Why this sax player is thankful to Tonyboy Cojuangco 2
Glass Onion members Tonyboy Cojuangco and Lenny de Jesus are special featured guests of their band mate Archie Lacorte's concert. Photo by Pocholo Concepcion

Tonyboy Cojuangco, Lenny de Jesus join saxophonist bandmate’s ’70s-theme concert

It will showcase not just Archie Lacorte’s outstanding talents, but also his remarkable musical relationships with his guests.

What, another ’70s-theme concert? But wait, this one has different and interesting elements — never mind if the poster seems to indicate it’s like a variety-type show.

“The Best of Archie Lacorte” — to be held on 10 June at the Music Museum — will showcase not just the performing artist’s outstanding talents, but also his remarkable musical relationships with his guests.

Lacorte, 40, plays alto sax in the band Glass Onion. Two of its most prominent personnel, tycoon Tonyboy Cojuangco and former government official Lenny de Jesus who both play rhythm guitar, are also on the bill as special guests.

Gusto kong i-feature yung talent ng guests ko,” Lacorte told ANCX. De Jesus, for instance, will be spotlighted as pianist on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and flutist on Chicago’s “Color My World.”

The Glass Onion, composed of 14 other members, will back up Lacorte throughout the show. “Kundi dahil kay Sir Tonyboy, baka disband na ang Glass Onion,” revealed Lacorte.

What he meant was, Cojuangco has been financially supporting the group especially at the height of the pandemic, when live performances were not allowed.

What about the rest of the guests?

Saxophonist Archie Lacorte headlines the concert 'The Best of Archie Lacorte' on June 10 at the Music Museum. Photo from Facebook
Saxophonist Archie Lacorte headlines the concert "The Best of Archie Lacorte" on June 10 at the Music Museum. Photo from Facebook

Spot numbers

Brass Rossette is actually Vanessa Celestial and Nicole Tejedor, Glass Onion (as well as AMP) members on trombone and tenor sax, respectively, who will play on spot numbers.

Sitti of local bossa nova fame is in the show since, as Lacorte explained, “Magka-banda na kami nung hindi pa siya sikat.”

Don Flores is an exponent of Ilonggo pop, said Lacorte. “Produkto siya ng mga workshops ni Ryan Cayabyab.”

XT on Sax is another Ilonggo performing artist who, Lacorte pointed out, was among his music students.

As for the Funky Horns Saxophone Ensemble, Lacorte said, “Mga estudyante ko. Buong pandemic nagturo ako online, kasama sila. Parang recital nila yan.”

All performers will dress up in their ’70s best. “The stage will be colorful,” added Lacorte. “There will be dancing.”

And it won’t be just ’70s pop, rock, soul, funk and disco, because there will also be New Orleans Dixieland jazz as a way of letting his preoccupation with brass instruments find expression.


Early start

Lacorte, 40, recalled his mother telling him he started getting into music by tinkering with the drums at age 2.

Lacorte recounted how, growing up, on a visit to his father’s hometown in Dolores, Quezon: “Tuwing gabi naggi-gitara sila, yung mga kanta hindi mo maririnig sa radyo natin. Parang may sarili silang, parang lumang kundiman, siguro sumikat dati. Ang gaganda ng boses nila. Sabi ko, may mga ganitong music pala. Kahit sa conservatory hindi pinag-aaralan yun, usually kasi classical.”

Even before entering the University of Santo Tomas Conservatory of Music, Lacorte had been playing professionally in a local band in Quezon — as keyboardist. From the drums, he picked up the guitar, which he learned to play from his priest uncle.

“Karamihan ng magagaling na musikero nagsimula sa church,” said Lacorte, who went on to take piano lessons. “Nagustuhan ko mag-piano, enjoy ako.”

His encounter with the trumpet went like this: “Ayoko kasi mag-CAT (Citizens Army Training). May two choices ako, mag-athlete or sumali sa banda. Nauna ko mag-try out as athlete, sa badminton. Natapat sa ’kin yung parang varsity player ng elementary. Talo ako. So pumasok ako sa banda. Trumpet, kasi wala pang sax noon.

“Natuto akong mag-trumpet. Sabi ko sa father ko, ‘Pa, bili mo na ko ng trumpet.’ Kasi nanghihiram lang ako sa school.”

Glass Onion trombonist Vanessa Celestial
Glass Onion trombonist Vanessa Celestial (left) and tenor saxophonist Nicole Tejedor (third from left) are likewise featured in spot numbers in "The Best of Archie Lacorte." Photo by Pocholo Concepcion

Lacorte’s dad gave him money to buy a second-hand trumpet: “Nagpahanap kami sa buong Lucena. Ang available lang nun na second-hand na pasok sa budget, saxophone. Nung 1994, P20,000 ang second-hand na sax. Ngayon baka P50-60,000. Pagkabili ko ng sax, nag-sax na ko. Mas madali.”  

He was playing sax at a time when Kenny G was the rage. It didn’t take long before he started getting invited to perform in school and JS proms. His repertoire included Stephen Bishop’s “It Might Be You,” Glenn Frey’s “The One You Love,” and George Michael’s “Careless Whisper.”

Making the grade at UST, he realized he’s destined to be a musician.

On the other hand, Lacorte seems adept in business as well. He and his wife run a coffee shop adjacent to their house in Cainta. The coffee shop also functions as a mobile coffee bar for parties, weddings. “Yung espresso machine dinadala namin,” he said.

He’s also into event organizing, with a tie-up with Max’s and Kuya J restaurants for children’s parties. His group provides the event design and entertainment.

But he’s been busy these past few weeks for the concert.  “Puwede nang manood ang audience ng live shows, hindi lang online,” he said. “Gusto ko ma-experience nila yung past music eras with a full horn section, and dancing. Susulitin namin ang bayad nila.”