Not many musicians can say they died for their art and lived to tell about it.
On Aug. 28, 2010, the flamenco-jazz-fusion band Gypsy Cat, led by guitarist Carl Ferrari, had a show at the Jakmel Art Gallery, in Wynwood, to raise money for its first album. While setting up on stage, Ferrari grabbed a microphone stand, got electrocuted, and suffered a heart attack. Ferrari’s friend and fellow musician, Alex Logan, remembers that he was about to join Gypsy Cat on stage for a jam session when he heard “a humming in the speaker.”
“Carl goes to grab the microphone, and he started shaking, and he dropped,” Logan told me in a recent phone conversation.
Ferrari remembers the moment up until he lost consciousness.
“When I reached down and grabbed the mic, it fused to my hand, and I couldn’t let go of it,” he says. “I had no pulse and no breathing. I had a heart attack.”
Lucky for Ferrari, Logan, an Immigrations and Customs Enforcement officer who, at the time, had recently earned his paramedic certification, came to his friend’s rescue. After making sure Ferrari wasn’t a live wire, Logan began giving him CPR, a technique he had learned only months earlier.
“It felt like forever, but it took at least seven to 10 minutes,” Logan says. “When the ambulance gets there, they had to attach a defibrillator, so for sure he was in cardiac. You can only shock flat line.”
The defibrillator did the trick: Ferrari came back to life. This coming Saturday marks the first anniversary of his re-birth.