story: Jon Lewis photo: DevenCarter.com
Majical Gives Redding Some Latin Spice
Jorge Arguello is adding a dash of magic to Majical, his venerable Latin band that has been spicing up the local music scene for the past 13 years.
Arguello figures his fans have heard enough Santana and Jimmy Buffett covers, so gone is his electric guitar and in its place is a bass. To complete the musical makeover, Arguello added Dave Reynolds, a jazz-oriented keyboard player, and welcomed back Mike Harris and his saxophone and percussion skills. Conga player Joe Furnari and longtime Majical drummer Scott Ciucci complete the lineup.
“I decided I wanted to push the band in a new direction and get a little more Latino jazz. We’re tightening up the sound, not doing all the guitar riffs. It will be a different and tighter sound. I want to make it fresh so people don’t think it’s the ‘same old band we’ve heard for 13 years,’” Arguello says.
“It’s a new area we’re exploring,” agrees Furnari, who joined the band six years ago. “It has more of a jazz feel to it, but it’s still great dance music. It’s still got that Latin feel. It’s a real nice sound.”
Change has been the one constant with Majical since the band formed, and Arguello notes the band’s evolution seems to dovetail nicely with the growth of Redding’s downtown scene and cultural diversity.
“We helped grow in step with that. When I started the band, it was to get that Latino thing out there. We went through Ricky Martin and Santana’s ‘comeback.’ We were in the right place at the right time and we really appreciated how people accepted us. We don’t want to disappoint; we want to keep moving and growing,” Arguello says.
The latest iteration of Majical will be on full-color display Thursday at MarketFest when the band takes the Carnegie Stage to entertain the crowd at Library Park. The band’s appearance is sponsored by Enjoy magazine.
Majical is making its second MarketFest visit, having opened for Laura Love in 1999. “It’s kind of fun that we’re doing it again,” Arguello says. In addition to MarketFest, Majical has been a frequent performer at the Old Millhouse Deli and Bombay’s and can often be heard at community events ranging from Carnevale in Weed to Earth Day celebrations in Caldwell Park.
The addition of Reynolds on keyboards gives Arguello more flexibility in booking gigs, which can be a plus when money is tight. “The club scene has changed, and the economy, so it’s a lot harder to book the whole band. It’s easier sometimes to do duos and trios.”
“I’m always moving the sound, trying to reach different levels,” Arguello says. “When Dave came in, that really helped out. He has a real jazz background. It’s a sound nobody is really doing around here at all. It’s a lot more interesting and a lot more fun for me.”
Fronting a band can be a daunting task at times, Arguello admits. “I’ve tried to break the band up a couple of times, but I’m glad I didn’t. Every time I feel like that, I try to push it to another level, another plateau. I’m glad my guys go with it. It’s always a good thing they’re willing to go there as well.” •
Next gig: MarketFest, 5-9 pm Thursday, July 2 at Library Park in downtown Redding. For more info visit www.majical.com