Zandhunga members (clockwise from top left) Oscar Robles Diaz

Zandhunga bringing Latin dance to the Bridge

Internationally acclaimed Comox Valley-based ensemble

Salsa, Latin-jazz and much more is on the live music menu featured at the Bridge Lounge this Saturday, February 28th. Doors open at 8:00 p.m., and the locally-based ensemble, Zandhunga will take to the stage to kick off a new series of Latin-themed live music events presented by Buleria Productions that will be happening monthly at the downtown night club.

“Overlooking the river, the Bridge Lounge is an excellent venue in an excellent location. It has a superbly spacious dance floor, and we want it to be put to good use,” says Britt Bowman of Buleria Productions.

Expect nothing less than high-energy Latin dance party vibes from Zandhunga. The ensemble has toured internationally, taking their music as far as Taiwan. Mexican-born percussionist and lead vocalist in the group is Oscar Robles Diaz who grew up to the sweet sounds of salsa as a boy. He says it’s an absolute pleasure to perform in Canada and see Latinos and non-Latinos alike feeling the fire of Latin rhythms and loving it.

“It’s just about having fun,” he says, “whether you know and practice the dance steps specific to each style or not, it’s all good!”

His slick grooves on the congas and killer solos are backed by brilliant bass tumbaos played ‘Britt de La Isla’ (Brittany Bowman) and mesmerizing montunos played by keyboardist ‘La Tomasa’ (Kelly Thomas). Amid multiple voices, the delectable cherry on the cake is the cool stylings of Jake Masri on trumpet and fluegelhorn and – the ensemble’s most recent addition – Jeff Agopsowicz on slide trombone.

In its fullest form, Zandhunga is a musically diverse and far-reaching collective comprised of musicians, dancers and artists based in Mexico, as well as Canada. Results of their creative collaboration can be heard on Zandhunga’s self-titled cd. The album, which will be available for sale at Bridge Lounge, features original compositions and album art work by locally-based painter Helen Utsal of the Art Alchemy collective.

For this Saturday, Zandhunga’s repertoire will include their usually heavy dosage of classic and cutting edge salsa. Tribute will be paid to legends such as Hector Lavoe and Willie Colon, well as the queen of salsa, Celia Cruz. Merengue and cha-cha-cha is also on the menu, as well as the Latin-jazz classic by Dizzy Gillespie, A Night in Tunisia, which Zandhunga has prepared with spice à la Poncho Sanchez.

Advance tickets are $12 and can be purchased at Blue Heron Books, 1775 Comox Avenue, Comox, (250-339-6111), at Bop City Records, 211 Simms Street, Courtenay (250-338-6621) or at Village Muse Books, 2720 Dunsmuir Avenue, Cumberland (250-400-5466). Admission at the door is $15.

 

Just Posted

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

Basket raffle a Comox Valley Child Development Association Children’s Telethon tradition

One-stop Christmas shopping with Winner Takes All Basket rffle

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

Golden anniversary for G.P. Vanier Thursday

It was a day of celebration for students, educators and administrators past… Continue reading

Singer k.d. lang receives Alberta’s highest honour

Celebrated singer-songwriter k.d. lang received the Alberta Order of Excellence in Edmonton

Comox Valley gives back

A look at some of the organizations and individuals who help out in the community

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

‘Mom, I’m in trouble:’ Canadian faces 10 years for alleged graffiti

Brittney Schneider, another tourist caught spraying message on walls of Tha Pae Gate in Thailand

Feds consulting on national anti-racism strategy behind closed doors

Heritage Minister Pablo Rodriguez says people still face systemic racism in some communities

Enbridge aims for mid-November to finish B.C. pipeline repair after blast

A natural gas pipeline that ruptured and burned near Prince George caused an explosion and fireball

How to get government cheques if Canada Post staff go on strike

The Canadian Union of Postal Workers said members could go on rotating strikes as early as Monday

Anti-SOGI school trustee files defamation lawsuit against BCTF president

Barry Neufeld says Glen Hansman’s words caused him “indignity,” “personal harassment,” and “anxiety”

Most Read