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General News · 18th May 2016
Connie Brill - CIBATA
Latin-dance party band Zandhunga returns to Gorge Hall -
Expect nothing less than high-energy Latin dance-party vibes from Zandhunga who is set to play the Gorge Hall on Saturday, May 21st, adding spice to this year’s Sea Fest. Live music, dance lessons, finger food and a licensed lounge - come on out and dance the night away and support CIBATA (Cortes Island Business and Tourism Association).

The introductory dance lesson runs from 7:30PM - 8:30PM. The class is led by Salsa Rueda instructors Kelly Thomas & Fred Sherbourne. The cost for the dance lesson ($5 per person).

The lounge opens at 8:30PM and the live music begins at 9PM. Admission for the dance is $15/adult, $10/youth and $40/family of 4. Tickets are available at the door or you can purchase your tickets at CIBATA's table at Seafest. As well a limited number of tickets are available until noon on Saturday at the Squirrel Cove Store, the Co-op, and the Cortes Market.

If you caught this group at the Gorge Hall last year, you'll know it's a show not to be missed. The Comox Valley-based ensemble has toured internationally, bringing their lively and infectious music to happy audiences as far away as Taiwan, and they are excited to return to Cortes so they can get the Gorge grooving Latin-style once again.

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 play Latin music in Canada and see Latinos and non-Latinos alike feeling the fire of the rhythms.“It’s just about having fun,” he says, “whether you grew up in a Latin-American country or practice the dance steps specific to each style or not…it’s all good. It’s just about getting together and enjoying.”

His slick grooves and killer solos are backed by the bass stylings of Brittany ‘Britt de la Isla’ Bowman and the mesmerizing montunos of keyboardist Kelly ‘La Tomasa’ Thomas. Amid multiple voices, the horn section is happening with the fantastic Jeff “Jeffe” Agopsowicz on slide trombone and Jake “Jacobo” Masri on trumpet. Zandhunga’s repertoire includes a high-dosage of salsa with tribute paid to such legends as Celia Cruz, amongst others. Some cumbia, merengue and cha-cha-cha are also in the repertoire.

Zandhunga -‘pronounced ‘San-DUNE-gah’ is a variation of the spelling ‘Zandunga’ or ‘Sandunga.’ Traditionally in Mexico, the word means charm or enchantment and is a type of folkloric dance from Oaxaca. But colloquially across Latin-America, ‘Zandhunga’ has become synonymous with the word ‘salero’ or flavour. The legendary queen of salsa, Celia Cruz, was known to shout out the word ‘Zandhunga’ in the middle of live performances, adding ever more fire to her band’s driving rhythms and searing-hot solos.

We hope to see you there!
Find Zandhunga on Facebook at