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Mar
27

Interview with Brent McAthey

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For all fans of the show Brenster & Carrum, we share an interview conducted by Lisa Lankins to the winning musician Brent McAthey.

Lisa: Have you entertained in this type of show before?

Brent: No, not really…. It was a concept I always thought would be great, and since I never had the opportunity to play in Las Vegas, I thought  why not try and bring that type of show to Mazatlan, and having the Venados Show room in The Hotel Playa Mazatlan to perform it in, it all made perfect sense.

Tanya performed in big production Broadway shows when she was singing in some of the biggest resorts in Playa Del Carmen before moving to Mazatlan 3 years ago, so I learned a lot from her in what it would take to make this show work.

Lisa: Is it difficult for you and Tanya to work so closely together and keep up your great relationship? I know you seem to be very much in love on stage.

Brent: Funny you should say that. That part doesn’t need to be rehearsed. The reason it SEEMS that we are in love on stage, is because we ARE, even off stage, haha.

She is the greatest thing in my life, and her 2 beautiful children, they have changed my life for the better.

You can’t fake TRUE chemistry and we have it on and off the stage.

Of course, just like everyone else, we have our differences, (mostly about picking songs for our show, haha) but I know I am the luckiest guy in the world to have her in my life. She is a beautiful woman inside and out, and an amazing talent.

I also want to thank all the artist and their accompanying musicians who believed in this project and came to Mazatlan and gave such great performances.

Patricia Conroy, The Good Brothers, Gary Fjellgaard and Joan Kennedy.

Lisa: Did we convince any of them to move to Mazatlan?

Brent: I don’t know if any of them will be moving to Mazatlan in the near future, but I do KNOW they will ALL be returning to enjoy our amazing city again. They all LOVED it here, but we KNEW they would.

Lisa: How many times per week do you rehearse?

Brent: Tanya and I spend a lot of time, first, choosing the music to do so that it is diverse so that each show is different.

We rehearse at home and then twice a month in the Venados showroom.

Not just the music but the choreography, and we both do at least 3 or 4 costume changes throughout our 2 hour straight performance. There is a ton of work that goes into each show.

Plus building a light show specific to each concert. It’s a lot of hard work.

Lisa: Brent, I know you’ve taken some flack over the tracks you use, that you don’t have a band, can you explain the process of your tracks and why you use them?

Brent: Well Lisa, flack is an interesting way of putting it. haha.

I guess for the few out there who are bothered by this means of showcasing the music we do, I would explain it this way.

In order to have live musicians on all the different genres of music that Tanya and I cover on our part of the show. From country, that has fiddles, steel guitars, 2 or 3 guitar parts, to the big band music with big horn sections, to the spanish music Tanya does an amazing job on with mariachis, etc. We would have to have at least a 15 piece band to cover that material PROPERLY, and since I am a realist, I know that it is simply not financially feasible to do it that way. So that is why we do our portion of the show in this manner. There is a lot that goes into putting the tracks together that some people don’t understand either, from equalizing and balancing them to all sound great. As I have stressed in the past when questioned about being true musicians, Our VOICES are our instruments, and Tanya’s is one of the best you will ever hear. The bottom line is, it doesn’t matter what kind of musical back up you have, if you can ENTERTAIN the people that is all that counts.

We have both toured a lot in the past with BIG bands, but are diverse enough to be able to do it both ways.

Lisa: You started thinking about this quite a while ago, how did it turn out compared to your expectations?

Brent: Yes Lisa, this venture has been in the works for about 3 years. I had always wanted to bring some of my Canadian recording artist friends whom I either, recorded with or toured with in the past, to come see what Mazatlan had to offer. I knew it would do several things.

First- it would give the people who live or visit Mazatlan some GREAT entertainment with high caliber, famous performers.

Second- I knew that by having those artists here, treating them right, and giving them a great experience that they would return up north of the border and help promote what an incredible place Mazatlan is with  every opportunity they had.

These artists are constantly touring all over North America, and are reaching mass and diverse audiences with a positive message about all that Mazatlan has to offer. That was the ultimate goal of this project.

Too MOST people, hearing that from celebrities has a greater impact than the negative reports sometimes heard and seen in the media up north about Mexico, and specifically Mazatlan.

Every artist that came here has promised to spread this positive message, and just from the number of other recording acts that have contacted me, and asked if they can be on the show in the future, tells me that word is spreading like wild fire about how GREAT Mazatlan really is.

So to answer your question, this show has been a success WAY beyond my expectations, and will continue to grow into what I hope will be a highly acclaimed and sought after show for years to come.

Lisa: How many seats are there at Los Venados showroom at Hotel Playa Mazatlan?

Brent: This incredible showroom has different options for seating capacity. The fact that we feed and drink everyone, with the all you can eat and drink special included in the 500 pesos price it`s necessary to have the big tables and chairs. With this set up we can accommodate about 400 people. With a concert seating only set up (which may come one day with the popularity of the show) we can seat about 650 people.

Lisa: How many of the 5 shows so far were sold out?

Brent: We completely sold out 3 out of 4 of the special guest’s shows, and our Christmas show was close where just Tanya and I performed. We would love to have our final show on April 11th a sell out, and encourage everyone who hasn’t made it to our show yet, to come see what so many people are saying is one of the best all round shows Mazatlan has to offer.

SPECIAL NOTE - We are having a BIG dance floor IN FRONT of the stage for this last show, by request of our loyal followers who love to dance.

Lisa: So obviously it’s going to continue in the next high season, who will the next guests be, can you tell us?

Brent: Yes Lisa, I am so happy to announce that The Brenster and Carrum Show WILL continue next year with a new name.

It will now be called The BRENSTER AND CARRUM COUNTRY CONCERT SERIES SHOW.

Dr. Francisco Cordova ( Secretary of Tourism for Sinaloa) SECTUR and The Mazatlan Hotel Association, along with The Hotel Playa Mazatlan with their one of a kind showroom, have all committed once again to being behind this project to help promote Mazatlan, here and abroad.

This project could not have happened without their support, and I am truly grateful.

We have dropped the CANADIAN out of the name, because next season we will have some U.S. artists on the bill that I am very excited about.

I am still in negotiations with some of the artists, and working out scheduling, but I can tell you that the audience here and those who will travel to Mazatlan specifically to see these shows will not be disappointed.

A few of the artists from this year will return, and the new ones will be sure to please.

Lisa: When does the next season for your show start?

Brent: The next season of The Brenster and Carrum Show will start in Nov. 2014 and will run again once a month thru April 2015. I hope to book a special guest on all 6 shows next season.

The dates will be…

Friday  Nov. 21st/2014

Friday  Dec. 19th/2014 ( Christmas Show )

Friday  Jan. 16th/2015

Friday  Feb. 13th/2015

Friday  Mar.13th/2015

Friday  Apr. 13th/2015

Lisa: The Secretary of Tourism was very supportive of your efforts, is he planning to continue his support into the next season? 

Brent: As I mentioned above, Dr. Cordova has been unbelievably supportive. From his initial commitment to helping sponsor some of the costs of bringing the artists to Mazatlan, to attending the concerts, and being the mediator at the press conferences before each show. He was even on stage singing during the finale of the Joan Kennedy show, his love and appreciation for all kinds of music shows in the effort he has put forth to make this so successful. All of us here in Mazatlan are so grateful for EVERYTHING he is doing to make this a better place. Thank you Francisco!!!

Lisa: Everyone of the artists you invited that I talked to were so thrilled with the show, the professionalism in which their trip and performance were handled, who are the people who help you with all of that?

Brent: Great question Lisa. There are so many people that are needed to put a show of this stature together to make it successful.

First, I have an amazing team of people who work not FOR me, but WITH me at Brenster Productions.

My Manager, Rafa Tostado, who does everything from the website, posters, and all the graphic designs, to organizing and somehow getting every media outlet to the press conferences, contracts, organizing film crews, and a million other jobs to many to list, he is truly the heart beat of our production company.

There are sound and lighting crews, makeup and hair dressers, for Tanya, I haven’t need a hair person for quite a while now, haha.

All the media to get the word out, and may I add, that You, Lisa Lankins and MMC have done an incredible job promoting, writing, and doing interviews with each artist before each concert. Thank you so much.

Of course, Lance Vient GM at The Hotel Playa Mazatlan and all the staff there who look after the people during the show.

There are so many people behind the scenes that people are unaware of, but without them this wouldn’t be the success it has become.

All our sponsors who stepped up and believed in this project from the beginning. Like Athina’s Spa, who pampered our guests for a day.

A great friend of mine who wanted to remain anonymous who took our guests out deep sea fishing , because that’s just the kind of generous guy he is.

Diego’s, where I do the Beach Bash, and La Catrina where Tanya does a show every Wed. nights were both amazing sponsors.

There are just so many people that it takes to make it all come together… I thank them ALL.

Lisa: What would you like people to walk away from your performances with?

Brent: Simply put…. a smile. And a feeling of knowing they were entertained.

All the time, energy and hard work has paid off when you know that has been accomplished.

I want to thank everyone who supported The Brenster and Carrum Show this season and I promise you it will only get better as time goes on.

I encourage anyone who has not been to the show, to give it a shot. You won’t be disappointed.

It is a great value for Entertainment you will not find anywhere in the world, other than right here in OUR beautiful Mazatlan.

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Mar
25

Season Finale – Brenster & Carrum Show

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By Jody Sanderson

(April Issue of The Pacific |Pearl magazine)

“Before we go further,” says Brenster, “I have to thank Dr. Francisco Cordova, the Secretary for Tourism in Sinaloa,Mexico, Mazatlan’s Hotel Association, Brooke and Lance of the Hotel Playa Mazatlan, and all of my amazing staff at Brenster Productions for a season of unprecedented firsts.”

The Brenster and Carrum Shows presentation of the Canadian Country Music Series was a heralded success this season, featuring the talented Patricia Conroy, the Good Brothers, Gary Fjellgaard and Joan Kennedy. Each of these unique artists created a program of warmth, talent and authenticity that left each sold out show with a greater appreciation of not only Canadian talent, but also the love of a warm Mazatlan audience.

“As a newcomer on the country music scene in Canada in the 90s, I was given such encouragement and support from these artists”, explains Brent. “I so much wanted to share with them what I have discovered here in Mazatlan.”

This year’s season took three years of planning and work, to create the series Mazatlan was so privileged to discover this year.

The incredibly intuitive Lisa Lankins of Mazatlan, My City, an online magazine in Mazatlan, has coined the term, “Mazatlan is becoming The Music Mecca of Mexico”, and she certainly nailed it with this season’s Brenster Productions concert series shows.

“This show has awakened Mazatlan,” says Lankins. “It is the perfect Las Vegas like show, here in Maz.”

The Hotel Playa Mazatlan is one of the most honored and respected establishments in Mazatlan, and was recently awarded with being named The number one family owned Hotel in all of Mexico.

As a result of this concert series, Mazatlan has booked thousands of extra room nights, that would not have occurred otherwise. As Lance Vient, GM at the Playa Mazatlan would say, “The tan will fade, but the memories will last forever.”

With the support of CKFM 96.5 radio, out of Alberta, and DJ Dan Butler, a contest was held to award a lucky listener with an all expense paid trip, and accommodation to Mazatlan, Mexico, to see The Brenster and Carrum Show. Marian Johnson was the winner of this contest and loved her experience.

“I love Mazatlan, and I love this show.” She brought her best friend. “I would never have believed it,” she said.

Next season will be even bigger and better, Bruce Good, of the Good Brothers, who performed in January and is on the board of directors for the Canadian Country Music Association. “I will help Brent bring every artist I can, from Canada, to perform at this venue.”

The Brenster also has many American fans, and he recognizes they may not have known many of these Canadian artists, but soon became fans of their music and performances.

“I have been fortunate in my career to work with so many talented artists, both in the U.S.A and Canada. ” says Brenster. “Next season, the fans in Maz will see both.”

The Brenster and Tanya Carrum will be rounding out this season with a final presentation of music offerings that will bring this seasons shows to a close on April 11th.

“Because I respect my American friends, next year’s special guest artists will include my friends from the United States” he says. “I have worked with several artists from the States, and next season, I hope to have a special guest on each of the show dates”

Please join us, Friday, April 11th as we say adios to this season.

We hope to see you all next season starting in November at The Brenster and Carrum Country Concert Series Shows here in beautiful Mazatlan, Mexico.

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jovenesencorto

The Government of the Sinaloa through the Institute Sinaloense of Culture (ISIC) and the Youth Festival 2014 invites all young video makers, students of science and communication techniques, visual artists, graphic, performing arts, fans video and the general public to participate in the Sixth Exhibition of Youth Short in Short/Face to be held in Mazatlan, Los Mochis, Guasave, Guamuchil and Culiacan on 22, 23 and May 24.

The films must have a minimum duration of 3 minutes and a maximum of 10 minutes in free theme, participating in the categories of fiction, acted or animated. The deadline for material delivery will be May 3 and a bag of $15,000, $10,000 and $5,000 mexican pesos in the first three places will be played.

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The Promotion Tourism Board of Mexico (CPTM) and Mazatlan Hoteliers jointly prepared the Strategic Plan of Mazatlan’s Promotion on the international market.

The Vice President of the Association of Hotel and Tourism Companies, Carlos Berdegue Sacristan, anticipated that within the actions to be taken will be to be repositioned the Mazatlan brand in strategies of public relations and marketing abroad, negotiate more airline seats and recover routes from Seattle, Denver, San Francisco and more.

“I believe that very good things have happened in Mazatlan and come more to strengthen the local economy”.

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In Satisfaction Survey that fulfilled the tourists who enjoyed their stay during Mazatlan’s Carnival 2014, the beautiful port obtained an overall rating of 9.2 which highlights that 93% of visitors’ surveyed plan to return to Mazatlan in a period less than one year.

maleconmazatlanThese results were released at a press conference in the presence of the Secretary of Tourism of Sinaloa, Francisco Cordova Celaya, Vice President of the Association of Hotels and Tourism Companies of Mazatlan, Carlos Berdegue Sacristan and the President of the Association of Hotels Three Islands of Mazatlan, Jose Ramon Sanchez Manguart, who detailed the Tourist Satisfaction Survey was conducted by the company “Fresh Ideas” with a total sample of 833 interviews with tourists staying in 47 different hotels in Mazatlan.

Inside the most out-standing information we find that:

  • 60% of the tourists asked visited more than 3 times in Mazatlan, which warns the high degree of satisfaction to the destination.
  • brasilcarnival25% visited this destination Carnival for the first time and 29% in March 2014, which provides 30% of new first-time tourists in the port.
  • 88% valued positively the services offered by Mazatlan’s Hotels. Also, 99% declared that the rates of reservation were respected reminded previously, which shows the fulfillment of the commitment made to respect the accommodation rates and reservations made by visitors.
  • Of the tourists surveyed, 94% gave an approbatory opinion to Mazatlan as tourist destination, most of whom came mostly from Sinaloa, Jalisco, Durango, Guanajuato, Federal District, State of Mexico, Coahuila, Chihuahua, Nayarit, Zacatecas, Baja California North, Hidalgo, Texas, United States and Canada.

Both the Secretary of Tourism as Carlos Berdegue and Jose Ramon Manguart agreed that although these results are encouraging and very important, so are extremely compromising to improve the delivery of services with continuous and coordinated agenda, exceeding the expectations of the visitors to guarantee an unforgettable experience in Mazatlan.

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norwegianstarAgain Mazatlan, the eternal favorite of those who flee of the cold and the big metropolis, welcomes the Norwegian Star and Veendam cruises arrived this morning with a bit more than 4,000 tourists and 1,500 crew members.

veendamholland

Part of tourists opted to hire sightseeing within the city and in rural areas, and some decided to make the walk to the “blue line” which invites you to tour the historic center of Mazatlan and return to the terminal port.

Notably, Mazatlan is one of the few tourist destinations that offer beach, fun and culture, so if you do not yet have the opportunity to know it, we invite you to discover why it’s known as “The Pearl of the Pacific”.

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Mar
15

Radio Disney comes to Mazatlan

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Led by the renowned music producer and critic of the Academy of TV Azteca, Arturo Lopez Gavito, accompanied by the President of ACIR Group, Antonio Ibarra, and the Mayor of Mazatlan, Carlos Felton, was announced at the Mazatlan International Center, the arrival of the prestigious international firm of Disney under the project “Radio Disney” to begin broadcasting next Tuesday March 18 under the 99.5 FM frequency.

carlosfelton_radiodisneyRadio Disney will broadcast live from Mazatlan, Sinaloa 24 hours in a young format and focused on the promotion of values.

Meanwhile, Arturo Lopez Gavito, vice president of marketing for Disney Mexico said: “Sinaloa is in a very important process of social reconstruction and here we are doing our bit. We have an expansion project by the company and take all Disney businesses to some of the most important places in Mexico.”

A sample of what the arrival of this project to Mazatlan was the coexistence of original characters brought from Disney. “It’s complex to take Disney’s infrastructure to other places but we brought out a small piece to Mazatlan. What we want is to have activities here, make ‘mazatlecos’ to travel to Mexico City, Orlando, Florida and California to attend premieres, exclusive concerts at the National Auditorium in Mexico City and when it is the first anniversary we want to bring a live show.”

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Thanks to the economic development potential offered by Mazatlan, investors announced the upcoming opening of two major projects for the port: Plaza Sendero and the Costco chain.

Plaza Sendero of the Acosta Verde Group is a shopping mall that will feature 200 local, parking spaces and four anchor stores like Soriana, Coppel, Famsa and Cinepolis.

Meanwhile, the Costco chain has 36 locations in more than 20 states of the country, is preparing to start work in Mazatlan to be located opposite the Plaza Sendero (for ‘Libramiento 2’).

As such, Mazatlan is consolidates outward as the best city for investment in the Mexican Northwest.

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The Federal Ministry of Tourism announced the first implementation of Security Operating Holy Week 2014 with a vision of comprehensive tourist services, including consumer protection, safety and facility in the traffic.

This program begins with five pilot cities: Morelia, Mazatlan, Ixtapan de la Sal, San Miguel de Allende and Acapulco, providing a constant and physical presence to cover more regions.

At a press conference, the CEO of Destination Management of the Federal Tourism Ministry, Jose Angel Diaz Rebolledo, said that “finally what is sought is to cater to tourists with a friendly and comprehensive vision” which will allow not only assist in issues providing security but the prompt arrival at their destination, privileging to the rotten cars, providing adequate protection for hotels, eating facilities and shuttle not abuse their prices, building a network of tourist services for when an incident is presented, among others.

Security Operating for Holy Week 2014 will have the support of the authorities of the three levels of government as well as civil society and the private sector.

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With a style of the great shows of Las Vegas, the followers of the legacy of The Platters gave a concert where the romance and charm of their voices captivated the community of Americans, Canadians and ‘Mazatlecos’ who gathered wednesday night at the Angela Peralta Theater.

theplattersconcertIt was at about 19:00 hours when appeared in the scene Maryline, Tommy, Barry and John who follow the tradition of the group founded in 1952, who became famous by the vocal genre of rhythm & blues.

The public, mostly foreign, through songs recalled the 50′s and 60′s epoch, starting the night with “Get Ready”, continuing “The great pretender” followed by hits such as “My girl”, “My guy”, “Your never find” , “Twiglight”. They also enjoyed hits of the 70s and 80s such as: “What you will not do for love”, “At last”, “My first last my everything”, “Somewhere over the rainbow”, “Stand by me”, among many others.

It could not end the night without offering a medley of Mexican compositions like “Besame Mucho” and “Sabor a mi”.

Only you and Celebration were the two songs that marked the end of the show.

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