BANDON – As a highlight of its 2019 Oregon and California fall tour, The Albanie Falletta Band will mark its first visit to Bandon with a rousing performance of soulful jazz and blues, bringing the unique rhythms and sounds of New Orleans to local music fans. The concert, a special event of Bandon’s 2019 Cranberry Festival, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 14, at the Sprague Community Theater, 1202 11th St. SW.
A rising star on the jazz and blues scene, Albanie Falletta has an irresistible voice reminiscent of early jazz singers. As a guitarist, she has the panache and technical mastery to establish her place among the “elders,” and as a natural heir to some of the greats. With an uncanny ability to keep the groove rock solid, she weaves her melodic lines with consummate skill – some say “Louis” and “Billy” would be proud and smiling.
A prolific and versatile composer in the New Orleans tradition, Falletta is quick to pay homage to her early musical influences.
“Growing up in Monroe, Louisiana — Cajun, zydeco, blues, jazz and funk were all around me ... my first love as a guitarist was the blues," Falletta said. "My Uncle Joe gave me my first records — John Lee Hooker, Son House and Lightening Hopkins. As a singer, the voices of Billie (Holiday) and Louis (Armstrong) are undeniably embedded in my ear, while, on the guitar, Django Reinhardt has been an inescapable influence.”
Joining Falletta on stage will be a trio of highly accomplished musicians. Cindy McDermott, from Asheville, North Carolina, brings her soft and sultry voice, as well as some impeccable mandolin playing to the musical mix. Her vocals can lull the listener into a false sense of security, then shake things up with a wicked turn of phrase, while her mandolin playing ranges from blistering hot to heart achingly sweet.
Ronnie Ontiveros and Ben Bonham, from Hood River, form a tight musical team that has worked together for many years. Bonham is a masterful guitar and steel guitar player, while Ontiveros holds down the bass duties with a rare skill and delight. Together, they create the backdrop for the band’s enticing blend of traditional NOLA rhythms, intricate melodies and fresh phrasing that inspire with their punch and pizazz.
The Albanie Falletta Band’s Sept. 14 concert in Bandon is sponsored by Coastal Sotheby’s International Realty, with additional sponsorship support from Banner Bank, the Coos County Cultural Coalition and Sweet Insurance Agency.
Tickets for the concert are $20, and are available at Bandon Ace Hardware and Bandon Mercantile. Tickets also may be purchased online at www.eventbrite.com.