Kpub BBQ is a spacious Korean restaurant on 28th St. cor. 5th Ave., Bonifacio Global City (BGC), which features live gigs nightly. A recent benefit show for Gonzalo Chua, the ailing 15-year-old nephew of musician Jay Durias, drew a full-house crowd that included top doctors, bank directors, celebrities and record industry bosses.
The mood was bright and cheery as guests mingled with friends and show organizers. Anesthesiologist James Monje of the Lung Center of the Philippines was an early bird who later shared his table with med school buddies, ophthalmologist Noel Jusay Lacsamana and general practitioner Gabriel Balalta.
US-based finance exec turned musician William Russell came with former presidential management staff head Lenny de Jesus, who also plays the guitar, flute and keyboards when not busy as board director of Banco de Oro and newly appointed president of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila.
Joining their table was Joey San Andres, government officer and bandleader of two groups who found time to catch the show.
Also present were sisters/TV hosts Janice and Gelli de Belen; Janice had her kids in tow, while Gelli was with her husband, singer-actor Ariel Rivera.
At another table sat the group of record label bosses Narciso Chan and Vic Valenciano.
These folks showed up as a gesture of support for Durias and his wife Helene Inductivo, whose sister Kaye is the mother of Gonzalo, the gig’s beneficiary.
The performances started quite late, but they were all worth the wait.
Opening the show was the band Raya, fronted by “The Voice of the Philippines” finalist Diday Garcellano who sang her favorite, a cover of an Etta James classic, “At Last.”
There was a lot of promise in young singer Joey Ynion’s rendition of “Gumising Ka,” an original tune which Durias arranged and produced as a single and music video.
The Bleu Rascals mesmerized the crowd with Paul Marney Leobrera’s guitar solos, which howled and wept with emotion and yet was tuned to ear-pleasing volume. The band’s version of John Mayer’s “Gravity” was sweet and sublime.
The revved-up audience cheered as main act South Border went onstage. After a slew of originals, Durias called a surprise guest, who turned out to be Rivera. His take on the Ric Segreto hit “Don’t Know What To Say (Don’t Know What To Do)” and his own hit “Minsan Lang Kita Iibigin” had female fans swooning.
The De Belen and Inductivo sisters were caught dancing near the stage as the gig peaked on disco grooves as in Bruno Mars and Daft Punk.
In the wee hours Rivera was still having a good time with his wife, drinking beer while telling friends that he really finds singing a drag these days—except that he gets caught up in the moment as soon as he’s onstage.
‘Chicago The Musical’
Gracing the recent press conference for “Chicago The Musical” at Solaire Resort & Casino were Terra MacLeod and Bianca Marroquin, who play Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, respectively, in the Broadway production set to open Dec. 2 at The Theatre at Solaire.
The two discussed how challenging and fulfilling it’s been since joining the cast of the longest-running musical revival and the longest-running American musical in Broadway history. “We have longevity because we follow the rules,” said MacLeod. “The script is honest,” added Marroquin.
Jazz, blues, rock
Check out these coming international music festivals to be held in BGC and Rockwell:
The 3rd International Guitar Festival, a partnership of Megaworld Lifestyle Malls and the Philippine International Jazz and Arts Foundation, Sept. 27, 6 p.m., and 28, 5 p.m., at Venice Piazza, McKinley Hill, BGC. The Sept. 27 lineup features world music from Khaossia, Humanfolk, Ugo Guido, Jeff Pagaduan, Cacophony, Roneil Santos, Russell Flamenco, Diwa de Leon and Hare Krishna; Sept. 28 offers blues and rock from Pepe Smith, Wally Gonzalez, Noli Aurillo, Jazz Almonacid, Nino Mendoza & the Blue Jean Junkies, Betrayed, Jeriko Aguilar, Charlie Y, Blue Rats, Gary Perez, K.O. Jones, Bleu Rascals, Caren Tevanny and Electric Sala.
Call 7098888; 0917-8380111
Tokyo-Manila Jazz and Arts Festival, Oct. 18, 7:30 p.m., Rockwell Tent, Rockwell Drive cor. Estrella St., Makati. Performers include Charito, Yuki Arimasa, Juasa Kanoh, Benisuke Sakai, Hisatsugu Suzuki, Boy Katindig, Sitti, AMP Band, The CompanY, Extrapolation, Bratpack, and the Philippine Youth Symphonic Band.