Canadian, Latin-flamenco-guitarist Servantes, (Patrice Servant), headed a four-piece ensemble that wowed the sold out, standing room only, intimate audience of 63 at gallery 2 Sunday night.
Servantes, who has been playing guitar and studying music around the world since the age of five, offers a mostly instrumental, unique blend of jazz-infused flamenco both of his own compilations, as well as improvisations of well-known pieces with new instruments. In his words he creates, “Music for communicating …a universal language-with few words”.
New fans of all ages were “blown away” by the sights and sounds the quartet created in the small room. “It was more than I expected,” commented Richard Reid, “I’ve heard of him, but never heard him ‘til now. A delight.” Erma Gobbett described the performance as “wonderful.”
Local youth were equally impressed. Leif Churchill, a local musician and high-school student, said, “Amazing!” and added, “It’s great for the community!” Elementary students, Katrina Powell and Rayna Harshenin, were very glad their respective parents suggested that they attend.
Local long-time resident Jean, was delighted to converse in French and discover two of the lads had grown up in his home town of Gateneau. Athough originally from Quebec, the members met while studying their craft in other parts of the world. Francois Taillefer, currently a resident of Northern France, drew hoots of pleasure with his drums, bells, chimes to name a few, and a wooden puppet he played on a board on his lap--a talent passed on from his grandfather. Yves Lacoursiere, who has been with Servantes for eight years, plays the horn section (flute and sax). He spent many years in Cuba honing his skills and now lives with his wife in Spain. Naki, an artist Serventes had followed in his youth, was invited to join the band to play the stick harp, his own creation with 33 strings that offers eight outputs. Servant has won countless competitions, toured much of the world, entertained the likes of the Governor General Michaelle Jean, and jammed with world-famous musicians. However, Grand Forks is the third stop on their first Western-Canadian tour that Servant says, “I think this is going to be the best tour of my life yet.”
A journey the four travel-wise musicians have labelled ‘marvellous togetherness’ and ‘inspiring.’ “People in BC are so nice,” they all agreed. Over the next two weeks Servantes will hold concerts in Trail, Nakusp, Golden, Camrose and Fort Saskatchewan then off to San Francisco in November.
Local resident Maria and son Greg thought the show would be something fun to do with her brother Vic, visiting from Lodi, California. “They’ll do well in San Francisco,” Vic commented.
Servantes was invited to Grand Forks by members of Alive! Entertainment Group (Maureen Paquet, Ted Invictus, Michele Cipressi Dean, Joanne Bailey, and Anya Soroka) after one of the members saw them play at Pacific Contact. This local volunteer group initiated the board for Alive! in April of 2013 with the intent of creating a sustainable source of live entertainment in our community. They provided room and board for the group while they were in town.
“We wanted to do it on a non-profit basis, knowing that it's difficult enough for musicians and other artists to earn a decent living … and wanting to keep admission costs affordable for those attending — we just wanted good music!” shared Joanne Bailey. Contact Bailey if you would like to be notified of upcoming Alive! performances firstname.lastname@example.org. Servantes also received a Canada Council for the Arts Grant to help with travel expenses.
For more information on Serventes visit: http://pservant.wix.com/servantesguit#!portraits/ckiy