Saturday, 26 September 2009 19:19

Sunny Ozuna, Jimmy Edward: unleash heat, memories

The musical sparks began shooting through the air just after 8 p.m. Jimmy Edward, backed by an awesome band - including five horns - had just walked on stage. The occasion was the Edgewood Alumni Association's Scholarship Dance

 on Saturday at the Fountain Bleu Ballroom in far northwest San Antonio.

The good news for the EAA was that the show was sold out (900-plus)- a nice fund-raising effort for the group. The association, led by Executive Board President Frank Espinoza, has raised and donated more than $70,000 in the last seven years.
Meanwhile, Saturday night was indeed, as Edward said at the outset, "a trip down memory lane." 

I hadn't caught a Edward or Sunny Ozuna show -  to be honest - in several years. Sure I caught a song or two at numerous events on a regular basis.

But actually sat down and listened to an entire set by each? Way too long.

Through the evening I was reflecting on how these men struggled to reach their own zenith in the Tex-Mex world.

The facts of their struggles, their rise and eventual arrival is all well documented in my 1999 book "The Billboard Guide to Tejano and regional Mexican Music," on Billboard Books.

Both names are legends, who transcended social and economic obstacles to make their own mark.   

"Todos Dicen," "Vuela La Paloma," "Still of the Night," "Manana Me Ire," all sparkled under Edward's vocals, especially under the massive heat generated by that five-horn section. 

Like other Tejano artists, Edward always had a special appreciation for R&B and soul.

He showed it when his a band ripped into Sam and Dave's classic "Knock on Wood." 

9:09 p.m. Short band right back 

9:12 p.m. After the break, Edward hit a homer with the rhythmic "Tu Prieto," a tune about love's endless pursuit. The massive horn section was riveting

with its brass power.

Next up "Yo Lo Comprendo," one of those bittersweet tunes about walking away a better man. 

Yeah right.

No one likes losing. While a few flaming Lotharios may give lip service on 'how noble it is to love and lose," it never really goes down smooth. At least when it is happening. Perhaps after the distance and perspective of a few years, we look back and realize that in the long run, maybe it was a good move.

Love, falling in love, losing in love, falling in love again,...all that's powerful stuff. Our romantic encounters make up the most unforgettable memories and moments of our lives. And the music behind us when we go through those fundamental experiences cement the moment, producing a soundtrack that delivers a powerful emotional punch.

Anyway, that's a subject for another day.

Tonight, we're on memory lane, waiting for Sunny Ozuna.

10:32 p.m. Wow, what an entrance!

Ozuna stepped out from midway down the lengthy ballroom, spotlights flashing, dressed in an impeccable red suit complete with feathered derby and dangling gold chain. When did he go zoot suit on us?

The volume went way over the limit on the opening two numbers. Either a speaker blew or wiring was badly managed because the right speaker bank emanated painful and annoying crackle.

It was shame as it severely deflated that grand entrance by Ozuna.

As he poured down his hit list fans packed the front of the stage, swinging, dancing and urging him on. The hit list included "Reina de Mi Amor," "Carinio Nuevo," and of course "Talk to me."

Again, the backing band - the Sunliners - was flawless.

The EAA has another fundraiser scheduled Feb 13, 2010, also at the Fountain Bleu, featuring Celsius and Canela.

Photo link on Sunny Ozuna from

Jimmy Edward photo courtesy of Jimmy Edward.