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Empress presents The Lost Fingers

The Lost Fingers perform in the next installment of the Empress Theatre Society’s Centre Stage Series on Feb. 3-4.

Gypsy Jazz, The Lost Fingers and hits from the 1980s and ’90s mixed together produced a No. 1 album in Quebec for eight weeks running and the one of the hottest acts out of Quebec.
The Lost Fingers, a musical trio with chart topping style, is inspired by the Belgian-born “manouche” gypsy guitarist, Django Reinhardt, who in 1928 at the young age of 18 suffered from a horrific, accidental caravan fire that resulted in the loss of use of both the third and fourth fingers of his left hand.
In spite of the accident, Reinhardt was able to overcome his debilitating handicap to become one of the world’s most influential jazz guitarists and enigmatic musicians of all time.
This predominately France-inspired style of music is coming to the Empress Theatre on Thursday and Friday, Feb. 3-4.
“Classic hits most of us in our 30s and 40s remember moving to at high school dances or listening to with our friends like ‘Pump Up The Jam’ (Technotronics), ‘You Give Love a Bad Name’ (Bon Jovi), ‘You Shook Me All Night Long’ (AC/DC) and ‘Billie Jean’ (Michael Jackson) will take the stage in a purely French and jazzed up way,” Vicki Arndt of the Empress Theatre said.
“This music is truly signature jazz manouche, listening to their album ‘Lost in the ’80s’ sparks memories of popular hip, downtown Calgary clubs and restaurants,” Arndt said. “There is an air of sophistication in their style and its fun to listen to.”
Upon meeting at the Quebec Conservatory of Music in 1994, Byron Mikaloff, former member of One Ton and Bunka Busta, and Christian Roberge, quickly became friends and worked on several music projects together.
After several years of playing as a musical duo, the pair founded The Lost Fingers in 2004.
In an attempt to further develop their style, they summoned the young and talented Alex Morissette (bassist) in 2006 to “jazz up their swing.”
By exercising great musicianship along with a keen sense of humor, the trio decided to unite their unique voices to create an ingenious tribute to the ’80s in the swinging gypsy style of “jazz manouche” inspired by their mentor, Django Reinhardt, which culminates with the release of their debut album, “Lost In The ’80s.”
Within one week of its 2008 release on May 6 The Lost Fingers’ debut album had sold out across Quebec.
With “Lost In The 80s” holding the No. 1 spot for eight weeks on the Quebec Top 200 and reaching No. 2 on the Top 200 chart nationally, it ended the year as the top selling album in Quebec.
Only 12 weeks into its release the album was certified platinum in Canada and boasted the impressive title of biggest selling debut by a Canadian act in 2008.
The Lost Fingers continues to charm and conquer territories beyond its borders with an album release in Mexico last year and upcoming releases in France and the U.S., with more countries to follow later this year.
After numerous successful performances at internationally renown events such as 10 nights running at The Montréal Jazz Festival, Québec’s Festival d’été and the Festival des guitares du monde en Abitibi-Témiscamingue The Lost Fingers continues to captivate audiences everywhere they go with their witty and jazzed-up renditions of nostalgic hits by the likes of Stevie Wonder, George Michael, Samantha Fox, and Céline Dion.
This is a performance anyone with a love of 1980s and ’90s tunes and an interest in French flair won’t want to miss.