Often demure when it comes to sharing that she’s a first cousin of late music icon Whitney Houston, local performer Joan Houston is an entertainment tour de force in her own right and a popular mainstay of Incanto’s weekly piano bar lineup.
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Joan Houston grew up in Seattle, WA, and began singing and entertaining as far back as she can remember. While music has always been a big part of her life, she also pursued other interests, including working as a field reporter and an Arts and Entertainment correspondent for a local Seattle television news station in the late 70’s. Joan later became a director for the United Negro College Fund. Never losing her passion for performing, she has entertained along the way in venues all over the world including London, Venice, and with the Harry James Orchestra.
Once when asked how she got her deep gravelly voice to sound like a lifetime of drinking whiskey and smoking cigarettes, Joan quipped, “Because I’ve drunk whiskey and smoked cigarettes all my life.”
Retiring to Puerto Vallarta six years ago, Joan quickly established herself as a highly sought-after talent in local theater, appearing in several stage productions including ‘The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas’, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’ playing the crafty Magenta, and in Del Shores’ hilarious cult comedy classic, ‘Sordid Lives’. Musical outings followed at other local venues with pianist/accompanist Bob Bruneau, leading to performing during Incanto’s grand opening celebration in January 2017, where she has remained ever since. Her smoky, bluesy vocals and sultry, unique interpretations of American standards, blended with her quick wit and contagious laugh continually draw audiences to ‘The Joan Houston Show’ on Fridays at 5pm. Joan is currently accompanied by pianist Dennis Crow who is filling in for Bob Bruneau (pictured). Visit Incanto’s website for more information.
Incanto owner, actor and star of hit stage comedy “Greater Tuna”, Tracy Parks’ portrayal of the matriarchal Aunt Pearl Burras has taken on a life of its own since the play debuted at Incanto last November, recently closing after a very successful run. On most Saturdays, Aunt Pearl ventures out of Tuna and calls bingo in Incanto’s piano bar for local worthy causes, including the Ballet Folklorico Tradiciones dance troupe who perform regularly during intermission. They are raising funds for travel to China again this year to attend an international dance competition in September with the help of Aunt Pearl’s bingo and Loteria fundraising efforts.
Sporting her signature flowery hat, wooden cane and sharp tongue, Aunt Pearl shares jokes and sordid, often hilarious tales of her adventures on the bus from Tuna to Vallarta and back, and all about her baths in the Rio Cuale wearing only her “unmentionables”. Some may also recognize her from the streets of Old Town in recent months with fellow Tuna actor Ron Spencer as Vera Carp while out promoting the show.
“Rumor is we may do ‘Tuna Does Vegas’ next season. We’d play Las Vegas showgirls, dueling Elvis impersonators, and 18 other characters.” – Tracy Parks
Pearl’s saucy quips and dubious tales of sleepwalking dead husbands and egg-sucking poodles only add to the fun. Prizes include show tickets, gift certificates, and cash! Happy Hour prices 4-6pm. ‘Amber’, a sexy male belly dancer also performs. Saturdays at 4pm in the piano bar.
In the piano bar –
Tongo plays Latin/Cuban rhythms on his handmade instruments and sings in English and Spanish. Tuesdays at 5pm.
Spanish singer/songwriter Santiago Martin Rumberia sings traditional flamenco blended with pop/rock and rumba with his full band ‘Son de la Ostia’ on Tuesdays, 7pm. Final show until fall.
Joby Hernandez plays pop/rock/classic favorites in English and Spanish on Wednesdays, 5pm. Also, see him as co-host of Open Mic on Thursdays at 7:30pm.
‘The Red Suitcases’ band plays Latin favorites and American classic rock/pop covers in English and Spanish Sundays and Wednesdays at 7:30pm.
Pianist Dennis Crow plays standards and show-tunes Tues., Wed., Fri., Sat., Sun. at 9:30pm. Gather around the piano and sing or sing-along to your favorites!
Singer-songwriters Zoe Wood and Eduardo León play Nuevo Flamenco and Latin standards, covers, and originals with Danny Renteria on percussion. They welcome Special Guests including Spanish singer Santiago Martin Rumberia. Thursdays at 5pm.
Luis Villanueva sings Latin favorites and American pop/standards in English and Spanish accompanied by musical director, Fernando Uribe at the piano/guitar. Fridays at 7:30pm.
Cheko Ruiz and Alex Gonzalez present familiar acoustic Latin/gypsy flamenco rhythms and covers on Saturdays at 7:30pm.
Salsa Dancing/Lessons are on held on Sundays at 8pm (upper terrace) with instructor Francisco Ledezma. All are welcome. Salsa lessons are free with your food/drink purchase.
Yuvia Niebla is a local singer/guitarist. Her interpretive, heartfelt style and beautiful mesmerizing vocals are quite popular with audiences. Sundays at 5pm.
Two Happy Hours daily 4-6pm and 10pm-close. ‘The Zen Hour’ features soft music and 2×1 tickets offered on select shows 4-5pm daily in the piano bar.
For more information and online tickets visit www.IncantoVallarta.com. No cover in the piano bar. Summer hours are 4pm-11:30pm Tues.- Sun. Casual dining is available 4pm-11pm on two riverside terraces and in the air-conditioned piano bar. Riverside breakfast service resumes in October. Happy Hour 4-6pm and 10pm-close. Contact them at Incantopv@gmail.com. Incanto is located at Insurgentes 109 (at the Rio Cuale). Call 322 223 9756 for reservations.