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Live Latin music returns to the Bridge

Zandhunga is back to pack the dance floor once more.

Zandhunga is back to pack the dance floor once more.

Searing-hot salsa, cumbia, merengue, cha-cha-cha and more is what the Comox Valley’s very own Zandhunga ensemble performs. They will appear live at the Bridge Lounge at the foot of Fifth Street in Courtenay this Saturday at 8 p.m.

For the dance-party enthusiast looking to get their Latin dance-party on or for just about anyone longing for summer and hankering for a taste of the tropics, Zandhunga’s tunes are just what the doctor ordered. The group has roots in Mexico City and members that hail from there as well as Canada and beyond.

Although Comox Valley-based, it has been a long time (almost a year!) since the group’s last local performance. That show also happened to be at the Bridge Lounge — the Courtenay venue dancers flock to for its prime location overlooking the river, its tasty beverages and its luxuriously spacious dance floor, perfect for plenty of swirling and twirling if that happens to be your thing.

Last year marked the release of Zandhunga’s first full-length album, and also their first intercontinental tour that took them to Taiwan’s Keelung City to perform as part of the yearly Lunar Ghost Festival celebrations held there; an honour, all members agree, as well as an amazing experience.

While Zandhunga’s album was first officially released in Taiwan, somewhat sadly the group has not yet had the chance to formally celebrate the release here in their hometown. So, despite having copies already in circulation, they are treating the coming show like a very belated CD release party.

“It is important for us to recognize this CD release locally in our community,” explains Zandhunga bassist, Britt Bowman, “because it really was made possible by community effort.”

Recording of the album was done at Swinging Cat and Alebrije —two local recording studios. Also, the album features locally inspired and locally created original artwork. The colourfully roaring, west-coast shorescape on the CD cover is a snippet of a large painting by the very talented Helen Utsal of Comox Valley’s Art Alchemy Collective.

Last, but not least, Kera McHugh of SomethingElse Support Studio came through to save the day and make CD replication possible with her superb graphic design skills.

In addition to the original material featured on the album, the May 4 Zandhunga show promises to tribute some classic and modern compositions of Latin greats such as Oscar De Leon, Joe Arrollo, La India and Celia Cruz. Instrumentation will include trumpet, flugelhorn, keyboard, bass, drum kit and a range of Afro-Latin percussion amid multiple voices.

Visit for more information as well as audio and video clips. To contact the Bridge Lounge, call 250-871-7277 or visit

— Zandhunga