In 2007 and 2008, I spent half of each year in Tulum, Mexico. It happened because Mike Mazmanian--another high school friend that hooked me up with a band--told me his friends in Tulum had a band that mixed West African drumming and balafon with reggae, cumbia, and other styles, and they needed a guitarist. And they were living in Tulum and making a decent living playing music. No brainer.
It was a big band, with keyboard, accordion, and balafon already filling up a lot of space, but I found some room. I learned all kinds of African guitar riffs, and we wrote some things together, and lived the dream for a while. Tulum!
My time with Bandikoro culminated in an amazing, well-documented (see Box of Tapes) tour across Mexico, including a show with Sargento Garcia.