START DATE: 01/10/2013
# OF MUSICIANS: 12
GUITAR: Yamaha C80
Michael is accomplished jazz musician that teaches music at the University of Vermont. A few years ago he was on a tour with a six-piece Colombian/Jazz band called the Convergence Project. While he was in Bogotá, he unknowingly walked into one of the most dangerous neighborhoods of La Candelaria. He was attacked from behind by three young men and stabbed four times. Locals on the scene immediately went to his aid.
Michael’s wife, Elizabeth, got word of the news while she was in Vermont, but she received very little information about the specifics. Fortunately she was with friends. They immediately posted what had happened on Facebook, and asked if anyone in Bogotá could help. Joel Waldman saw the reply and immediately shared it with friends and family. Joel’s mother Yaneth, a well-known South American actress, asked her twitter followers if they could identify the hospital Michael was in. Within five minutes, a nurse tweeted back that Michael was on the second floor of San Jose General Hospital, Bed 17.
On Sunday morning, Yaneth called an oncologist friend who used to work at San Jose Hospital. She said, “I know that you are no longer there, but do you have any friends who work on the inside?” She was given the name of a surgeon–Carolina Rodriguez. Yaneth phoned her and she turned out to be Michael’s surgeon!
A few days into his recovery, Michael received a call form Yaneth who was still a complete stranger to him. She offered to stop by with her family, and she also asked Michael’s shoe size — which seemed like an odd request until she showed up with a new pair of slippers the next day. Yaneth and her family continued to provide support to Michael and to his family as they arrived to Colombia. They were welcomed with open arms by everyone they met during the remainder of their time in Bogotá, including Yaneth’s son Joel. Since Joel is a musician, Michael and he formed their own unique bond, and became good friends, as well.
When I heard this story, I knew Joel would be the right person to start Project 03 for The Acoustic Guitar Project.