Kick of the Canada Day weekend Friday night

Zandhunga will fill the Bridge Lounge with sound this Friday evening.

Kicking off the heat of summer and the Canada Day long weekend, Latin dance party band Zandhunga will take to the stage at the Bridge Lounge this Friday.

Named accordingly for its location adjacent to the bridge at the foot of Fifth Street in Courtenay, the Bridge Lounge overlooks the Courtenay River and boasts a newly-opened deck.

“We enjoy performing at the Bridge and are very excited about this renovation,” says Zandhunga’s bassist Britt Bowman.

A new deck means that, for the first time ever, audience members at the Bridge will have the opportunity to go out and gulp in breaths of fresh river air under a sunset, or starry sky, between dancing the night away to Zandhunga’s storm of tropical rhythms sure to be shaking the floor inside.

Currently Canada-based, the original formation of Zandhunga’s roots was in Mexico. The group’s director is Mexican-born vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, Oscar Robles Diaz, but Zandhunga’s members also hail from Canada and as far as Scotland.

This somewhat-unpredicted lineup for a Latin orchestra shows a slice of Canada’s unique multiculturalism and the group has earned international demand for what has been branded as their own signature fresh, West-Coast style.

Never a band to leave the dance-party-enthusiast disappointed, Zandhunga’s repertoire consists of salsa, son, cha-cha-cha, merengue and much more. Latin music’s distinct and undeniably Afro influences lend perfectly to the addition of the djembe drum in Zandhunga. Other instrumentation includes trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboard, fretless bass, multiple voices and a range of Latin percussion.

Zandhunga pays tribute to great legends of the genre, including Los Melodicos and La India from Mexico, Joe Arrollo from Columbia, Celia Cruz from Cuba and Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon from Puerto Rico.

Additionally, Zandhunga’s performances are always generously topped with their own, original material. Those compositions, in addition to other surprises, will be available on a full length, self-titled CD that the group is in the final stages of recording. The album is set for release this August.

Having recently returned from a memorable show at the Gorge Hall on Cortes Island, the group is gearing up for a busy summer that lies ahead.

For the Zandhunga show at the Bridge Lounge, doors open earlier than usual at 7 p.m. and the cover charge is $10 (cash only).

For more information about the Bridge Lounge, visit For more about Zandhunga and to check out audio and video samples, visit

— Zandhunga


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