I never thought I would rave about a harmonica player but Carlos del Junco blew the lid off the Southampton Jazz Club last night.
Patrons in a packed Walker House lounge heard every note of this cuban wizard as he cruised from Amazing Grace to Sometimes I Wonder.
But then, the acoustics are excellent in this small room and his sound system was cranked up to fill the Royal Albert Hall.
Nevertheless, the rather thin young man with almost Woody Allen spectacles won the discerning audience regulars of the fledgeling jazz club run by our own Charlie Bell.
Charlie’s drummer, Mark Mariash, is friends of Carlos and persuaded the Toronto resident to travel to the backwoods of Bruce County to entertain the ‘hicks’; the county is famous for growing all the beef you can eat in Ontario.
Earlier, the club’s house band led by Charlie Bell with Andy Harsymczuk, guitar (I always have to look up spelling), Mike Grace, bass fiddle and Mark Mariash, drums, entertained diners during the dinner hour from 6:30 p.m.
Their playlist, as usual, held some standards, several with interesting arrangements, as well as listenable jazz while dinner was served
Not sure if last night was the debut of Perry Grace, Mike’s son, but he certainly took over the bass fiddle as if he owned it and gave a commendable performance, much to the delight of family members listening, including his grandmother Bea, who happens to be an old friend of mine.
Bea and I go back a long way; our late husbands, Louis and Larry hung out together and were probably two of the Tara Teens who stirred up this tiny village in the 1930s. Memories of Tara for each of us are what we share. She’s so fortunate this summer, having Perry staying with her.
Mark Mariash is off to Welland today to play with one of my faviourite artists, Molly Johnson.
Stay tuned for more updates.