Finding The Lost Fingers

The Lost Fingers
The Lost Fingers' last visit to the valley was a Valentine's Day treat in 2011.
— image credit: Andrew Leong/file

They may have lost a finger but they still found the beat.

The Lost Fingers is a gypsy jazz band that is internationally renowned for its innovative sound and gets its inspiration from legendary musician, Django Reinhardt.

At the age of 18, Reinhardt lost his finger in a tragic accident. To compensate for his missing digit, Reinhardt developed a unique jazz inspired style of guitar playing that the Lost Fingers incorporate into their music.

When they stapled that style to familiar '80s radio tunes, the Lost Fingers became something of an international sensation, playing at venues around the world. Gypsy jazz is a special form of music and it can be difficult to achieve the same level of success that The Lost Fingers have had.

“Gypsy jazz is a very underground and niche kind of thing. People are very passionate it but it’s a niche kind of jazz," guitarist and backup singer Byron Mikaloff said. "But we’ve brought this whole rock show element to it. What a crazy idea we had to take gypsy jazz out of its usual role and bring it to more people.”

That unusual take includes material like a gypsy swing take on the Culture Club and an AC/DC cover featuring a scat vocal solo.

When the band first formed in 2004 there was a chorus of naysayers who thought it wouldn’t pick up enough tempo to be a success.

“It just goes to show where a good idea can leave you. When we started it was a novelty act and people said that it wouldn’t last. But backed up with great musicians, it’s amazing where we take it.” Mikaloff said.

The Lost Fingers will be making a return engagement to the Cowichan Theatre. While Quebec band loves to tour Canada, there are some downsides to being on the road.

“I miss my family that’s the hard part, I have a little daughter and I miss my girlfriend…and driving across Saskatchewan is pretty boring. When there’s a corner in the road everyone screams ‘yay’!” Mikaloff said.

“We are looking forward to being back on the island, I know we gave a good show last time and it’s a great theatre and staff. We had a great reception last time and a lot of enthusiasm so I’m excited for the show.”

Mikaloff says the audience is in for some new material off their latest album. A few new notes add major and minor changes from their last show on the island.

“We have a lot of new materials off our latest and upcoming album, which is metal and hard rock classic. I’ll let people guess what that is. Other than that, it is going to be a super fun charged show. We are definitely entertaining.” Mikaloff said.

The Lost Fingers will perform at the Cowichan Theatre on November 17. Tickets are $25.


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