Vince Maccarone Los Variants
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Vince Maccarone Los Variants

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2015 | SELF | AFM

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2015
Band World Jazz




""jass/blues" - Vince Maccarone's Los Variants - New Release review"

I just received the newest release, jass/blues, from Vince Maccarone's Los Variants and it's quite cool. Opening with Percy Mayfield's Stranger In My Own Home Town, drummer Maccarone puts a New Orleans type spin on the track with Latin rhythm and Paul Reddick on vocals and harp taking a nice lead line. Rob Gusevs also takes a really nice piano stretch on this track as well. On Stone Hooker, Claire Doyle has the mic and really adds a hot edge. Sean Pinchin smokes the strings of his resonator for a super display of fluid grease. Christopher Plock also adds some cool bari sax on the bottom. On Charles Brown's Black Night Is Falling, John Mays takes the mic and really lays down a nice track. Nicely articulated guitar work from Mike Branton is icing on the cake of this superbly executed classic also featuring smooth piano work again from Gusevs and horn work from Bill Prouten, Sean o'Conner and Neil Brathwaite. Maccarone pulls out a traditional western theme with Save My Soul, one of my favorites on the release. A simple ballad but really well written. Che Che Toronto, an A.B. groove track has a funky island feel and features Spencer Murray on flute and Lydia Persaud and Kobe Aquaa-Harrison on vocals. Reggae redo of Sunnyside features haunting vocals from Storm Gordon without losing all of it's original feel. Snappy percussion work from Maccarone adds substantially to this track. Another track with roots in New Orleans, Syncofunk is strongly bass (Roger Williams) and drums (Maccarone) with a great horn section of Ania Zarzychi on trumpet, Shamus Currie on trombone, Kyle Woodard on tenor sax and of course featuring a cool piano line from Matt Horner. O Passeio is a cool european sounding track featuring cool guitar work from Bartek Mitczarczyk and Patraick O'Reilly. Marty Bernie adds bottom with synth strings and Yongwon Cho with acoustic bass. BR Transport is a straight forward jazz jam. An intense sax lead from Leland Whitty and an irregular rhythm pattern by Barry Romberg takes this release home.
- BMan's Blues Report

"John's Blues Picks"


Vince Maccarone’s Los Variants jass/blues Self
Vince Maccarone has slowly been accumulating songs for a CD under his own name. A familiar name & face on our music scene and indeed the drummer on many local artists' CD's. As given by the Los Variants tag, a nod to Los Lobos, an eclectic collection this turns out to be, reflecting both his different sessions as an on-call drummer and his own ideas, some of which include music left completely to chance: musicians that had not met, songs unwritten, everyone following cues from the drum kit. You should check out his web site,, to see the impressive list of credentials he brings to this first album. I first met Vince when he was a member of the Sidemen and Paul Reddick is first up on this disc singing wonderfully on Percy Mayfield’s “Stranger In My Own Hometown”. This one is a carefully prepared homage to Mayfield. “Stone Hooker” is a blues rocker with Claire Doyle on very good vocals. It’s a co-write with Steve Marriner and Ms. Doyle is a member of the Nathaniel Dett Chorale among her other credits and is a vocalist to watch. There’s one more blues track before the adventure starts and that’s Charles Brown’s hit “Black Night is Falling” sung by the inimitable John Mays. The CD is sub-titled “Global Blues” and the next part begins with Reddick on vocals again but this time for Vince’s very good country song, “Save My Soul”. “Che Che Toronto” is an augmented and edited for CD version of a Latin jam session, “Syncofunk” perhaps needs no further description from me, “O Passeio” is a string-laden adult contemporary instrumental and “BR Transport” a free jazz workout. I skipped the version of the jazz standard “SunnySide (13th Flight Mix)” as it seems to have had a great deal of attention paid to it. Storm Gordon is the vocalist and co-arranger of this version of “Sunny Side of the Street”, she’s a Scottish singer specializing in alternative vocals and something she calls ‘down-tempo’. The attractive arrangement draws mostly on reggae rhythms. For this second part, Vince’s plan to put student musicians and seasoned veterans together, with cues from the drum kit has drawn amazing results. I think you’ll be impressed. Every song has a different lineup of players, I’ve only listed the vocalist and, of course, Vince but you’ll see a lot of familiar names here. I’m sure he has lots of ideas for his next project and I’m already looking forward to it.

- Maple Blues

"Vince Maccarone "Los Variants" (Canada)"

Blues Underground Network

Vince Maccarone "Los Variants" (Canada)

"Los Variants" marks a project, that for Vince Maccarone, was 25 years in the making, with the actual writing and recording of the album taking place over the last 2 1/2 years. In addition to the name "Los Variants", the album has a sub-heading called Jass/Blues, mainly because those are the threads that weave their way through most, if not all of this album, which apparently is CD One of a 3 part series. According to Vince Maccarone's website, "The name Los Variants represents the many musical genres and cultures which have influenced my writing and playing; I listen to old Country music, Jazz, Blues, Reggae, and Afro-Funk ". In addition the music of New Orleans is also represented on this album.

Originating out of Sudbury, Ontario, Vince Maccarone now calls Toronto his home, a placed he has lived in for 25 years. A Drummer by trade, Vince Maccarone's style of music can best be described as, an "unbreakable link between traditional music and cutting-edge contemporary. His Jazz, Reggae, Afro-Cuban and Brazilian influences blend into a unique “world music” approach which he brings to his master classes and workshops" .

Vince Maccarone has toured throughout Canada, USA, Europe, and the Caribbean. In addition his music has been featured on numerous Films, Commercials, and TV Shows, most notably the movie, "Two If By Sea with Sandra Bullock and Dennis Leary, Decorating Challenge, Tim Horton’s, and Coca Cola to name a few ". Many Accolades and Awards have also come Vince Maccarone's way, including Juno & WC Handy Nominations, as well as, Maple Blues Awards, as part of The Sideman, for “Best Live Band, Best Recording, and Best Song Writing ”.

Throughout his career, Vince Maccarone, has also had the opportunity to work with many greats, which in addition to a now 15 year stint with Paul Reddick and The Sidemen, also included Colin James, Denny Doherty of The Mamas and Papas, Jim Belushi, Sugar Blue (Harmonica player for the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, U2), as well as, Earl King and Buddy Guy, whom he backed up on a 2 week tour.

"Los Variants" consists of 9 Tracks of great music, of which Vince Maccarone, wrote, co-wrote, or arranged 6 of them. Other co-writers included Steve Marriner, whom did additional lyrics on Track 2, "Stone Hooker" and John Fraser Findlay who co-wrote Track 7 "Syncofunk". Joining the very talented and extensive lineup of performers on "Los Variants", were Paul Reddick (Vocals/Harmonica Tracks 1 & 4), Sean Pinchin (Resonator Guitar Track 2), Chris Whiteley (Guitar Track 4), and Neil Braithwaite (Tenor Sax Track 3). You will have to excuse me for not naming everyone, simply because there were 45 young and veteran vocalists, musical collaborators and technical wizards involved with this project.

As one can imagine, with all the performers involved with "Los Variants", you can get an awful lot of great musical sounds, which in addition to what you would normally expect, such as Guitars, Alto, Tenor, and Baritone Sax's, Drums, Piano/Organ, and Bass, also included Mandolin, Hand Claps, Tambourine, Kenyan Box Rattle, Marimba, Shekere, Conga, and even Spoon N' Glass. With all the varying sounds on "Los Variants" one can get a sense on how truly Global the music on this album is.

Of the first 4 Tracks on "Los Variants", 3 of them were my favorites, Track 1 "Stranger In My Own Home Town", Track 2 "Stone Hooker", and Track 4 "Save My Soul".

"Stranger In My Own Home Town", is a Percy Mayfield original and was a great opener for "Los Variants". This one starts off with some nice Keys work by Bob Gusevs which slides into the great Vocals of Paul Reddick whom also plays a mighty fine Harp, throughout. This Soulful bit of Rhythm & Blues also features 2 Guitarist, 3 Saxophonists, and of course the hypnotic and infectious beat from Vince Maccarone, on Drums.

"Stone Hooker", is a great Blues Rocker of a tune that features the superb Vocals of Claire Doyle, as well as, some pretty fine Resonator Guitar work courtesy of Sean Pinchin. Done in the vein of a John Lee Hooker style shuffle, this tune took no time at all getting my feet a tapping.

Any song that has any hint of Johnny Cash in it, is an instant favorite for me, and "Save My Soul" is just that. The only thing missing from this little treasure is Johnny Cash singing it himself, but I must say that Paul Reddick still did a wonderful job on Vocals. This Country number, was my favorite Track on "Los Variants".

The rest of "Los Variants" continues with a nice World Music feel, with numerous Latin, Funk, and Jazz Vibes, with the last 3 Tracks being instrumentals with the final Track "BR Transport", really coming across with a Miles Davis improvisational feel.

Although this album stretches way beyond the Blues, I still found it to be an amazing musical journey and certainly showed off a tremendous amount of talent with everyone involved, especially Vince Maccarone, and even more so, with the fact that it is a Debut album. A really great album for which I am really looking forward to listening to the other 2 albums in this series. - Review by John Vermilyea (Blues Underground Network)


Vince Maccarone's Los Variants "jass/blues" 2013

Los Variants EP "La Conectiva" 2017



Los Variants is the brain child of Vince Maccarone. Vince's vision is based on celebrating diversity by bending some of the rules of staying in one genre. This 8 piece super band uses versatile musicians that deliver a spectacular performance  and specialize in blending different cultural influences to create a seamless mosaic of international groove.  

Los Variants’ personnel is made up of some of Canada’s top musicians featuring vocal powerhouses Ana Lia Garrido and Livia Johnson on vocals, Louis Simao on accordion, Michael Occhipinti on guitars, Collin Barrett on bass, Luis Orbegoso on percussion/vocals and Vince Maccarone on drums and percussion.

The band takes the audience on a musical journey around the world exploiting the band members’ origins and cultures but maintaining a common thread in jazz and roots music. Flamenco, Middle Eastern groove, Caribbean rhythms are all found in a Los Variants performance.

The 2018 Touring Series will be a Global Musical Experience. Drawing from the release of the latest CD, Los Variants - "jass/blues" and selected cuts from the upcoming CD "La Conectiva". This CD features Afrofunk, reggae, jazz, blues and a raucous New Orleans jazz funk number.

Collectively the members of Vince Maccarone’s Los Variants have won and been nominated for many JUNOS, DORAs and other awards and will be bringing all of their rich musical history to Festivals in 2018.

Be prepared to move and groove at a Los Variants show! Energetic arrangements of reggae, funk, Latin and Afro- blues layered with raw improvisation and gritty vocals can be expected at every show.

Band Members