prolific” comes to mind, but I don’t think that one phrase says enough.

Jaime Gamboa’s new venture has the appearance of a new horizon for him, a multi-media project that includes literature, music and the use of the internet. The physical part of this new project, a CD and book of short stories, are packaged together. The album is titled “La Cancion de Adan” and features Jaime at times solo, accompanied of Malpais on other occasions or simply brother Fidel and Uncle Max on others. But this is not by any stretch of the imagination a continuation of Malpais or Tierra Seca; to the contrary, I believe it is the continuation of the visions of Jaime, at times with his friends along for the ride. The songs are a collection of “traditional” and original scores, but the entire project takes on the look of an invented character and universe, so I suspect all the songs are actually Jaime’s. The photography and graphic design by Luciano Capelli are impeccable in displaying the overall ethereal mood of the project.

Packaging the CD together with the book of short stories was a novel concept and creates a unique collection. Realizing that some of Gamboa’s listening audience may not want a book with their album was good, insightful management, resulting in the release of the CD as a separate entity and should result in more sales. And Jaime listening to his managers and allowing this release indicates that he understands the formula for success.

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