Arrow Lakes News
The Bonnington Arts Centre was near capacity on Wednesday, October 22 for the Jazz-Flamenco fusion that is Servantes.
When the lights went down, audience applause met a floppy-haired, bespectacled man in jeans and red shoes resembling cowboy boots. He sat down on a low stool with a guitar across his lap. Keeping his head down, he began to play a haunting Latin-sounding melody. This was Patrice Servant. The song was a melodic version of “Caravan” by Rachael Portman.
Soon the other three members came out to join him.
The quartet is comprised of Servant on guitar, Yves Lacoursière on horns and piano, François Taillefer on percusion and Naki on stick harp. The stick harp is a one-of-a-kind, 37-string instrument which combines guitar, bass, tanbur (like a sitar) and Troubadour harp. Throughout the evening, they played several different types of Latin music, from Flamenco to “Brazilian Afro-Samba” and a spirited version of Santana’s “Oye Como Va.”
Concert goer Marilyn McKinnon thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment, saying it was “so entertaining. Best concert in a while. Thanks to Marilyn for bringing in such wonderful talent.”
Molly Bell echoed the sentiment, “It was really good. I thought it was innovative, enlivening, and inspiring for this time of year. That drummer! He was amazing, he could play so many different drums at once!” referring to percussionist François Taillefer whose kit included chimes, beads, and a French Canadian “jig doll” or “paddle puppet” named Gaston.
After playing an encore following a standing ovation, the band members mingled with the audience, sharing information about their music and backgrounds.
Servant explained he often performs with different accompanying musicians, and revealed it had been about four years since the quartet had played together; the last time had been when they recorded a CD in 2010.
The evening of world music was put on courtesy of the Arrow Lakes Arts Council, with talent hospitality provided by Casa Mandala.