Latin rhythms to sway at Café Bar Europa
by BART MENDOZA
Published - 04/22/16 - 03:34 PM | 6960 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Rebecca Jade plays at Firefly, at 1710 West Mission Bay Drive, 7 p.m. Friday, April 29.
Rebecca Jade plays at Firefly, at 1710 West Mission Bay Drive, 7 p.m. Friday, April 29.
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Mixing Latin rhythms with pop sensibilities, Gabriela & La Buena Onda are one of San Diego’s undiscovered gems. Appearing at Café Bar Europa Fridays at 5 p.m., front-woman Gabriela Aparicio has a wonderful voice, sweet and soulful, as well as a terrific band, but it’s her songwriting that puts it all a notch above the rest.

Songs such as “You Captivate Me” capture a lot of emotion in their lyrics and groove, with hooks that make the tunes an instant earworm. Anyone who enjoys Latin tinged melodies and soulful vocals will appreciate Aparicio’s music.

Gabriela & La Buena Onda: Fridays, April 22 and April 29, at Café-Bar Europa, 873 Turqouise St. 5 p.m. 21 and up. www.theturquoise.com/wordpress.

Anyone looking for a little dance floor action may want to check out Miles Ahead, appearing on April 22 aboard the Bahia Belle. The band plays a mix of funk and reggae, with a heavy emphasis on the hits, from Bruno Mars, “Uptown Funk” to Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish.”

It’s the perfect soundtrack for a party cruise around Mission Bay. With boarding stops at the Bahia Resort or Catamaran Hotel once an hour, short sets from Miles Ahead in between and spectacular views to boot, this is the ultimate date night.

Miles Ahead: Friday, April 22 at the Bahia Resort, 998 West Mission Bay Drive. 9:30 p.m. 21 www.bahiabelle.com.

Ska fanatics won’t want to miss an appearance from sharp suited combo The Amalgamated at Tio Leo’s on April 23. The band excels at rock steady, similar in sound to the English Beat, with a mix of frenzied originals and choice covers such as Louis Jordan’s 1944 classic, “Is You Is Or Is You Ain’t My Baby?”

They’ve got two albums out, but live is where you want to hear this band. Whether you’re a mod or just a fan of reggae inflected sounds, The Amalgamated’s energetic rhythms are infectious fun.

The Amalgamated: Saturday, April 23 at Tio Leo’s, 5302 Napa Street. 9 p.m. 21 and up. Cover TBD. www.tioleos.com.

On April 23 Brick by Brick will host a special benefit concert for Toni Isbelle, the beloved member of the local roller derby circuit, who passed away on April 2. Appearing will be metal bands Godhammered and Algori, as well as Stoni’s Friends performing an acoustic set, plus a video remembrance.

While the occasion is sad, this is a wonderful chance for those who knew Isbelle to pay their respects and help the family raise funds for expenses, all while celebrating her life in the best way possible, with music and friends.

Toni Isbelle Fundraiser: Saturday, April 23, at Brick by Brick, 1130 Buenos Ave. 8 p.m. 21 and up. $10. www.brickbybrick.com.

San Diego is fortunate to have several musical living legends in the area, the top of the list going to guitarist Mundell Lowe, a man whose playing (if not his name) is familiar to most music fans around the world. On April 24, Dizzy’s will be the site of a very special 94th birthday party for Lowe, with a host of local luminaries promised.

If you ever seen such programs and films as “Hawaii 5-0,” “Starsky & Hutch” and “Billy Jack,” or heard hits such as Johnny Ray’s “Cry” (1951) and Billie Holiday’s “My Man” (1938), you’ve heard his guitar work. Lowe’s stellar playing has been the soundtrack of our lives; this celebration of his music is the perfect opportunity for music aficionados to say “Thanks!”

Mundell Lowe: Sunday, April 24, at Dizzy’s, 4275 Mission Bay Drive. 7:30 p.m. $20. dizzysjazz.com.

More and more local restaurants are offering music to accompany meals, with locations such as Firefly at the Dana – it’s the perfect starting point to a night on the town.

The venue offers top acoustic talent, including Patrick Dowling (April 30) and Aquile (May 6), but this month’s highlight is easily soul singer Rebecca Jade, who appears at Firefly on April 29. Blessed with a voice that’s both sultry and passionate, with plenty of grit when needed, Jade is a major talent likely to outgrow intimate gigs such as this quickly. Catch her while you can.

Rebecca Jade: Friday, April 29, at Firefly, 1710 West Mission Bay Drive. 7 p.m.
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