Music & Magic started 35 years as a group featuring the country's up and coming singers in the entertainment scene. Music & Magic became the launching vehicle of one of this generation's biggest singing stars, Kuh Ledesma, as well as a well-oiled vessel of talented musicians and singers.
This Friday, October 3, the group is singing together once again 18 years since they last performed together in 1996.
Catch this very special night at the PICC Plenary Hall, 8 p.m during their reunion concert titled Trending Music & Magic.
Why only now some may wonder? U.S. based Eva Caparas explains, "We have tried, I can tell you for a fact we have tried. Every time we start, it fizzles out because a major event happens, pero the desire is always there. Like, we'd always ask each other, 'kailan ang reunion?'"
The group has kept in touch through the years, staying friends, becoming godparents to each other's children and with technology, keeping updated through social media and the like.
Eva also explains that since at least four of the Music & Magic members are living abroad, "it makes it doubly hard to organize. Also, you have to remember, lahat kami may mga anak-anak, mahirap ang scheduling!"
Jet Montelibano, also based in the U.S., says that it came together when, "we finally put our schedules together and found a common time. It's not just dealing with 8-9 people's schedules, it's 10,000 characters and personalities along with our commitments. Kung ako kasi, hobby ko lang eto, so may mga '9 to 5 jobs' kami," he jokes.
Bobby Taylo, one of the group's musicians, says he had to cancel an engagement at Araneta because it falls on the one date that everyone agreed upon. They had to work hard to find a common schedule also because one of the members, Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano, has a really full schedule because of her work as a talent manager.
Fe delos Reyes, another U.S. based member adds, "it's hard to be separated for such a long time!"
Kuh Ledesma shares "as Jet has said, the desire has always been there. Ako, gusto ko nga nandito lang sila. Kaya lang, nasa America sila. But I don't blame them because America is a very interesting country especially for entertainment. Katulad ni Jet, naging direktor na yan ng mga local artists doon, even his son has become active in entertainment, already performing in Disneyland. So very anchored, andoon na ang roots nila ngayon. Pero, nagpapasalamat kami kay Sandra Chavez [of Artist House, the group's manager] on our 35th anniversary as a band, she thought of bringing us back together. At nandito na nga kami and we're working very hard to make this concert very special for the fans of Music & Magic."
Music & Magic formally disbanded according to Butch Elizalde, one of the group's musicians, in 1986, when everybody started pursuing their own careers and people were getting married.
Fe relates that when Music & Magic was formed in 1979, "ang joke namin lagi, that Music & Magic was built really for Kuh Ledesma as the lead singer with a show band and musicians and back-up singers. She was really phenomenal. 1979, tapos six months after sikat na sikat na siya!"
Butch Elizalde says that even if Kuh didn't formally stay with Music & Magic when her career skyrocketed, that their last show with Kuh was actually in 1988, but that in between and after, the group would regularly sing with and for her in shows and concerts here and abroad.
Trending Music & Magic will feature the group's most requested songs, with updated twists. While there will be new songs, or touches of new songs, the concert will primarily feature the songs they used to sing. They had a regular gig in Alibi Bar, Regent Hotel back then and they used to perform three sets a night. Fans will have to catch them on October 3 to see if they'll perform for that long.
Eva is hopeful that they'll be able to bring the show to the U.S. as well while Jet jokes that Sandra is having an ambulance standby near the PICC since they are all so much older.
Not everyone arrived for the presscon held recently, but of the members of Music & Magic who did, the attendees were naturally curious what has been happening to everyone since the group disbanded.
Toto Gentica, the group's musical director, married rock star Lou Bonnevie and continues to produce shows, commercials and various entertainment-related projects.
Nonoy Mendoza, the group's drummer, is in a band called 8-track with Vicky Sevilla-Pangilinan, performing in Strums every Monday.
Bobby Taylo of ASAP, The Sharon Cuneta Show does shows for Martin Nievera, Zsa Zsa Padilla, Gary Valenciano, and Kuh Ledesma. He is a member of the band Route 70 as its bass player. Kuh compliments him by stating he is indeed a much-requested bass player.
Butch Elizalde of SOP, is also a member of Route 70 as its guitarist. He has been a musical director, and also does commercial directing. He married producer and artist manager Marinez Elizalde.
Jet Montelibano moved to the U.S. 25 years ago and has put up an entertainment production company while doing events management as well as shows with Fe and Eva, performing with visiting artists to the U.S.
Vicky Sevilla-Pangilinan joined the group when Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano left to give birth to her firstborn, Paolo. Her first gig with the group was their Asian tour. She is now head of the department of Dentistry in St. Lukes Medical Center while also performing regularly with 8-track at Strums. 8-track is primarily made up of doctors and dentists who sing.
Eva Caparas left for London many years ago and moved to the U.S. in 1996. She is raising four children, happily continues to sing in her church's worship team, paints, and teaches salsa to people with two left feet, she says.
Fe delos Reyes, moved to the U.S. in 1993, and is still very active doing shows. She ended up marrying Nonoy Mendoza's brother.
The group, according to Fe, stays strong in its bonds of friendship because even then, it focused on working together and using each person's strengths to the group's advantage. She relates how Eva was really good in taking down notes, very organized, serving as the group's unofficial secretary while Angeli even then was good with money and management, and all our musicians really know all the technicals. Jet adds that the group jelled well together because Music & Magic was a true collaboration, staying long nights to talk about their shows, how Fe would do the choreography, and they would all work on the execution and how to make their music better.
As to Kuh, Fe says that "she's very caring, she looks after everybody, poste ng Music & Magic yan! Para kaming pamilya, nagmamahalan kami, nagbabangayan, we argue, it's all for the good, and Kuh, she's our momma!"
With such tight bonds in Music & Magic, it is no wonder that Bobby Taylo used to be married to Jeanette Trevias, now one of Hawaii's most successful musical directors and keyboardists. Jeanette did not make it to the presscon due to previous commitments in Hawaii but flew in on September 21.
Fe delos Reyes, before marrying Nonoy Mendoza's brother, was with Jet Montelibano for five years. They have remained fast friends without the benefits, Kuh quickly chimes in.
Angeli Pangilinan-Valenciano used to date Butch Elizalde before she married Gary Valenciano. Vicky Sevilla-Pangilinan married Angeli's brother, Joseph.
The warmth and love that each of the members of Music & Magic showed is genuine and translated to those who attended the presscon. The group even teased the press with a sampler of one of their old songs, proving that 35 years later, they still have the magic to make beautiful music together. Fans old and new will surely be in for a wonderful treat on October 3, 2014.
For tickets, call Viva Concerts at Tel. No. 687-7236 or Ticketworld at Tel. No. 891-9999 or visit Ticketworld Online.
Catching up with Music & Magic members; reunion concert set on October 3
September 30, 2014