The Last Great Traffic Jam (Part 1)

After working with the Santana Band from 1989 to 1993, I found out Steve Winwood and Jim Capaldi where looking to reunite the super 70’s band “Traffic” and launch a 1994 tour.

Capaldi sang and played percussion and drums so they needed someone that played percussion and drums to share duties back and forth with Capaldi and I was recommended by my friend percussionist Luis Conte.

I remember I was eating a sandwich in my home in Manhattan Beach, California when I got “the” call from Steve Winwood, personally. I almost choked when I answered the phone and heard his voice on the other end!

Steve and I spoke about music and a video cassette that he had seen of me performing with various other artists, and luckily, he loved my grooves. In that very same conversation, Steve invited me to join Traffic!

The very next day I got the call from Jim Capaldi welcoming me to the band. From that very first conversation with Jim, it felt as if I’ve known him forever. His wife Aninha was from Brazil and he loved Brazilian and Latin rhythms, which are my heritage.

We started rehearsals in UK at Steve Winwood’s home studio for a few weeks (an experience I will share in another blog in itself), and then moved to Nashville and rehearsed on a big rehearsal stage. We toured USA and UK all of 1994 including 11 huge stadium concerts with The Grateful Dead and performed at  Woodstock 1994 Music Festival.

It was an experience I will never forget for the rest of my life. All the guys in the Traffic band became a tight family. They even taught me how to master the Art of English Tea (Hint: Boil the water!)

So now let me share some video clips of this wonderful journey:

Last concert with the Grateful Dead at Giant Stadium, NY with Jerry Garcia sitting in on the song “Dear Mr.Fantasy”

“Gimme some Lovin” from DVD “The Last Great Traffic Jam”

Woodstock 1994 “Light up or Leave me alone”