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Straight out of Havana… A blazing ensemble of deeply soulful mambo and “a groove as intense as a runaway train.” – NPR Havana’s top musicians join forces with some of the most creative and spirited talents of New York’s Latin music scene to create Orquesta Akokán. This big band collective reinvigorates the sound of Cuban’s golden era mambo with a bold new energy reminiscent of Benny Moré, Pérez Prado, and banda gigante of the 1940's and 50's. In spring 2018, their self-titled first album released with Daptone Records. The album boasts all original songs recorded at the historic state-run Estudios Areito with Cuba's finest players, young and old, led by the inimitable and dynamic singer José "Pepito" Gómez, produced by Chulo Records' Jacob Plasse, with incendiary arrangements by Michael Eckroth. The ferocious and pedigreed wind and rhythm sections consist of musicians from storied groups including Irakere, NG La Banda, and Los Van Van. Robust, time-tested musical architectures of son cubano and mambo are honored and modernized through a synthesis of the rich compositional styles of Havana, New York, and beyond. Orquesta Akokán made their US debut in July 2018, which included a date at Lincoln Center, and continues their tour to Victoria, BC, to showcase the magnitude of their soulful, captivating music and myriad of rhythmic styles. Thursday, November 14 – 8:00pm ~ $65.00/$53.00 (tax and service charge included) Orquesta Akokán: https://www.orquestaakokan.com/ Ticket exclusively available through: Royal & McPherson Box Office (250-386-6121 or online at rmts.bc.ca).
Hermann’s re-opens with Summer Funk Series Tuesday, July 16, starting at 7:30 pm, the Phatfunks offer the first live performance at Hermann’s Jazz Club, 753 View Street, under the management of Arts On View. The Phatfunks a dynamic young band of emerging musicians, are kicking off a new, bi-weekly summer funk series every other Tuesday night at Hermann’s all-ages venue. The Phatfunks are a collective of funky musicians Victoria. The band can be seen in multiple forms, such as a 4 piece busking group in the summers performing downtown, or the full band, a 6 piece with 2 horns and rhythm section. They play funk, soul and R&B, with rock, jazz, and fusion influences. “We are delighted to take this essential step in our journey,” said interim executive director Nichola Walkden. “Hermann’s Jazz Club is the longest continuously-operating jazz club in Canada and we are thankful that the community’s generosity has kept Hermann’s alive, vibrant and growing.” Hermann’s was voted “Best Nightclub” by Times Colonist readers earlier this year. In addition to making improvements to the two clubs, Arts On View is working to open the upstairs venues for its vision of a non-profit owned performing and visual arts centre. The Arts On View Society (AOV) was founded to save Hermann’s Jazz Club and open up the whole, purpose-built, downtown building for live performances and rehearsals, performer and student workshops, visual arts displays, arts incubation and office space for smaller arts groups that can’t afford Victoria’s steep rents. Information: hermannsjazz.com artsonview.ca
untilVictoria’s pianist Ashley Wey celebrates the beauty of modern jazz with passion and improvisational joy, bringing the standards freshly back to life. With three critically acclaimed self-produced albums to her credit, the captivating Wey returned to Victoria with her latest ‘Live’: an album filled with inventive ideas and breathtaking artistry. Ashley is a charismatic singer/pianist who lights up the stage with her bright smile and magnificent sounds that open minds and reach hearts. J