Victoria-area singer Maria Manna is headlining a pair of concerts staged as tributes to legendary performer Natalie Cole, Oct. 26 in Sidney and Oct. 29 in Victoria. Photo contributed

Upcoming Cole tribute concerts multi-faceted for Langford singer

Kidney Foundation to benefit from Maria Manna’s shows in Sidney, Victoria

Maria Manna remembers well her initial reaction to the news that singer Natalie Cole had died of heart failure, on New Year’s Eve 2015.

The megastar and daughter of legendary crooner Nat “King” Cole was a much-admired performer to Manna, who has crafted a nice career in entertainment for herself over the years.

“When I got news of Natalie’s death, “I looked to my husband and I said, ‘I don’t know when, but I’m going to do a musical tribute to her,’” she recalled. “She was an idol for me, I had all her jazz albums.”

Manna, who lives on Bear Mountain in Langford, is bringing that inspiration to reality later this month, with concerts set for Oct. 26 (7:30 p.m.) at the Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney and Oct. 29 (3 p.m.) at the First Metropolitan United Church on Quadra Street in Victoria.

She’ll be backed by the 17-piece Lust Life Big Band, a group Manna calls the “cream of the crop” of local jazz and contemporary musicians in Greater Victoria.

While singing in front of such a large, talented band has long been a dream for her, the shows have other significance for the local singer and philanthropist.

Having done research on Cole’s life, her passions and charitable work, Manna discovered that Cole was a kidney transplant patient who received the organ from a South American donor. Thus the decision to have the concerts double as fundraisers for the The Kidney Foundation of Canada’s Victoria chapter.

“The interesting thing [I learned] was that after receiving her kidney she started developing a passion for South American everything: the food, the music, the culture … I’m going to be doing one of her songs from her Spanish album.”

She plans to bring in some guest singers as well during the two shows and promises a lively couple of hours for fans of Cole and live music.

“The show has to be entertaining, so I’ve got it jam packed with high energy, entertainment and surprise guests.”

The concerts also coincide with the release of a new CD, With Love, Manna’s 11-song compilation of jazz numbers, including standards recorded by Cole and her father, such as “Lush Life” and “Almost Like Being in Love.”

Tickets are $35, or $30 for seniors and $28 for students under 18. To pre-purchase tickets for the Sidney show, call 250-656-0275 or for the Victoria show contact 250-514-9927.

editor@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria seniors want to know more about marijuana

Four presentations on the medical properties of cannabis for seniors come to Victoria

Rickter Scale: California Dreaming with Steve Shutt

The Rickter Scale is a weekly column in the Goldstream News Gazette

Victoria gears up to axe free parking on Sundays

Council vote puts Sunday parking fees towards bus passes for youth

Oak Bay one step closer to deer immunocontraceptive test

Up to 80 deer could be given ‘birth control’ vaccine in the fall

Black Press readers share photos of their favourite critters on #LoveYourPetDay

Greater Victoria is raining cats and dogs…and snails and goats

Greater Victoria Wanted List for the week of Feb. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

Ontario man accused of killing 11-year-old daughter dies in hospital, police say

Roopesh Rajkumar had been hospitalized with what police described as a self-inflicted gunshot wound

Manitoba ‘pauses’ link with ex-B.C. premier Gordon Campbell after allegations

Campbell had been hired to review two major hydro projects

Nanaimo edges Royal Bay by one point to win Vancouver Island AAA girls basketball title

Nanaimo District Secondary School wins first AAA girls’ Island title in 29 years

City of Port Alberni cancels tourist train operations for 2019

Steam train to McLean Mill is out of commission for repairs; city wants to re-examine rail costs

Heritage minute features Japanese-Canadian baseball team, internment

The Vancouver Asahi baseball team won various championships across the Pacific Northwest

UPDATE: Woman, off-duty cop in critical condition after stabbing outside B.C. elementary school

The officer was interceding in an alleged assault when he and the woman were stabbed

$10-a-day child care not in 2019 budget, but advocate not irked

Sharon Gregson with the Coalition of Child Care Advocates of B.C. says NDP on track to deliver promise

Most Read