Jazz musician plays host to pleasant night out

Oh Canada is playing, but it’s not the version you would expect. More of a Jimi Hendrix take, with the regular ensemble replaced by a single guitarist.

The man with the guitar looks up with his eyes closed as he hits the notes more from instinct than from practice.

His name is Zach Bandolin and he is the headliner. Bandolin has played his moody style of instrumental music on stages in Japan and Germany, and now he’s playing to Scarborough.

The Burrows Hall Community Center was host to “A night out with Zach Bandolin and friends” Saturday evening.

It was a first for newly formed Your Night Out Entertainment, and rep Jen Paragas was pleased with the result.

“Overall, it was successful. We learned a lot and the experience and feedback will definitely help us to improve our future events.”

The spectacle began just after 7 p.m. as a nice roast beef dinner was served, while the husband-wife team of Ed and Judith Flores serenaded diners with renditions of Celine Dion, Frank Sinatra and other classics.

Bandolin’s keyboard player Ken Jones had rehearsed with him only a couple of times before and was unaware of what to expect from the evening.

“It will be interesting to see what this is like,” he said, right before the music started.

He was referring to the other two acts: Peter Mangaser, and Joshua Lopez and his band.

“Sometimes they are just opening acts, but in this case, I’m not sure,” Jones said.

Well, the openers did not disappoint, with equally impressive amounts of talent and skill between them.

Also, Abby de Guzman sang with Bandolin on a couple of his tunes and really got the crowd’s attention with her soulful voice.

But the highlight of the night was definitely at the end when Mangaser, Lopez and Bandolin all took turns flipping hammer-ons and pull-offs.They had all joined together for a big solo-exchanging finale.

“By what we have heard here tonight, these guys have a lot of potential,” Bandolin said.

Bandolin, a man of few words but very many notes, graciously thanked the audience before he made his rounds. But he did made sure to plug his next gig at the Augusta House in Kensington Market on May 29 before everyone emptied out.

That too will be represented by Your Night Out Entertainment Company, and they are looking forward to doing more shows with local talent. While the talent is there, it is in need of more local support in order to flourish.

“Surprisingly, there weren’t that many Scarborough locals that attended the show,” Paragas said.

“Most people were from Mississauga, Brampton, downtown and even as far as Sarnia.It’s nice to know that people are willing to travel to enjoy the event.

“We hope this will continue in the future, and that more people from Scarborough will join us too.”

photo gallery
Ed and Judith Flores sing to each other while the diners eat. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Ed and Judith Flores sing to each other while the diners eat. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_ed_and_judy_041009)
Ed Flores has some fun with a Frank Sinatra song. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Ed Flores has some fun with a Frank Sinatra song. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_ed_is_the_man_041009)
Peter Mangaser hits the high notes as he works on a solo in the opening act. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Peter Mangaser hits the high notes as he works on a solo in the opening act. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_peter_mangaser_sh_041009)
Joshua Lopez of Miss Saigon fame closes his eyes as he improvises along with his band. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Joshua Lopez of Miss Saigon fame closes his eyes as he improvises along with his band. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_joshua_lopez_dr_041009)
Joshua Lopez and Zach Bandolin appear together before Bandolin's solo act. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Joshua Lopez and Zach Bandolin appear together before Bandolin's solo act. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_zach-and-josh_041009)
Lopez and Bandolin get into it. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Lopez and Bandolin get into it. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_zach-and-josh-rpn_041009)
Zach Bandolin moves down the fret-board improvising jazzy tunes (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Zach Bandolin moves down the fret-board improvising jazzy tunes (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_jamband_041009)
Abby de Guzman and Zach Bandolin collaborate. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
Abby de Guzman and Zach Bandolin collaborate. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_abby_and_zach_041009)
The three guitar players take the stage in a finale jam session. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer)
The three guitar players take the stage in a finale jam session. (Phillip Smalley/Toronto Observer) (ps_the-three-stooges_041009)