The current trend of reuniting disbanded or gone-on-its-own-way old-time singing groups and bands, in a despicable evaluation, could offer a nostalgic flashback while simultaneously proving their (still) acceptable capability to perform and entertain…that their inherent magic of collectively making music had neither been carelessly lost nor intentionally abandoned.
Resurfacing under the blinding spotlights and performing again in front of a mammoth audience after several decades of being absent from the entertainment scene could be more challenging than when they were totally new and adamantly hogged the limelights. But as they always say, once a performer, always a performer. Their innate fundamental musicality and arresting “it” factor that catapulted them to stardom must have remained undiminished and ultimately mellowed, instead. Over excited fans and zealous followers are in for surprises as they expect something innovatively fresh or ingeniously rearranged repertoire having been away for long.
After leaving behind immense memories of their glorious past that started at the Alibi Bar of the Regent of Manila, Music & Magic, one of the Philippines’ leading and most sought-after bands popular for treating every song with a choreographed production during the late 70s, jointly conceptualized a scheme as they aimed to make a comeback after being almost disbanded in 1986 following Kuh Ledesma’s (the groups front runner and popular soloist) joining the local musical production of Rama Hari. Although the rest of the band remained cohesively integrated in their desperate attempt to hold onto the remaining stitches of the shaky situation, several measures were considered to save the dwindling status of the well-patronized musical assemblage.
From the original members of the famed Music & Magic, the band recruited equally promising talents who were driven and focused. New faces made up the re-formatted group with the addition of its new members that sustained the band’s unrivaled status: Bobby Taylo, Vicky Sevilla (now Pangilinan), Jeannette Casuga (now Trevias).
Music & Magic continued to reign supreme in the entertainment venues as if no internal quandary was just resolved.
But even some good things never last and fate had it that the rest of the members of the closely knitted musical group hit upon a way to grow, survive, and make it on their own. The group untimely disbanded but through the years and despite the vast distance that drew them apart, constant communication keeps them even more bonded and intouch.
It will be recalled that the band’s last reunion presentation was in 1988 when it performed during the ceremonious opening of Music Museum in Greenhills partly owned by former co-member Kuh Ledesma and afterwards, they treaded different roads and established each own career.
Let’s all get to know every member of Music & Magic and be kept abreast of what’s the latest about them.
Kuh Ledesma, a nurse from Bacolod City who unregretfully ditched her professional career in lieu of music. She, with that mesmerizing vocal sound while simultaneously gifted with a perfectly chiseled face and well-sculptured bone structure, joined the Ensalada Band with Toto Gentica and Jet Montelibano and later tried their luck in Manila where the trio initially formed Music & Magic Band. But Kuh could be fairly ambitious and grabbed every possible opportunity that crossed her path…and she unambiguously made right decisions. Until to this day, Kuh’s name is adequately synonymous to successful recordings, concerts, movies, productions, fashion design, entrepreneurship, and even religious affiliation…justifiably dubbing her, a Renaissance Woman.
A super-hyper performer with that irresistible appeal, Jet Montelibano, who started when he was still in high school, was the toast of the female crowd during the height of the Music & Magic’s decade-long fame. Trained under unparalleled director Peque Gallaga, Jet’s career wasn’t only limited to performing but directing concert shows and stage productions aside from acting. He appeared in a new production of “The Romance of Magno Rubio” at the John Anson Ford Theater in Hollywood, a Lonnie Carter’s acclaimed play about Filipino migrant workers in America in the 1930s. Jet is now is Business Manager at Seagate in Los Angeles and happily married to entertainment manager Edith Gomez.
Toto Gentica, the band’s former guitarist, is an established composer, artist, musical director, and an award-winning film musical scorer and married to equally popular singer-rocker-performer Lou Bonnevie.
Former Camay soap endorser and Music & Magic alumna Angeli Pangilinan is blissfully married to Mr. Pure Energy Gary Valenciano with whom, together, she has three children: Paolo, Gabriel, and Kiana. A dedicated overseer of her husband’s financial and promotional aspects, Angeli’s keen business acumen led her to venture into management and booking business via Manila Genesis Management & Entertainment, Inc.
Still visible and active in popular watering holes in Makati is Butch Elizalde who is currently a member of the Route 70 Band performing regularly in a well-visited metro bar and is married to artist-manager Marinez Elizalde.
Lead vocalist Eva Caparas continues to perform as a soloist in various US bands and occasionally performs in special events.
Vocalist and lady dentist Vicky Sevilla-Pangilinan replaced Angeli Pangilinan when the latter bade the band adieu. She is married to Angeli’s brother furniture mogul Joseph Pangilinan.
Bobby Taylo, former Music & Magic alumnus, is actively the band leader of Route 70 that regularly plays at the Strumm’s in Makati for 14 years.
Music & Magic latter addition Jeannette Casuga-Trevias is currently Hawaii-based and considered the Island’s most successful musical director and keyboard artist.
The band’s former Technical Director, Nonoy Mendoza, is still evidently on-the-scene and currently the drummer of the 8-Track Band.
Fe Delos Reyes, just like Kuh, has unstoppably toured Asian countries and America readily armed with her rib-tickling comedy acts and hilariously choreographed production numbers.
Last year sometime in October Music & Magic, the 70’s band discriminating bar-hopping crowd never tire watching, returned to the entertainment arena with a bang via “Trending: Music & Magic, The Reunion” at the CCP Complex’s PICC Plenary Hall in Pasay City which was vociferously loaded with a specially conceptualized repertoire and scrupulously choreographed production numbers the group was known for. … and, as expected, it wasn’t just a hit but a tremendously attended concert!
After all these years, Music & Magic’s enthralling easy-on-the-ear electrifying charisma hasn’t been lost.
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