Thursday, March 28 at Incanto, the third season Opening Night for the Vallarta Vocalista Ensemble. This brilliant octet of local expats rehearses all year round to perform six concerts; guaranteed to be unlike anything else you’ve heard. Ever. Nearly all the singers are also musicians, many playing multiple instruments and they all contribute their ideas to the playlist which changes annually. This year, their invited guest is gorgeous Patsy Meyer lending her powerful voice to the ensemble. Patsy will also play percussion in a few numbers. Join me Thursday at 7 pm, for the Vocalista’s eagerly anticipated first show.
Friday, March 29 at The Palm Cabaret, I am going to see Jimmy James in his new show that will also include a bit of Fashionista that we saw late last year. I am so excited to see him again. I remember standing outside the Palm talking with Bill Makley and others in December – all of us dumbfounded by Jimmy’s show. His impersonations are downright spooky. Catch Jimmy at The Palm before the end of next week.
Saturday, March 30, at Meño’s Place, to hear Vallarta’s favorite now not-roving tenor, Rodolfo. I am going for dinner at this new resto in 5 de diciembre at Honduras 348. The setting is beautiful, high up with views of the Bay of Banderas. I was delighted to see Meño again after his many years at Café de Olla. He is doing well, the resto is busy, and it’s time to taste his food. I know the entertainment will be fabulous and I’ll have a full report next week on everything else. For reservations call 322 222 7549.
Sunday, March 31, at Coco Tropical from 6 to 8:30 pm, Rodolfo’s final concert this season; he has come a long, long way. See you there for the best pepper steak in Vallarta.
Tuesday, April 02, at Incanto, at 7 pm. Speaking of tenors…Alejandro Peña has one show, only. This young Pata Salada, formally trained in Nayarit, has returned to his hometown to show his city what he has learned. Alejandro sang a couple of songs at a house party this past weekend, then I put in a request for ‘Nessum Dorma,’ a favorite aria of mine from Turandot. He apologized he did not have the music with him. Disappointed, I went back to stand next toJulie Guerrero, who has Alejandro entertaining at No Way Jose. A minute later, Alejandro began Nessum Dorma a cappella. Julie said he would make me cry with his magnificent voice and he did. I really want to hear more of this young man. You’ll find me at Incanto for his debut, April 2.
After a dazzling matinee tribute to David Bowie, Jeremy Wright returned to Incanto with fellow Canadian Tyler Dadswell as McCartney and Lennon respectively. For the “Music of the Beatles,” Jeremy shone on bass guitar and keyboards; Tyler inspiring as John in granny glasses playing one of Lennon’s fave guitars. Days later Jeremy and Tyler were joined by Nik Hirst on keyboards for a tribute to the BeeGees. An unfortunate technical problem – a broken cable – could not be replaced until intermission, so the first half of the show was not as good as the second. Blending tracks with live singing, a piano, and a guitar is tricky at best and without the cable connecting everyone…
The second half was wonderful, and the trio went on to two sold-out shows in Bucerias. Canadians Tracey and Doug sitting next to me in the front row were happy as could be with the entire show. The boys played “Nights on Broadway” both Tracey’s and my fave BeeGee song. The harmonies, when we could hear all three voices, were sublime.
The 23rd Annual Jazz Festival continues at Cuates y Cuetes until Thursday the 28th. It was quite thrilling to see Tom Coster and to hear Europa onstage with the sky and the Bay of Banderas becoming night in the background. Martin Montenegro on sax was wonderfully haunting.
Memo Suarez, the only drummer-in-Vallarta-with-one-retina, was superb as MC; kept the crowd informed who was coming up to play and announced each and every band member. Saw a bunch of favorites including Moruno, Tatawari, and Media Luna. Many thanks to Esther, (Tete), owner of Cuates y Cuetes for throwing a hell of a party and the Equinox Ceremony. See everyone there, god willing, for number 24 next spring.
At Incanto, Paul Aleman debuted his solo “Country Roads” tribute to John Denver last week. The audience was sold-out with many friends and fans of the late John Denver and Paul! What a joy to listen to such a sweet, rare voice. While Paul has the same vocal range as John Denver, he also has a warm and rich undertone that Denver did not have. Paul is brilliant on either a six-or twelve-string guitar. He included a couple of non-Denver tunes; one, a fave of his mom’s and mine – ‘Today.’ Not a dry eye in the house. His third and last performance will be at the Luna Lounge in Bucerias Thursday, March 28th. More about Paul Aleman in my column “From Here.”