Sounds of Manila at the Symphony Space

Article by Ka Yee Chan
Photo credit Troi Santos

Have you been to the Symphony Space? It is located on 2537 Broadway on 95th street. Other than its great sound system, it featured “An Evening of Original Philippine Music” on April 27, 2014. Amazing Filipino singers and bands heated up the night. They are Sounds of Manila, Tiffany Ashley De Guzman Viray, Jared Martin, Tony Gado, Arnel Arcedo, Cecile Azarcon and Lorrie Ilustre. All the audience moved and sang along with the music of the Philippines. The night was more like a gathering rather than a musical presentation.

Tony Gado

Tony Gado opened the stage of the night. He got his vocal training by Ryan Cayabyab. He officially began his singing career as a band vocalist of a band named Spindrift. He then entered other bands, such as “The Waves” and the “Surreal.” In 2005, Tony focused on his solo performances. He promoted his song “My heart Belongs To You.” Although he didn’t perform this song at the Symphony Space, it can easily be found on YouTube. After a while of regularly singing in a restaurant and bar, he officially became the vocalist for FDR DRIVE (

Arnel Arcedo

Arnel Arcedo is a hard working, gifted singer and artist. He never gave up his dream of singing, and expresses his love through singing. He had been in his high school band for several years. Today he is a well-known singer especially in the New York Metropolitan area. He is also the first Filipino artist to perform at the annual New York Comic Con at the Javits Center.

Tiffany Ashley De Guzman-Viray

Tiffany Ashley De Guzman-Viray, the multi-talented young girl, is a 17 year-old Miss Teen Philippines USA 2013 as well as a singer, dancer, actress and model. Although she is young, her singing is not ‘young.’ Her voice is powerful and filled up the Symphony Space. Tiffany is not only talented in the entertainment field, but she is also an honor student from Howell High School. This young girl has a dream of becoming a well-known international artist who also wants to pursue a career in the medical field.

Jared Martin

Like Tiffany, Jared Martin is also a young rising star. He loved singing since a young age, and can absorb different genres of music such as classical, broadway, jazz, pop, and adult contemporary. He performed at age seven in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Jared regularly performs in musicals, choirs, and orchestras. He is an award-winning singer from Toms River, New Jersey.

Cecile Azarcon

Cecile Azarcon was the special guest of the evening. She is the Philippines’ legendary composer and singer. Her well-known hits are “Lift Up Your Hands,” “Ikaw Ang Lahat Sa Akin,” “I Think I’m In Love,” “One More Try,” and “How Did You Know.” It is especially moving when Cecile plays the piano while performing her songs. Everyone clapped with the beats. Cecile ended her part with performing “I’ll Keep The Faith” with Mara, her fellow student.

Lorrie Ilustre

Lorrie Ilustre has been well known in the music industry since the 70s. He is a musical director, composer, and arranger in the local scene. He has worked with many local artists and helped create their sounds and records, which always become big hits. He made music for most of his life. His efforts in the music industry brought joy to our ears. He was also a soul figure in the evening of original Philippine music.

Sounds of Manila

Sounds of Manila mark the end of the evening. It is an all-Filipino band based in New York and New Jersey. It is also well known as the Ambassadors of Philippine Music. Ronnie Sabangan, the bassist, and his wife, Suzanne Lansangan-Sabangan who is the female vocalist, formed this amazing band. Other than these two soul figures of the SOM, the band is composed of Hermie Angeles (male vocalist), JR Gendrano (drummer), Aaron Garcia (guitarist) and Bobby de Leon (musical director/ Keyboard player).

At the end of the evening, no one was in their seat anymore, all clapping and dancing to the music. The gifted and passionate performers brought the night to a climax in response to the enthusiastic audience.

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