Bye South America, Hello New York! (roasted butternut squash soup)

Now that I’ve been home for a day or so, I’ve really been able to reflect on my tour to South America with Beyonce. I have to say, it was really rough! Not a lot of sleep, lots of traveling, the life of a musician. Fortunately, the pros outweighed the cons! Just the people alone that I met in Brazil, Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, and Puerto Rico were so beautiful and incredibly inspiring! I just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone that I came across! You have a place in my heart forever and I’m so grateful for all of you! Here’s a little video after our last show in Puerto Rico:

One of the things that I was looking forward to most in New York (besides seeing my family of course) was the fall time! These 2 weeks will be the only fall I experience this year since we’ll be heading to Australia and New Zealand next! So the next 2 weeks are all about me making my favorite fall dishes! First one’s up!

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Yield: serves 2

What you need:

  • 1 medium butternut squash peeled, deseeded, cubed (the smaller you cube it the faster it roasts)
  • 2 shallots halved
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts toasted
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp plain green yogurt (with extra for garnishing)
  • 1/2 tsp cardamom powder

Method:

Preheat oven to 450° F. Season squash and shallots generously with salt and pepper. Toss in olive oil until coated evenly. Spread squash and shallots out evenly on a cookie sheet and bake until tender all the way through (30-45 minutes) flipping every once in a while. Meanwhile, toast the pine nuts in a small skillet over med heat (watching carefully to not burn the nuts!). Once squash is tender put in a blender with 2 cups chicken stock and blend until it reaches a smooth consistency. Remove from blender and pour into a stock pot over medium heat. Stir in cardamom powder and Greek yogurt. Pour into bowls and garnish with toasted pine nuts and a dollop of yogurt. Serve with a toasted baguette.

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Improvise

  • Try toasted almond slices instead of pine nuts
  • You can use heavy cream instead of greek yogurt
  • Try roasting root vegetables like parsnips or carrots as the soup base

This recipe is so warm and comforting. Perfect for the autumnal season in New York! All we need left is that air outside to get a little colder and crisper! (why does it still feel like summer, NY?!) The perfect song to go with this recipe is none other than, “Autumn in New York” performed by Joe Lovano and the Juilliard Jazz Orchestra (this is a throw back to my Jailyard days.. that’s me on baritone)

Ciao!

A

Backstage Experience: Medellin, Colombia

While backstage a few nights ago in Medellin, Colombia, lots of interesting discoveries occurred. First, while finishing up our makeup and hair we had a visit from La Escuela Kolacho (The Kolacho School). This was a group of kids that studied hip hop and dancing as a part of a program to keep kids off of the streets. They were just yet another very inspiring group of people that I have met in South America. Here’s a clip of one of the kids showing us how it’s done:

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Part 2 of my discoveries in Medellin come from Dani and I in catering. I discovered one of my new favorite foods! The granadilla! It’s a fruit native to Bolivia, Venezuela, and Colombia and tastes similar to a passionfruit but is sweeter!

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The granadilla has black seeds on the inside and surrounded by a pulp. It may look weird but it’s so yummy and packed with Vitamins C, A, and K, phosphorus, iron, and calcium! As you can see by this video however, I need to work on my eating technique of this fruit. That last bite wasn’t so lady like.. :p

Have a beautiful day, everyone!

Caracas, Venezuela and Medellin, Colombia

I know I’m a little late on your post, Venezuela! Thank you for the most adventurous show I’ve ever experienced! I’m grateful for you! At this point in the tour, just the traveling alone is enough to wear you out.. So I decided to stay in the hotel for our time in Caracas, but loved experiencing the mountains of Venezuela on the way from the airport to the hotel!

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While at the hotel I had some pretty good food! I think one of the top dishes of this leg so far is this one: crema de auyama: (pumpkin soup)

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It was the most comforting dish and reminded me of home. (Can you tell I’ve gotten a little homesick, yet? Lol) Comes with the territory.
One of the best moments in Caracas was going to Benihana with Rie and sitting next to two couples from Venezuela (both speaking Spanish and one couple knew Italian too) Rie didn’t know a word of Spanish or Italian.. And mine is very broken in both languages, yet we had a full dinner’s conversation talking about where we were from and how we like South America and all.. What an adventure that was. Rie and I left the dinner and she said “Adison, that was SO MUCH FUN! Like one giant game of charades!” Hahaha and it was!

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Today is actually the day of the show in Colombia.. So I hope you guys are ready, Medellin! We got here yesterday, after the quickest plane ride I’ve ever experienced.. (2 hrs but I was passed out for the entire thing) I fell asleep before the plane took off and when it landed, I woke up and started freaking out because I didn’t know where I was, but the more alarming question was, who was underneath my bed shaking it. I really thought I was being attacked by the boogie monster. (Rough, I know). To give you a better idea of my flying experience yesterday.. here’s Mr Bear and I after 2 hrs of sleep and waiting for 5 hours in the airport. Wait, this one needs a proper intro.

Ladies and Gentlemen I introduce to you the most glamorous part of the road..

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I’m going for Miss America with that shot.. Jeez Louise. My point is people.. Is that this job isn’t all makeup, heels, and fabulousness. It involves a whole LOT of looking like that. Anywho..

Luckily I woke up enough to experience the winding mountainous roads and beautiful landscape of Colombia. I wouldn’t of been able to sleep even if I wanted to the way the bus driver, Weavie Wonder (ba dum psh) was flying around the corners like we were in an Aston Martin.. Plus the whizzing by of the motorcyclists.. Turning the corners like they’re in a video game and going by so quickly it sounded like a bumble bee was permanently in my ear. The views and the weather were stunning, though:

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I’m looking forward to playing for you tonight, Colombia!
Have a beautiful Sunday, all!

Projeto de Meninos/Meninas de Rua

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The whole reason that I do what I do lies in this picture. These kids give me the energy and the inspiration to keep on performing and strive to be a better artist. I cannot thank enough the Projeto de Meninos e Meninas de Rua for visiting with the Mrs Carter Show a few nights ago in Sao Paolo.

Most of the time when I get to the venue, I grab my horn and go straight to a place where I can practice. Usually this means practicing in a stairwell, a bathroom, a loading dock with all of the trucks, or in some cases when the crew let me.. the crew room. I remember in Sao Paolo I went to practice and finished just in enough time to take my horn out to the stage when I ran into the kids from this project. Thank goodness I did, because I didn’t realize the amount of joy that they were about to bring me. Our first meeting went a little like this:

This whole trip to South America is a huge affirmation that the simplest things in life can bring the most happiness. Not money, not fame, not material items, not a huge house, not a nice car.. none of that. The majority of people here don’t have that. They are the happiest, most passionate, most grateful people I’ve ever met in my life. Take note, America.
Here’s a few clips from their performance:

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Translation by Daniele Ribiero

Dear Projeto de Meninos/Meninas de Rua,

I know you guys said that you came to see the Mrs Carter Show a few nights ago, but the way I see it, is I came to work that day to see you guys perform. It was one of the most honest, inspiring performances I’ve ever witnessed in my career. Music can change the world, and I am eternally grateful for who you all are and what you do. Thank you. With much love..

From one of your biggest fans,
Adison Evans

To check out more on The Project of boys and girls of Rua go to their website: http://www.pmmr.org.br

Belo Horizonte Adventure!

Today was our day off in Belo Horizonte and it was such a blast! Brazil, you are such a beautiful country with amazing people! At first I didn’t think anything was going to happen outside of the hotel today, since we’re all pretty unfamiliar with Belo Horizonte, but it turned out to be a day full of adventure, thanks to our lovely tour guide, Raquel!
Let’s start at the beginning. First was the Central Market:

My mind goes into overdrive whenever I’m in a market, especially a fun one like this! There were so many colors, scents, shapes and sizes.. I wanted to try everything! (I’m not kidding, our tour guide Raquel was like “wow she really does want to eat everything doesn’t she?!”) Starting with empadas.. the perfect balanced bite of crusty dough, salty beef, and melty creamy cheese. Ah, heaven! Rie wanted to get more to bring home, they were so good! Here’s Rie, Bibi, Raquel, and myself:

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Next up was the Brazilian cachaca, explained to me by Raquel:

We chased our empadas with the sweetest pineapple I’ve ever tasted. yum!

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Not only were there lots of yummy things to eat, but there were lots of babies! Here’s Larry’s new friend:

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Our next stop on the Belo Horizonte Adventure was to hear a little bit of a very happening Brazilian pop band, Jota Quest play in the park!

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Continuing on in our music/food/adventure filled day, we stopped to enjoy acai bowls with granola and banana! Apparently the acai fruit is known in the amazon as the “viagra of the amazon”.. Little fun fact for ya.. 😉 lol!

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The best part about eating this antioxidant packed snack is the color it turns your tongue..

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After that we took a drive with Praca Do Papas in mind as our destination and took in the scenery and happened to take a roller coaster ride! (??) I mean, we drove down the steepest hill I’ve ever seen in my life. The one in the video yelling “we’re all gonna die”.. yeah, that’s me.

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Belo Horizonte, thank you for an amazing adventure packed day filled with food, music, breathtaking views, a rich culture, and lots of love. My heart goes out to you and I cannot wait to play for you all tomorrow night!
Eu amo voce!
Adi

Fortaleza

We made it to South America! What’s up, Fortaleza?! Well, I’ve had a pleasant day and a half so far, since it’s been practically a vacation! We had to get here and wait around for the stage and everything to be built. So i’ve just been getting work done, going to the gym, hangin by the pool, running on these beautiful beaches (I did see a guy get chased down and tasered though on that little adventure) and NETFLIX works here! (I’m in the 5th season of MadMen)

Tonight we had a little rehearsal at the stadium here and it’s HUGE! I think they said it holds 50,000 people or so? I don’t know about you, but when I see a big open space like that, I just really want to run around.. but at the expense of having the crew and everyone think i’m completely nuts I settled for strapping my horn around my neck and walking around while warming up. (After traveling for so long and being away from my horn I start to get that practice itch.. You musicians know what I mean.)

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Yesterday we went out to lunch at Coco Bambu and had the freshed seafood! It was so yummy. Of course, placing the order with the waiter was a little difficult, seeing as I only know one word of Portuguese.. and I guess it’s really nothing like Spanish because Kat even had a difficult time. I really wish I got on video her trying to order honey.. “You know.. miele… bee zzzz zzz zzz” (flutters her hands in the air like a bee) It was a good attempt, and kind of fun playing a real life game of charades.. Meanwhile the waiter looks at us like we’re nuts. Ah well, It was a perfectly balanced lunch with fresh ingredients, that I was so grateful for after the airplane food. (Preservative central, right?)Oh, I left out a key detail.. those mashed potatoes with the crust on top.. bombdotcom!

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The breakfast at the hotel was delicious too! Those little buns with the guava jelly in the middle are dangerous! Guava is one of my favorite flavors. Mmm mmm mmm! They eat fruit like it’s candy here. I can really dig that, however I’ve really been eyeing up that Twix in my mini bar. (aye yaye yayee..) I wonder how long it’s been sitting there.. :/ lol

Here’s some shots from rehearsal:

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Today is also Brazil’s Independence Day. Happy birthday Brazil!! I’m glad I could share it with you, and I’m so looking forward to playing here in Fortaleza tomorrow night!

P.S.- Let me know how you all like my new “Where’s Waldo” shirt. I’m enjoying it quite much 🙂

What season is it?

It is so surreal to travel the world this much in such a short amount of time. Hey, it’s surreal playing with the biggest pop star today too, especially since I never anticipated my career going down this path. Believe it or not, out of all the things the be amazed by in my travels, a big one is the weather. I grew up in New Jersey where we experienced four seasons. Whereas now, I’m traveling the world and will experience the northeast’s fall in South America and Australia (more summer for me, I suppose!) Sounds like a dream to most, (me too!) but I have to say I will miss New York in the fall time. It’s one of my favorite places to be at this time of year. It hit me tonight when we were sound checking in Philly; the sun was going down and it was getting cooler and I finally got that “it’s getting to be fall soon” smell. It’s a beautiful thing. It’s Labor Day weekend and it’ll conclude the summer and begin the new chapter of Fall.

I’m looking forward to being in South America and Australia this “fall,” especially since I’ve never been. I’m very excited! I know I’ll be in for a rude awakening when I come back to frigid windy New York weather in November after we come back from Australia. (I’ll have to put those Uggs to use!)

10 months ago, I had no idea I’d be where I am now in my career. I thought I’d be starting my second year of my Master’s degree at Juilliard (my 6th year total..whoa) and getting back into the school/shed grind. So much has changed, and what a trip it’s been so far! I am so blessed and grateful. I know it’s not even close to being over, so I will continue to keep you guys posted on all of the exciting things happening! In the meanwhile however, I will continue to pack everything from shorts to warm jackets in my suitcase because this weather will throw me for a loop.

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Happy Labor Day Weekend!

-A

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