By Gilbert Garcia
Last night offered a glimpse of the kind of vibrant gathering place that Main Plaza could become, with a little luck and the right coaxing. In celebration of the first anniversary of Main Plaza Conservancy, accordion titans Esteban Jordan and Flaco Jimenez played back-to-back sets in front of the largest crowd I've ever seen at Main Plaza.
Watching the brilliant Jordan in strong form after battling liver cancer was a particular thrill, and his enthusiastically received set reminded us that, like most of the greats, he exists in a parallel universe where no musical boundaries exist. He delivered "Georgia On My Mind" as a bilingual, Tejano ballad, turned Blood Sweat & Tears' "Spinning Wheel" into a conjunto dance number, and consistently hit the Chicano-soul spot, with lush doo-wop harmonies and his jazzy, unpredictable squeezebox runs.
If Main Plaza can build on that kind of momentum, the next year could be much livelier than the first.